Heading to the capital this October? If you’re an art lover, you’re no doubt staying in the most artistic area of the city – the east. Creative types are spoilt for choice here as there are so many wonderful and unique places to get lost in some art. East London is home to some of the city’s top, most important galleries, as well as lots of independent, quirky smaller ones.
We’ve chosen our favourite exhibitions to check out near The Barbican Hotel London, which is the ideal place to stay for your artistic adventure, as it provides a great mix of chicness and comfort. Check out the gallery of our Barbican Rooms for a sneak peek!
Roy’s Art Fair
The Truman Brewery: 3rd – 6th October 2019
Starting with the ultimate east London art experience – an exhibition in a brewery, of course. October 2019 marks the 5th release of Roy’s Art Fair, a three-day art fair with exhibits, workshops, live art and the chance to purchase surprisingly affordable art straight from the artists themselves. This year reveals the biggest line up yet, with a total of 95 artists showcasing their work, and a collaboration with the charity Mind, who’ll be taking part in workshops and interactive art displays, in a bid to share how art can have a positive impact on mental health.
Architecture of London
Guildhall Art Gallery: 29th August – 1st December 2019
Discover 400 years of London’s architecture through the eyes of artists. Guildhall Art Gallery’s influential current exhibition draws together pieces from the 17th century to today to demonstrate how London’s evolving skyline has influenced touring and local artists for over four centuries.
The Architecture of London exhibition highlights 80 works by over 60 artists, representing the City of London Corporation’s vast art collection to explore the strong diversity of London’s architecture and the way it has been portrayed. In addition, it also features loans from different significant British exhibtions and a variety of exclusive collections, such as masterpieces by famous and rising artists, including Canaletto, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach and Catherine Yass.
For a truly quintessentially British experience following your visit, enjoy an afternoon tea city of London with us. Menus include the classic afternoon tea with all the trimmings, the Chocolate edition for an extra cocoa kick, and an Indian variation for more adventurous taste buds. Enjoy!
Berlin/London: The Lost Photographs of Gerty Simon
The Wiener Library: 30th May – 15th October 2019
The Wiener Library’s summer exhibition highlights the extraordinary work of German Jewish photographer Gerty (Gertrud) Simon. It provides a unique opportunity to view many of her original prints from the 1920s and 1930s. She was once a prominent photographer who took photos of many major political and artistic figures in Berlin, such as Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya, Käthe Kollwitz, Max Liebermann and Albert Einstein.
Back in 2016, The Wiener Library acquired a private donation, which encompassed hundreds of Gerty Simon’s earliest prints, as well as documentary evidence of her life and work. The essence of the photographs and importance of many of Gerty’s subjects, especially as she photographed so many significant cultural figures, meant that this was a particularly exciting collection. This exhibition will bring into focus, for the first time in eighty years, the work of this compelling and innovative photographic artist.
Trevor Paglen – From Apple to Anomaly
The Barbican: 26th Sep – 16th Feb 2020
Examine the underbelly of our digital life in this exhibition on the doorstep of our Barbican city suites. It reveals the strong, and often unknown, powers at play in the world of artificial intelligence.
It explores the way in which AI networks are instructed how to ‘see’ and ‘perceive’ the world by taking a closer look at image datasets. Artist Trevor Paglen has joined approximately 30,000 individually printed photographs. This dataset is archived and chosen in categories by humans, and popularly used for education AI networks. These categories, when used in AI, propose a world in which machines will be able to extract forms of judgement against humankind. Learn how the approach of autonomous computer concept and AI has advanced, rife with private politics, biases and stereotypes.
Afterwards, enjoy a relaxing meal after all that learning nearby, at our top Barbican restaurants London with a carefully curated menu to delight and excite diners.
Anna Maria Maiolino: Making Love Revolutionary
The Whitechapel Gallery: 25 September 2019 – 12 January 2020
A pleasant walk away from your hotel, this exhibition puts simple materials like clay, paper and ink at the forefront. Anna Maria Maiolino creates a captivating world cemented in human conditions such as desire, vulnerability and endurance. This is the artist’s first retrospective in the UK.
Starting the exhibition are countless simple shapes made of clay such as balls and rolls. Maiolino’s forms elicit baking, housework and objects of habit. Her sense of delicacy penetrates the raw clay, as it dries and intensifies in colour. Her illustrations and sculptures establish an emotional geometry with marks and voids implying an alphabet, maps and topographies – lovingly sewn threads outline a tour of possible spatial configurations. The upper galleries emphasise prints of the 1960s, and the radical shifts in the use of paper in the 1970s.
2019 Bow Open Show curated by Carey Young
Nunnery Gallery: 27th September – 15th December 2019
Visionary Artist Carey Young has chosen 19 rising artists for Bow Arts’ annual Open Show with an appeal for works that react to “our current political moment”. Judging from some of the charity’s 500 studio holders, the outcome is a collection of artistic pieces which engage with diverse themes including politics, migration, gender identity, borders and climate change. The works poignantly and critically address some of today’s most urgent and controversial cultural discussions.
Young, whose own practice has evolved from a mix of disciplines including law, politics and business, has created a collection that investigates these issues in varied and often humorous ways.
Which exhibition do you most fancy? Leave us a comment and don’t forget to book your room at The Barbican Hotel London so that you’re perfectly placed to explore London’s art scene.