London art highlights for 2014 – Part l

Rob Kidd from Curated London brings us a look at what we can expect from the art world this year. But before we look ahead to 2014, here’s what you should have seen (and still can if you’re quick).

Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize at National Portrait Gallery

London’s premier photographic portrait exhibition returns with another brilliant collection. More than 5,000 entries were submitted this year, and it’s clear from the 60 photographs on display that the judges were spoilt for choice. The featured works comprise commissioned editorial and advertising images, personal projects, travel journalism and intimate shots of friends and family. While the prize winners are highly-deserving, all the images featured demonstrate a high standard of technical ability and artistic composition. Until 9 February.

Pop Art Design at Barbican

A huge collection of art, film, installation, books, furniture and other cultural ephemera to demonstrate one of the most exciting art movements the world has ever seen. The exhibition tells the story of the post-war consumerist art movement that started in America but resonated across the world. Featured artists include Andy Warhol, Richard Hamilton, Judy Chicago, Patrick Caulfield, Ed Ruscha and David Hockney. Beautifully curated, the show is supported by a free app and a series of events. Until 9 February.

Paul Klee at Tate Modern

A huge chronological retrospective of a giant of modern European art. Abstract fans will find much to delight them here, but the muted colour palette, limited subject matter and tiny canvas size will leave some wanting more. Until 9 March.

Beyond El Dorado at British Museum

This dazzling show explores six pre-colonial regions of what we now call Columbia through their relationship with gold. The exhibition features beautifully-preserved masks, ornaments, containers, body decorations and piercings (all made from gold alloy) alongside ceramics and other durable objects to give an idea of age and context. The result is a fascinating insight into another culture.
Until 23 March.

Body Language at Saatchi Gallery

Experience the human body through the eyes of 19 emerging international artists in this huge exhibition. Through a combination of painting, photography, sculpture and ham (really), this diverse group of artists present their take on how we see ourselves in the 21st Century. The works featured range from the ridiculous to the sublime, stopping en route at grotesque, challenging and rather beautiful. The collection is varied, content-rich and highly accessible. Until 23 March.

Jameel Prize at V&A

The world’s best Islamic-inspired art and design, including typography, dresses, carpets, film and textiles, alongside more traditional media. You don’t need any knowledge of Islamic art, or a connection to the faith, to thoroughly enjoy this beautifully-curated collection of contemporary art. Until 21 April.

Stay tuned for Part II!

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