2024 London V&A highlights

Looking for an excuse to visit London this year? The V&A has several.
Naomi runs at the V&A starting June. Photo: Marco Bahler

Lovers of the hip and quirky events that London’s V&A is known for can start booking their tickets now, as 2024 looks set to be another one for the books. From West African architecture to Sir Elton John’s prized photography collection and a mega tribute to supermodel Naomi Campbell, we’ve got you covered.

Tropical Modernism: Architecture and Independence
March 2, 2024 – September 222, 2024

Tropical Modernism: Architecture and Independence will spotlight the architectural style developed in the hot, humid conditions of West Africa and India after World War II by architects Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew. Tropical Modernism followed the minimalist aesthetic of the time, while integrating novel approaches to climate control. Initially this
style was imposed by the British Empire after WWII in largepublic and social projects that sought to offset calls forindependence and stimulate trade with Britain. Despite these associations, after independence in India and across Africa, Tropical Modernism came to represent the modernity and progressiveness of these new countries, distinct from colonial culture and adapted by local architects.

Working with scholars, architects and filmmakers, the exhibition will interrogate a transitional moment in which new freedoms were won and how a break with the colonial past was articulated through art and architecture.

Fragile Beauty: Photographs from the Sir Elton John and
David Furnish Collection
In partnership with Gucci
May 18, 2024 – January 5, 2025

The exhibition will showcase over 300 rare prints from over 140 photographers, on loan from the private collection of Sir Elton John and David Furnish. Following on from the 2016 exhibition The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection at the Tate Modern, this exhibition will cover the period from the 1950s to the present day and bring together an unrivalled selection of the world’s leading photographers to tell the story of modern and contemporary photography, including works by Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman, William Eggleston, Diane Arbus, Sally Mann, and others.

The exhibition will mark 30 years of collecting and will celebrate John and Furnish’s passion for the medium. Subjects explored will include fashion, reportage, celebrity, the male body, and American photography. Portraits of stars from stage and screen will feature, including photography of Marilyn Monroe, Miles Davis, and Chet Baker, as well as iconic images from key moments of history from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, AIDS activism of the 1980s and the events of 11 September 2001.

June 22, 2024 – April 6, 2025

This exhibition will explore the unequalled 40-year career of fashion model and British icon Naomi Campbell (b. 1970). A trailblazer in the field, Naomi Campbell’s celebrated ability to ‘walk’ the catwalk, along with the special alchemy she creates through collaborations with every major fashion house, fashion publication and leading fashion photographer, ensure that after four decades in the fashion industry and British cultural landscape, Campbell continues to star in global catwalk shows, advertising campaigns and editorial fashion shoots. In parallel, Campbell’s cultural leadership, activism and championing of emerging creatives transcend the traditional parameters of the fashion catwalk model role.

Produced in collaboration with Naomi Campbell and foregrounding her voice and perspective, NAOMI will be the first exhibition of its kind. The exhibition will draw upon Campbell’s own extensive wardrobe of haute couture and leading ready-to-wear ensembles, along with loans from designer archives and objects from the V&A collection. The exhibition will include around 100 looks from the best of global high fashion and an installation of photography curated by Edward Enninful OBE.

Jameel Prize 7
November 30, 2024 – March 16, 2025

The seventh edition of the V&A’s Jameel Prize is devoted to moving images and new media work, inspired by Islamic art, culture, history, or ideas. Seven contemporary artists from the Middle East and South Asia, working with video, sound, installation, and new technologies have been selected by an international jury. Works by Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, Jawa El Khash, Alia Farid, Ohida Khandakar, Zahra Malkani, Marrim Akashi Sani, and the collective Ramin, Rokni, Hesam, will be on display in an exhibition at V&A South Kensington in the winter of 2024, where the winner of the £25,000 Prize will be announced.

The Jameel Prize is the world’s only international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition. Founded in 2009, the Jameel Prize reflects the V&A’s long-standing relationship with Art Jameel.

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