Art: The five best shows in London

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The Independent Culture
1

Duane Hanson Royal Festival Hall Ballroom

Hanson's meticulously life-like figure sculptures find their perfect setting in the sociable space of the RFH. Ordinary people, cast directly from life, with props and accessories to match. To 7 Jan

2

Turner Prize Tate Gallery

Hugely popular competitive bash in which four artists show their wares. Chris Ofili, Tacita Dean, Cathy de Monchaux and Sam Taylor-Wood are this year vying for the top spot. To 0 Jan

3

Louise Bourgeois Serpentine Gallery

Autobiographical installations from the surrealist sculptress in which a giant mother/spider presides over images of spin and weave, restore and decay. To 0 Jan

4

Charlotte Saloman Royal Academy

First UK showing of Saloman's life in pictures. The 780 raw gouaches tell the story of the German Jewish girl's haste before Auschwitz. To 7 Jan

5

Grinling Gibbons V&A

The finest chisel-work of the master 7th-century woodcarver, best known for St Paul's, who made intricacy and nature his trademark. To 24 Jan

... AND BEYOND

Bridget Riley Abott Hall, Kendal

A retrospective that spans Riley's career from her early Sixties Op Art fame onwards, moving from rippling monochromes to colour, stripes and diagonals. To 3 Jan

2

Helen Chadwick Ferens Gallery, Hull

The first overview since this influential UK artist's death mid- career in 996. Lush light-boxes of fruit, flowers and fluids, and the last series, Unnatural Selection, showcasing IVF embryos. To 7 Jan

3

Edward Burne-Jones Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

The people's Pre-Raphaelite - centenary exhibition gathers together many favourites, such as King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid. To 7 Jan

4

Oppe Watercolour Collection

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Classic and still fresh 8th- and 9th-century British watercolours, including Alexander Cozens's vivid blot-derived sketches. To 24 Jan

5

Gustav Metzger MOMA, Oxford

A look at Metzger's role as artist, theorist and author of the Auto-destructive Art manifesto (959), including a restaging of his liquid- crystal light projections. To 0 Jan

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