With free Family Studios, Art Detective trails, and galleries packed with colourful paintings and sculptures to explore, families can feel at home at central London’s Royal Academy of Arts – and kids under 16 go free to all its exhibitions
Now is the final chance to see the Sunday Times’ “show of the year”, Abstract Expressionism before it closes on 2 January. Get lost in the scale, colour and energy of some of the 20th century’s most celebrated paintings by the likes of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. This tour de force of art from New York’s Beat Generation era is the first of its kind to be held in the UK since 1959, so make sure that you and your family are amongst those to feel the power of these enormous canvases for yourselves.
Throughout the holidays you are also invited into the weird, wonderful and slightly spooky world of Belgian maverick artist James Ensor in the ghoulish Intrigue exhibition.
What to look out for in 2017
Spring’s big blockbuster promises an artistic and educational journey through one of modern history’s most dramatic periods: the Russian Revolution. Marking the centenary year, Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932 brings together masterpieces by artists like Kandinsky, Chagall and Malevich, as well as propaganda, Soviet ceramics and filmmaking by pioneers including Eisenstein.
Based loosely on a legendary art exhibition held in Russia in 1932, Revolution will painstakingly recreate the room hung by Malevich himself to show the great artist’s work exactly as he intended for it to be seen. Other rooms will explore themes like ‘Salute the Leader’ and ‘Man and Machine’.
The show also includes a full-scale recreation of an apartment designed for communal living, helping to bring to life what it must have been like to be part of the mass social experiment of Soviet Russia. Everyday objects like ration coupons and textiles complete the eye-opening selection to paint a vivid picture of the time.
As usual, an imaginative programme of family activities accompanies the exhibition. Come and get creative at workshops throughout the February half term, taking inspiration from Russian art and poster design to make collaborative artworks.