Review: Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules at Somerset House


What do you think when you hear the word Beano? Rebellion, catapults, Dennis the Menace? Well, you’re in the right place.

After years in the making and a two-year push back due to the pandemic, Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules is here and it’s here with a bang.

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The exhibition focuses on all things Beano, including its themes, cultural influences and artistic relevance. The brainchild of uber-fan Andy Holden, the Beano exhibition follows the progress and evolution of the comic which started back in 1938.

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Scale Model Village of Beanotown by Art & Assembly. Photo by Stephen Chung for Somerset House

With more than 100 installations and contributions from 50 artists, the exhibition is a colourful and joyful, immersive experience. Throughout, you’ll see intelligent and humorous works and collaborations with many artists including Banksy and Rene Matic. Even the gift shop is a work of art in itself, and that’s saying something when a whole room is named BMoMA (Beanotown Museum of Modern Art).

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‘Object for Kitchen Unit’ by Phyllida Barlow, 2020 in Beanotown Museum of Modern Art. Photo by Stephen Chung

The Somerset House exhibition is loud, proud and in your face, but also incredibly clever with subtle political references and cultural themes of rebellion and feminism. Whether you’re eight or 80, I urge you to visit as you will, undoubtedly, leave with a smile on your face.

Run don’t walk to Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules at Somerset House.

Tickets £16
October 21 2021 – March 6, 2022

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