Announcing our 2018 exhibitions

We're thrilled to bring you news of our exhibitions for the coming year


  • Exhibitions

Quentin Blake: Arrows of Love
Quentin Blake Gallery, 14 February – 29 April

An exhibition of Quentin Blake’s rarely-seen nudes. 18 exuberant pencil drawings depict women avoiding or embracing Cupid’s arrow. Opening on Valentine’s Day, this exhibition reveals Blake's personal reflections on the joy, folly and sorrow of love with his characteristic humour.

Made in North Korea: Everyday Graphics from the DPRK
Main Gallery, 23 February – 13 May

The UK’s first ever exhibition of graphic design from North Korea, revealing a style honed over decades in a closed society. Common objects including posters, sweet wrappers and stamps give a extraordinary and rare insight into everyday life in the DPRK. The exhibition draws from the collection of Nicholas Bonner, author of Made in North Korea (Phaidon).

Dates for your diary:
23 February Q&A with collector Nicholas Bonner
28 March UK premiere of North Korea’s first girl power movie, Comrade Kim Goes Flying, at Barbican Cinema 
24 April Talk on Korean comics with Paul Gravett

Christy Burdock: Illustrator in Residence
South Gallery, 30 March – 8 July

Christy Burdock’s work tells the complex story of the everyday; she immerses herself in microsocieties then layers her studies with metaphor and imagination. This exhibition will feature House of Illustration visitors, staff and artists in large-scale observations of her six months spent here as Illustrator in Residence. 

Dates for your diary:
12 April Q&A with Christy Burdock

Quentin Blake: Voyages to The Moon and The Sun
Quentin Blake Gallery, 4 May – 30 September

The first exhibition of Quentin Blake’s illustrations for this French literary classic, coinciding with The Folio Society’s publication of a new edition. Cyrano de Bergerac’s 17th century tale of space travel inspired many of fiction’s greatest fantasy adventures.

Enid Marx: Print, Pattern and Popular Art
Main Gallery, 25 May – 23 September

The first major exhibition for 40 years celebrating Enid Marx. Alongside Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden, she defined mid-20th century design. Over 150 works, many previously unseen, show her progression from hand-printed textiles to industrially-produced weaves, including her 1930s seating pattern for London Transport.

John Vernon Lord: Illustrating Carroll and Joyce
South Gallery, 13 July – 4 November

John Vernon Lord’s pen and ink drawings are rich with metaphor, pattern and codes. This exhibition features his extraordinary work for five books including Finnegan’s Wake, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Ulysses.

100 Figures: The Unseen Art of Quentin Blake
Main Gallery, 5 October 2018 – 27 January 2019

A major exhibition highlighting Quentin Blake’s prolific but unknown work as a figurative artist, featuring 100 unseen pieces made between 1950 and the present day. Oil paintings, drawings and prints will give an unprecedented insight into the creative practice of the world’s most celebrated illustrator.

Quentin Blake: The Model as Artist
Quentin Blake Gallery, 5 October 2018 – 24 February 2019

Accompanying the Main Gallery show 100 Figures this exhibition charts Quentin Blake’s first steps from illustration into figurative art. It will show work inspired by his first life drawing classes in the 1950s, which triggered a longstanding interest in gesture and the body.

Journeys Drawn: Illustration from the Refugee Crisis
South Gallery, 9 November 2018 – 10 March 2019

An exhibition telling refugee stories both observed and experienced first-hand. Multi-media work by 13 contemporary illustrators will include Olivier Kugler’s portraits from Calais and George Butler’s reportage from Syria, animation by Majid Adin and manga by Asia Alfasi.


Colin Mckenzie, director of House of Illustration, said: “I am delighted to announce our 2018 exhibitions, which celebrate the innovation and diversity of illustration from Enid Marx’s beautiful, influential mid-century designs to the figurative art of Quentin Blake. We will be highlighting illustration’s capacity to communicate complex situations; graphic design gives a rare insight into everyday life in North Korea, while 13 contemporary illustrators will tell stories from the refugee crisis. We will also be showing work by our Illustrator in Residence, supporting emerging talent through the annual Book Illustration Competition, and continuing our pioneering education work with schools, families and adults.”

For press enquiries contact Amy Forshaw on or 020 3696 2028.