Make space in your diary for inspiration

Whether you’re seeking expansion of your cultural horizon, looking for creative influence or simply planning a day trip, the 2012 art calendar is awash with visual indulgence.

With a whole crop of exciting art exhibitions ready to inspire we’ve selected three of London’s big shows for starters;

David Hockney – A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy from 21st January to 9th April.  It is the first major exhibition of new landscape works by the artist featuring vivid paintings inspired by the East Yorkshire landscape in addition to photography, computer technology and film works as Hockney continues to experiment with different mediums.

Caption: David Hockney, 'Woldgate Woods, 21, 23 & 29 November 2006', 2006. Oil on 6 canvases. 182 x 366 cm. Courtesy of the Artist. © David Hockney. Photo credit: Richard Schmidt


Picasso and Modern British Art from 15th February to 15th July is a major new exhibition at Tate Britain, featuring more than 150 works from public and private collections around the world. The exhibition charts Picasso’s extensive legacy and influence on British art as both a controversial figure and a celebrity who attracted royal attention.

Pablo Picasso, The Three Dancers 1925, Tate © Succession Picasso/DACS 2011


Lucian Freud at the National Portrait Gallery from 9th February to 27th May this is an important retrospective of the artist’s portraits and figure paintings exploring seven decades of work.   It will feature 100 works on paper lent by museums and private collections around the world and includes Freud’s final unfinished painting before his death in July 2011; Portrait of the Hound.

Caption: Reflection (Self-portrait), 1985 © Lucian Freud. Courtesy Lucian Freud Archive

February will also see the launch of one of the most anticipated exhibitions in recent years – Lucian Freud Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery.

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