What's on: four exhibitions to see in London this August
From Picasso to the history of dentistry, from the V&A to the Wellcome Collection, here is our selection of exhibitions in London that will brighten your August. And don't worry if you can't make it to the Big Smoke, we have the catalogues so you can indulge in some armchair travel and enjoy these shows from the comfort of your home.
This exhibition has made the cut of our top London exhibitions for the second month running and deservedly so as it is a mighty affair. The show covers just one year in the life of Picasso: 12 months of furious creativity and personal turmoil. You see an artist taking risks, experimenting and struggling to find a new direction and a man falling out of love with his wife and in the midst of a passionate affair with his mistress and muse, Marie Therese Walter. Throughout the show, you see Marie Therese everywhere with her oval eyes, classical nose and radiant blonde hair - works charged with tenderness and desire.
The fashion industry is the world's second most polluting industry, after oil. So bravo to the V&A for this thought-provoking and timely exhibition which explores the relationship between fashion and nature. The show features some 300 garments and explores how fashion designers draw on nature for inspiration; how fashion's processes continue to damage the environment and some of the solutions that the industry is putting in place to reduce its environmental impact. It is a captivating show to get lost in for a few hours and also a call to action to readdress the way that we think about fashion. You can read our review here.
This succinct and informative exhibition looks at the history of dentistry and covers everything from folk remedies and tooth fairies to barber-surgeons and golden grillz. There are letters to the tooth fairy, cabinets of tooth-pulling ‘keys’, drills, sharp instruments, dentures and the dreaded dentist’s chair. There is a selection of fake teeth, dentures, pastes and brushes (including Napoleon’s silver-handled toothbrush) as well as some striking posters encouraging good dental health.
This thoughtful show tells the story of Captain James Cook’s three major voyages through artworks, maps and journal entries. The show features Cook's journals including his account of his landing at Botany Bay in Australia and the first crossing of the Antarctic Circle; artworks by the artists Sydney Parkinson, William Hodges and John Webber who accompanied Cook and the Tahitian navigate and priest Tupaia's only surviving drawings.
The show sensitively raises questions about Cook's legacy. with interviews with descendants of the people who saw Cook’s ships arrive on their shores, examining the impact of Cook’s voyages today.