From Elton John's photography collection to a late night at Christie's auction house:five unmissable contemporary art events

Our top picks of what to see on London’s art scene this month and find inspiration for the home...

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Sir Elton John has created one of the world’s finest photography collections over the past 25 years, amassing more than 7,000 prints taken between the Twenties and the Fifties. Now 150 are on loan to Tate Modern and will be on view there from November 10 to May 7.

Images from Man Ray, Brassaï and Penn will showcase a golden age in photography. Look out also for the work of Edward Weston and Kertész, as well as portraits of Matisse and Picasso.

It’s bound to be one of the exhibitions of the year. The singer “hopes that the exhibition audience experiences as much joy in seeing the works as I have had in finding them”.

Photography collector: Sir Elton John and husband David Furnish (Getty)

If this inspires you to start a collection of your own, visit Phillips auction house in Berkeley Square to see photography on view before the sale there on November 3.


Artist Rachel Howard has curated a series of limited-edition prints to raise funds for the Civil Liberties Trust, the charitable arm of human rights organisation, Liberty.

By 10 artists, all the prints are collector’s items, with only 25 of each made, and signed by the artists. A portfolio edition holds a set of all 10 prints for £6,000 with individual prints available from £500.

Ruth Ewan: The fight that is never done


Big state-of the-art screens owned by many of us these days encourage the creation of video art for the home. At the recent PAD fair of 20th-century art and design in Berkeley Square, Dominic Harris’s work drew the crowds.

Interactive: Harris's image on the screen can be manipulated by the viewer

Harris’s art is often interactive: his image of white feathers on a black background, above, can be manipulated as you wave your hands across the screen. It’s utterly mesmerising and the viewer almost becomes part of the artwork.

Harris is the only artist in the past two years to be given access to the Disney archive. For his new show he’s brought Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to life — appealing to the child in us all. His work has been on view at Priveekollektie Contemporary Art | Design in Mayfair and can now be seen there by appointment.


Auction houses can often be intimidating but “Christie’s Lates” events — an open invitation to visit Christie’s South Kensington from 6pm-8.30pm for a free view on the first Tuesday of each month — are aimed at changing this perception.

Relaxed events: Christie’s Lates are free viewings, 6pm-8.30pm on the first Tuesday of each month

Each event has a different focus. On November 8 the concentration will be on furniture, tapestries and Old Master paintings. Reserve prices start from £1,000.


Dr Xavier Bray, the new director of The Wallace Collection in Manchester Square W1, marks his first official appearance at the museum with a Spanish-inspired music concert and dinner, and a discussion of Spanish culture, his great speciality.

New director: Dr Xavier Bray (The Wallace Collection)

The house and its collection, which includes The Laughing Cavalier (1624), by Frans Hals, and priceless 18th-century French furniture, will be the setting on Friday November 11 for Through Gilded Trellises — a celebration of Spain. Tickets £35, concs £30.


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