Arty London

Amidst the chaos of the tube strikes, Londoners can find a trickle of solace and a little peace of mind at some of the cities art galleries this May. As we gear up for the summer months, where London’s vibrancy suddenly pops, we are treated to a wealth of fantastic exhibitions at some of the biggies, and smallies, of the London art scene.

No doubt there has been a sudden revival of mass interest in the comic book scene, with action heroes hitting the cinemas and even the small screen. And the 1st May sees the opening of an exciting new exhibition at the British Library, promising to be the UK’s largest exhibition of mainstream and underground comics. ‘Comics Unmasked: Art & Anarchy in the UK’ showcases works by Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, and explores the underlying connotations of sexuality and politics concurrent in comic books. Through original scripts, sketches and completed artworks, Comics Unmasked takes the viewer on a colourful journey from 1970 to the present day. Tickets are £10.50 and booking is recommended.

Now some people prefer the Tate Modern, but for those of you that would rather visit Tate Britain, you are in for a treat from the 20th May. A new exhibition exploring the life and work of art historian and broadcaster, Kenneth Clark, looks at his role as both a patron of the arts and a collector, and celebrates his contribution to making art more, well, cool. Whilst mostly focusing on the activities of Clark during the 1930s and 1940s, the exhibition examines how Clark used his own wealth to offer financial support to aspiring artists; allowing them to work freely. Tickets cost £10, and there is an additional opportunity to join the curator’s tour on the 27th May.

If something a little more independent is up your street, then it would be worth dropping in at the Drawing Room, in Bermondsey. The Drawing Room is the only public, not-for-profit gallery in the UK, and Europe for that matter, which is dedicated to the investigation and presentation of contemporary drawing. Commencing on the 27th May, artist Aleksandra Mir will be taking over the gallery as a production space. With her team of ten assistants, she will create a live drawing installation focusing on London’s architecture and skyline and will use only ‘Sharpie’ marker pens. Once completed, the artwork will be on display until the 19th July.

For all the bookworms amongst us, you won’t want to miss the David Pearson exhibition opening at the Kemistry Gallery in Shoreditch on the 8th May. If you do not have a clue who Pearson is, then you will be interested to know he is the acclaimed designer famed for his beautiful Penguin book cover designs. The exhibition is free, and showcases how Pearson played a key role in the re-emergence of Penguin Books in recent years.

Probably one of the highlights of May sees the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition at Somerset House. Showcasing some truly amazing contemporary photography, from all over the world, the exhibition is guaranteed to excite and arouse the senses! The winning and shortlisted images featured were selected by a panel of industry experts from a staggering 139,000 submissions, with images covering a breadth of topics including nature, aerial landscapes and day-to-day life.

Adding into to the mix all the exhibitions taking place not mentioned, there is no excuse for any art lover to be bored in London this May!

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