Autumn art: Major new exhibitions in central London

The days are getting shorter and the nights a bit colder, but art fans know this time of year isn’t all gloom – it means a whole new set of big-ticket exhibitions as the major galleries’ summer shows come to an end. This season we get a vivid dose of global pop art from Tate Modern, a blockbuster Goya exhibition from the National, and a retrospective on the British painter Peter Lanyon at the Courtauld. And all three are within easy reach of the Strand Palace’s front door. Here are the details…

  1. The World Goes Pop

Where: Tate Modern
When: September 17 2015 to January 24 2016

Think pop art, think America, right? Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein on the East Coast, Ed Ruscha on the West Coast? Not so fast – the mission of Tate Modern’s big autumn show is to demonstrate that the best-known producers of pop art represent just one corner of a truly global phenomenon. Expect surprising, politically-charged work from Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. And all in eye-popping technicolour, of course.

Getting there: It’s a pleasant half-hour walk across Waterloo Bridge and down the South Bank; alternatively, save your legs by taking the RV1 bus (every 10 minutes) from Lancaster Place, just around the corner from the hotel. You can also take a boat from Embankment Pier (behind Charing Cross) to Bankside Pier.


  1. Goya: The Portraits

Where: National Gallery
When: October 7 2015 to January 10 2016

The Spanish giant’s troubled later work has always captured the imagination of art fans, but before his darker period he was a major portraitist of royalty and high society in 18th century Spain. This major show will trace Goya’s development from his early commissions through to his final years in exile, exploring the relationship between his official public works and daring private experiments.

Getting there: Head straight down The Strand towards Trafalgar Square. It’s a walk of less than 10 minutes.


  1. Soaring Flight: Peter Lanyon’s Glider Paintings

Where: Courtauld Gallery
When: October 15 2015 to January 17 2016

Deeply rooted in the landscape of Cornwall, Peter Lanyon’s body of work covers abstract painting, collage and three-dimensional ‘constructions’. The Courtauld’s typically focused show concentrates on a series of late paintings influenced by gliding, a hobby Lanyon took up following a spell in the RAF during the Second World War. With a distinctive palette of blues, whites and greens, they’re as radical a vision of the Cornish countryside as you could imagine.

Getting there: The easiest of the lot, the Courtauld is just up The Strand, on the other side of Waterloo Bridge. It’s inside the Somerset House complex.

The Strand Palace Hotel’s superb location not only makes exhibition exploring easy, but a must! Come and stay in the centre of some of the world’s greatest galleries and soak up these wonderful displays.

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