Visit London Blog » Picasso Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:06:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fresco Dining: Art In London’s Restaurants Wed, 01 Aug 2012 15:00:38 +0000

Not only can you find some fantastic food in London, but it’s often served in aesthetically-pleasing surroundings. Some of the capital’s restaurants – regardless of whether you’re looking for haute cuisine or a quick burger – even offer you the chance to enjoy works from world-famous artists along with your food.

Burger King, Leicester Square
It’s probably not the first place you’d think to look, but the top floor of the fast food giant’s Leicester Square venue is graced with a two-metre wide painting by Damien Hirst (above). Entitled “Beautiful Psychedelic Gherkin Exploding Tomato Sauce All Over Your Face, Flame Grilled Painting 2003″, the work was made using the “spin painting technique” and is on loan to the venue until at least the end of the year.

L’Escargot, Soho
This renowned Soho restaurant is littered with fine art. See works by the likes of Hockney, Matisse, Chagall, Warhol and Miro downstairs, or check out the fantastic selection of Picasso sketches on the first floor.

Rules, Covent Garden
The walls of this venerable restaurant, which serves delicious British cuisine, are covered in hundreds of paintings and drawings. Don’t miss the large allegorical painting by John Springs, which features a triumphant Margaret Thatcher against a backdrop of the Faulkland Islands.

Le Gavroche, Mayfair
Admire works by Miro, Giacometti, Dali and Picasso from one of the sought-after tables at this brilliant restaurant from Michel Roux Jr.

Rivington Grill, Shoreditch
This Shoreditch hotspot hosts a regularly changing selection of work from the nearby Carl Freedman Gallery, as well as two works by Tracey Emin: “No Time” and “Life Without You. Never”.

Langan’s Brasserie, Piccadilly
See art by Lucien Freud, Francis Bacon, David Hockney and many others at this popular brasserie, which is sister to the equally art-infested Odin’s. 

Sketch, Oxford Street
Turner prize-winner Martin Creed, creator of All The Bells, has designed the restaurant at Sketch. It consists of various of his works: look out for the 96 types of marble on the zigzagging floor, the large scale wall paintings and the astounding attention to detail paid to the furniture and cutlery, every item of which is different.

Tramshed, Shoreditch
Damien Hirst has installed two of his pieces in the latest meat-centric outpost of Mark Hix’s restaurant empire. You can’t miss “Cock and Bull”, the huge formaldehyde installation suspended in the middle of the restaurant, but look out for his “Beef and Chicken” painting too.

The Restaurant at the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
The spectacular range of art extends into the restaurant of this world-famous venue, and diners can enjoy fantastic sculptures and murals alongside tasty dishes.

Nandos, venues across London
The popular chicken chain deserves an honourable mention for its commitment to showcasing South African art in its restaurants. It now has the largest collection in the UK, and you can see a variety of examples at their restaurants around town.

Have you spotted any more art over your supper at a London restaurant? Let us know in the comments below.

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Five Major London Art Exhibitions to See in 2012 Wed, 28 Dec 2011 11:30:11 +0000

This year we enjoyed blockbuster exhibitions including Miró at Tate Modern, Leonardo da Vinci at the National Gallery and Degas at the Royal Academy.

So which will be the most talked-about shows in 2012? Here are five to look out for:

  • Lucian Freud Portraits, National Portrait Gallery: More than 100 works by the artist who died in July 2011, including his portrait of Benefits Supervisor Sue Tilley. 9 Feb-27 May
  • Damien Hirst, Tate Modern: The first substantial survey of Hirst’s work in the UK, featuring his famous Pharmacy installation and shark in formaldehyde. 5 Apr-9 Sep
  • Picasso and Modern British Art, Tate Britain: Major exhibition bringing together Picasso’s work and that of admirers such as Henry Moore and David Hockney. 15 Feb-15 Jul
  • David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture, Royal Academy of Arts: Exhibition spanning 50 years and showcasing brand new landscapes, iPad drawings and films. 21 Jan-9 Apr
  • Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration, Victoria and Albert Museum. One of several major exhibitions celebrating the Diamond Jubilee. 8 Feb-22 Apr

Which exhibitions are you looking forward to in 2012? Let us know in the comments below.

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World’s Most Expensive Painting Goes on Display at Tate Modern Mon, 07 Mar 2011 17:38:04 +0000

The most expensive painting to be sold at auction – Nude, Green Leaves and Bust 1932 by Pablo Picasso – went on display for the first time in the UK at Tate Modern today.

The painting was sold at Christie’s, New York on 4 May 2010 to a private collector for a world record price of $106.5m. Now you can see it in London for free!

You’ll find Nude, Green Leaves and Bust in the new Pablo Picasso room on Level 3 of Tate Modern, where it’ll be on show for two years.

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Treasures from Budapest arrive at London’s Royal Academy of Arts Tue, 21 Sep 2010 14:30:50 +0000

The Royal Academy’s Treasures from Budapest: European Masterpieces from Leonardo to Schiele opens on Saturday and I went along for a sneak preview.

The stunning exhibition is composed of work from one of the finest art collections in Central Europe, The Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, along with loans from the Hungarian National Gallery. Many of the pieces were collected by the Esterházy family, who’s various generations developed the collected works.

The tremendous breath of work includes religious painting, mythological work, landscapes and contemporary masterpieces. Among the 200 works are paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Claude Monet, Egon Schiele, Rembrandt and Pablo Picasso, covering treasures from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries.

Standing in front of a wall which sees Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Bridge at Argenteuil, and Monet’s Three Fishing Boats next to Hungarian artist Mihály Munkácsy’s Dusty Road II, curator Professor David Ekserdijan said:

“The relationships between artists most of us are very familiar with, such as Monet, Renoir, [Eduoard] Manet and [Camille] Pissarro, and the Hungarian artists will prove very fascinating for everybody.”

This statement sums the exhibition up to a tee. It’s a captivating mix of work by the Old Masters, latter-day European greats, and Hungarian artists who have incorporated the styles of these artists into their own work. For example, you only need to glance at Munkácsy’s Dusty Road II to see the J.M.W. Turner influences.

Highlights of the exhibition include the striking Peter Paul Rubens’ Mucius Scaevola before Lars Porsena, Schiele’s erotic Two Women Embracing, and detailed chalk sketches by Leonardo da Vinci. Arguably the greatest work, however, is Raphael’s Esterházy Madonna, a stunning example of Renaissance painting at its finest.

Treasures from Budapest: European Masterpieces from Leonardo to Schiele opens on Saturday until 12 Dec.

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Masterpiece London: A Luxury Collection Mon, 28 Jun 2010 15:42:16 +0000

A statue of Hercules from the Roman Empire Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Posh nosh at Masterpiece London

Take a trip to Masterpiece London for a fabulous few hours of viewing possibly the finest antiques collection in the world.

This six-day event in its first year showcases art and luxury goods of all kinds. Held at the former Chelsea Barracks, minutes from Sloane Square, this is a real treat for all. Even those of us who are not millionaires will love browsing the original art from a Renoir to a Picasso to a gorgeous Warhol Marilyn Monroe piece. There are ancient sculptures including a Roman marble torso of Hercules from the 1st Century AD (price upon request) and stunning pieces of vintage jewellery.

Cars on display include the most stunning Bugatti (priced at a cool million) and other classic cars such as the 1933 Alfa Romeo, valued at £4.7 million.

One of the strangest yet most fascinating pieces is a giant gold clock with a huge bug attached to it that moves as if it’s in charge of turning the device. This is a £2 million “Chronophage” clock and highlights the wide range of artefacts on display.

The pieces are stunning and the staff are all knowledgeable, friendly and very helpful – even though they probably guessed that we would not be purchasing the £4.8 million Canaletto!

To add to the entertainment, there’s a selection of pop-up bars and restaurants from the finest venues in London, including Le Caprice, The Ivy and Harry’s Bar. Enjoying a glass of finest champagne after the fair is the perfect way to end the perfect fine day!

Tickets are priced at £20.00 and can be booked here - but be quick, Masterpiece’s final day is tomorrow (29 June).

If you can’t make it to Masterpiece, you can visit one of the other London Art Fairs that are on throughout the year.

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