Looking for a way to avoid the hubbub of the January sales? Why not spend some time over the Christmas holidays with some of the biggest names in the art world. These exhibitions can see you through the first month of 2018 and they will all be coming to a close before spring sets in so visit while you can. 

The first exhibition to close will be Thomas Ruff at the Whitechapel Gallery which is on until Sunday 12 January, 2018. Visiting east London you will see the work of the German photographer who has forged an entire career out of making subversively ordinary images. The gallery is also perfectly located for a wander along Brick Lane to exciting Shoreditch, where many smaller art spaces reside.

Slightly more central is the Barbican Centre, which is hosting Basquiat: Boom for Real until Sunday 28 January. This exhibition presents the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat who had become the biggest young artist of his generation before his death of a drug overdose in 1988 at the age of 27. This is one of the first major retrospectives of his work in the UK and presents a passionate artist who died much too young. Beyond the gallery, the architecture of the Barbican is always worth a visit; the brutalist concrete is a sight that you either love or hate, but you can't deny it is striking.

Into central London and strolling along the Thames from the Houses of Parliament, you can find the grand entrance to Tate Britain, which is playing host to the work of Rachel Whiteread until 4 February. The controversial Turner Prize winning artist has created a defined aesthetic over 25 years, using abstraction and minimalist to document very real things. The exhibition presents the development in her work, but even if you don’t want to pay to see the entire show, the free installation in the foyer ‘Untitled (One Hundred Spaces)’ 1995, gives a good taste of her practice and there is something for everyone while wandering through the collection. 

If you can brave the tourist heavy locations of Trafalgar and Leicester Squares, pay the National Portrait Gallery a visit to see the exhibition of Cézanne Portraits. On until Sunday 11 February, the exhibition presents people captured through complexity and abstraction as the artist searches for beauty and light in the faces of the sitters. A walk around the corner we move from the colours of Cezanne to the simplicity of black and white. Monochrome: Painting in Black and White presents more than 50 works that span over 700 years at the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Continuing until Sunday 18 February, the exhibition presents some of the biggest names in art history in an adventurous show on a simple, monochrome theme.

If you are in the club over this time you will also have a final chance to see the work in our exhibition NO PLACE before it comes down on 10 January , following which we will welcome in RBA Star Students on 23 January. Avoid the January blues and don’t miss these fantastic exhibitions.

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