The best exhibitions this week in London, from Alvaro Barrington to Judy Chicago

Alvaro Barrington, Hibiscus, Satisfy Your Soul, 2023 (© Alvaro Barrington)
Alvaro Barrington, Hibiscus, Satisfy Your Soul, 2023 (© Alvaro Barrington)

With access to hundreds of museums and galleries a tube ride away, we Londoners are spoilt for choice when it comes to a fun day out. But sometimes the capital’s embarrassment of riches means it’s tricky to pick where to go.

Do you disappear into the National Gallery for an afternoon, pop by some of the independent galleries in Marylebone, explore East London’s exciting offerings, or wander around the Tate?

Look no further every week: here’s our pick of five extraordinary exhibitions to see in London right now.

Harminder Judge: A Ghost Dance

Installation view, Harminder Judge, A Ghost Dance, Matt’s Gallery, London 2024 (Photograph by Ollie Hammick)
Installation view, Harminder Judge, A Ghost Dance, Matt’s Gallery, London 2024 (Photograph by Ollie Hammick)

In this collaborative exhibition taking place at both The Sunday Painter and Matt’s Gallery, two south London spaces just 10-minutes walk from one another, Rotherham artist Harminder Judge reflects on funeral rites and rebirth, drawing parallels between the body and the cosmos.

The Sunday Painter, to July 7; thesundaypainter.co.uk

Harmony Korine: Aggressive Dr1fter Part II

Harmony Korine, Drift XI, 2023 (Photo: Sarah Muehlbauer)
Harmony Korine, Drift XI, 2023 (Photo: Sarah Muehlbauer)

The work of American artist and filmmaker Harmony Korine, who directed Spring Breakers in 2012, is a meditation on experimentation and expression. Here, a new series of hallucinatory images draw from his film Aggro Dr1ft, which premiered at 2023’s Venice Film Festival.

Hauser & Wirth, to July 27; hauserwirth.com

Polly Braden: Leaving Ukraine

In this moving series of photographs and short films, visual artist Polly Braden documents stories of women – mothers, daughters, teenagers and babies in arms – who have been forced to leave their homes because of the war.

Foundling Museum, to September 1; foundlingmuseum.org.uk

Judy Chicago: Revelations

Judy Chicago, Revelations (Judy Chicago/Serpentine Gallery)
Judy Chicago, Revelations (Judy Chicago/Serpentine Gallery)

Judy Chicago, the celebrated artist, author and feminist, returns to London with her largest-ever solo presentation in the city.

The show, which focuses on the 84-year-old’s drawings, offers a radical retelling of history: “Chicago advocates for changing the patriarchal paradigm with a vision of the world where equality is the norm, change is the goal, and working together toward this end is the purpose of life,” said the Standard.

Serpentine North Gallery, to September 1; serpentinegalleries.org

Alvaro Barrington: Grace

Alvaro Barrington, Wete Fete, Bathers, for Myself 2023 (© Alvaro Barrington)
Alvaro Barrington, Wete Fete, Bathers, for Myself 2023 (© Alvaro Barrington)

In this major installation, Venezuela-born, London-based painter Alvaro Barrington honours the women who shaped him: his grandmother, sister and mother. A “constant reimagining of Black culture”, the lively show consists of paintings and sculptures inspired by his memories.

Tate Britain, to January 26, 2025; tate.org.uk