We’re already a week into July – yes, summer is flying by, and as usual, there are dozens of brilliant exhibitions opening throughout the city.
If you’re going away, don’t worry: most of the exhibitions continue well into September. But, on the other hand, if you have a free afternoon and you’d like to go and see some art, we have your back. Here’s our round-up of all the new art exhibitions to see this month.
Space Popular: The Portal Galleries at John Soane's Museum
Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg, who make up the design duo Space Popular, have brought a new kind of exhibition to John Soane’s Museum. Playing on the idea of a door as a portal, they explore the past, present and future of these magical gateways using virtual reality.
soane.org until September 25
In the Black Fantastic at Hayward Gallery
In the Black Fantastic is being called the must-see show of the summer. In this mixed-media exhibition eleven contemporary artists, all from the African diaspora, explore themes including science fiction, spiritual trends and Afrofuturism.
“I doubt there will be a better show this year,” said the Standard. Read our review here.
southbankcentre.co.uk until September 18
Africa Fashion at V&A
Featuring textiles, visual arts, photographs and music, the V&A have brought in over 70 new pieces to build this exciting exhibition about African fashion which spans from the mid-20th century to the present day.
“This exhibition wraps visitors in the world of the African scene,” says The Standard. Read our review here.
vam.ac.uk until April 16 2023
XRiS-00222 by Nella Piatek at The Photographers’ Gallery
An investigation of identity, the metaverse, and the evolution of human beings as digital technology advances, this visual exploration by Nella Piatek uses augmented reality filters to bring audiences into the world of a ‘cyberwitch’.
It’s not an exhibition, but a series of futuristic AR commissions that can be viewed online via Instagram.
thephotographersgallery.org.uk online until August 1
Born From Earth at Richard Saltoun
Born From Earth is a collection of work from eleven contemporary female ceramic artists: from pioneers of the practice to rising stars. It explores themes of art and architecture and has joined up with London’s Architectural Association to provide lectures and events to accompany the exhibition.
richardsaltoun.com until August 13
Opening this week
Lucian Freud: The Painter and His Family at Freud Museum
To celebrate one hundred years since the artist was born, the Freud Museum will be staging an exhibition of his work for the first time ever. If you haven’t been to the Hampstead space before, it’s quite remarkable: it was the home of his equally famous grandfather Sigmund and his Aunt, Anna.
The exhibition includes paintings, drawings, family photographs, books and letters.
freud.org.uk until January 29 2023
Tenant of Culture at Camden Art Centre
Tenant of Culture is the name for the practice of London-based artist Hendrickje Schimmel. Now, Camden Art Centre will share the biggest collection of her work to date. Soft Acid investigates the history of women working in the laundry industry using discarded materials and fabrics. Come and see familiar objects, such as trainers, take on a new form.
camdenartcentre.org July 8 until September 18
An Insular Rococo at Hollybush Gardens
This Clerkenwell gallery will be showing the work of Julie Becker, K.R.M. Mooney, Jack O’Brien, Charlotte Prodger and Anne Tallentire in this exhibition about site, space and private and public worlds.
hollybushgardens.co.uk July 8 – September 24
Living With Ghosts at Pace Gallery
This group exhibition has been curated by writer and critic Kojo Abudu. Nine artists investigate the ongoing effects of Africa’s colonial past, dealing with themes including slavery and resistance. The exhibition was first held at the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University in New York.
pacegallery.com July 8 until August 5
In A Dream You Climb The Stairs by Nikita Gale at Chisenhale Gallery
This LA-based artist, who makes large-scale installations with concrete, metal, light and sound, will enjoy their first solo UK show at Chisenhale Gallery.
chisenhale.org.uk July 9 until October 16
Opening later this month
Milton Avery, American Colourist at Royal Academy of Arts
Avery was a painter who is considered by some to be one of America’s greatest 20th-century colourists – a technique where colour becomes an artwork’s primary communication method. Now, for the first time, audiences can see his work on this side of the pond.
royalacademy.org.uk July 15 to October 16
Perhaps you were already planning on making a day trip out of London, or perhaps you’re extremely keen to see some art. Whatever your reasons, these exhibitions are just a short(ish) train away, and you can double up with doing some sightseeing too.
Mary Fedden: Simple Pleasures at Victoria Art Gallery, Bath
The exhibition is a massive retrospective of 110 paintings and works on paper, from her childhood up to the work she produced later in life when working in a studio next to her husband, the artist Julian Trevelyan. Expect to be delighted by her brightly coloured pieces.
victoriagal.org.uk July 9 until Oct 16
Ingrid Pollard: Carbon Slowly Turning at Turner Contemporary, Margate
This will be the first major mid-career survey of the British artist who explores social constructs and themes around race in her practice. The Turner Prize-nominated exhibition will show a range of Pollard’s work including film, sculpture, photography and installation from the 1980s up to today.
turnercontemporary.org 9 July to Sept 25
Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings & Watercolours at Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
After a limited sold-out run last year, this exhibition is back. It includes over one hundred artworks that explore the techniques that became the foundation of this movement.
ashmolean.org July 15 until Nov 27