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8 exhibitions not to be missed

Aside the large retrospectives on far-away cultures (the Aztecs or the Indian Maharajahs), the British capital pays royal attention to modern and contemporary art: Auerbach, Pop Art and Anish Kapoor are in the program for the next coming months.

Andy Warhol David Hockney 1974 Synthetic polymerpaint and silkscreen ink on canvas 40 x 40 inches Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas The Shop 6 c-type prints Each: 29 15/16 x 36 in. (76.1 x 91.5 cm) © Tracey Emin. All rights reserved, DACS 2009 Photo: Carl Freedman Courtesy White Cube


The winner of the Turner Prize in 1991, Anish Kapoor, was made famous by his large installations. The Royal Academy of Arts presents a retrospective of his work, including early creations never shown before and recent sculptures still not exhibited, of which some fill the whole exhibition area.

  • Until 11 December
    Website of the Royal Academy


    The Tate Modern studies one of Andy Warhol's main heritages, the artist's taste for exaggerated mediatisation. By reconstructing some key exhibitions, such as those of Keith Haring or of Jeff Koons, the museum shows how fame has become one of the components of contemporary art works.

  • Until 17 January 2010
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    The last Aztec sovereign symbolises the myth of Eldorado. The British Museum retraces his tragic destiny, which also marks the fall of his empire into the hands of the Spanish conquistadors, in 1520. Statuettes, sculptures and different objects accompany the model of the big temple of Tenochtitlán.

  • Until 24 January 2010
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    Throughout his life, Turner measured himself to the great masters of the past - Rembrandt or Poussin - to try to equal them and then surpass them. He also competed with his contemporaries, such as Constable. With some one hundred works placed near his, the Tate Modern shows the artist's permanent aspiration towards supremacy…

  • Until 31 January 2010
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    They represent unbridled luxury, dazzling processions, cascades of precious stones: the Maharajahs, who governed in India in the shadows of the British viceroys, from the XVIIIth century until 1947, were great amateurs of art. At the Victoria & Albert Museum, 250 objects from princely collections prove it: thrones, weapons, clothes, jewellery as well as Art deco furniture.

  • From 10 October 2009 to 17 January 2010
    Website of the Victoria & Albert Museum


    During the Swinging Sixties, London imposed itself as the European capital of avant-garde. This position was due in great part to the young music stars that emerged at that time. The National Portrait Gallery presents 150 photographs of these pop and rock icons, from the Beatles to Cliff Richard, from the Rolling Stones to the Kinks.

  • From 15 October 2009 to 24 January 2010
    Website of the National Portrait Gallery


    At the end of World War II, a young painter who would take his place next to Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon or Ben Nicholson, relentlessly details the reconstruction of London. The Courtauld Institute of Art presents, with numerous preparatory works, these dense and colourful canvases by Frank Auerbach.

  • From 16 October 2009 to 17 January 2010
    Website of the Courtauld Institute


    While we all seem to know Vélasquez and Zurbarán well, we can not say the same for their contemporary sculptors. True virtuosi of wood carving and polychromy, Pedro de Mena or Gregorio Fernández left examples of the Immaculate Conception and the Passion of Christ vibrant with colour. The National Gallery shows them next to paintings from the same period to underline the close relations between the two art forms.

  • From 21 October 2009 to 24 January 2010
    Website of the National Gallery