Favourite exhibition of the year: Stanley Spencer at Somerset House

I stopped reviewing exhibitions a while back as I felt I wasn’t doing a good enough job of it but I haven’t stopped going to them. Bob Dylan at the National Portrait Gallery was disappointing, Michael Landy’s Saints Alive at the National Gallery was great fun, reminiscent of the ICA’s Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition back in the 60s. Bruce Munroe’s light sculptures at Waddesdon House, particularly the Christmas collection, have been wonderful and the Beastly Hall exhibition of modern art at Hall Place was intriguing. However, the one unmissable exhibition this year is Heaven in a Hell of War: Stanley Spencer’s war paintings loaned from Sandham Memorial Chapel while the chapel is being renovated. Somehow, his pictures of the mundanity of war, scrubbing floors and making beds rather than fighting, makes it even more moving. It continues until January 26th and it is free, so there is no excuse not to visit if you are in London, especially as this year marks the centenary of the Great War.


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