Looking to soak up some culture in the capital? The search ends here; read our round-up of the best of the current art exhibitions in London. So whether it’s contemporary classics, shoppable pop-ups or a date with the masters that you crave, you’ll find it here.
Current Art Exhibitions in London
Enjuku at Fiumano Clase
Fiumano Clase presents Takefumi Hori’s third UK solo exhibition, Enjuku. The title of the exhibition is the Japanese word for maturity, perfection and ripeness. Indeed, Hori has reached a milestone in his own creative maturity as he explores the profundity of gold both as a colour and material. The artist’s layering and revelatory technique brings dynamic depth to his work. Gold and silver paint is applied thickly, obscuring layers of colour and gold leaf beneath it. Areas of paint are completely scratched away, creating an almost keyhole effect, inviting the viewer to peer deep into the painting underneath. Until 26 May. fiumanoclase.com
Sleep Rock at Camden Arts Centre
Sleep Rock is the first solo exhibition in the UK by New York-based artist Sadie Benning. The exhibition’s title evokes a dream state where perception is blurred by the merging of memory, vision and association. Installed sequentially in the galleries, this new body of work reads in the register of film – frame by frame – catching sight of pictures from a distance and inspecting details close up. The exhibition includes a series made with a new approach to materials: transparencies, analogue photos and digital prints are embedded within layers of resin, enamel and spray paint on wall-based panels. Until 24 June. camdenartscentre.org
Joan Jonas at Tate Modern
Joan Jonas, the performance and video legend, has been raised up especially by this generation’s young artists and celebrated for pushing the boundaries of art for the last five decades. This exhibition is the largest of Jonas’s work ever held in the UK. Early works from the late 1960s are shown alongside recent installations dealing with topical themes such as climate change and extinction. Her iconic installations including Lines in the Sand, The Juniper Tree and Reanimation are on view in this exhibition’s experimental format throughout exhibition galleries, film screenings in the Starr Cinema and installations in the Tanks. Until 5 August. tate.org.uk
Anthea Hamilton Tate Britain Commission
A solo performer in a squash-like costume inhabits the Duveen Galleries every day. Each element of The Squash has evolved from Hamilton’s interest in an improvisational photograph that showed a person dressed as what looks like a vegetable lying among vines. The artist has brought together tiles, structures, sculptures and costume, inviting a performer to explore their own interpretation of the image and how it might feel to imagine life as other, as vegetable. The performer selects their outfit for the day from a collection of seven elaborate costumes and is in the gallery from 10am to 6pm every day. Until 7 October. Visit tate.org.
Mark Dion: Theatre of the Natural World
Explorer, collector, activist and conjuror of theatrical environments American artist Mark Dion (b.1961) has travelled through rainforests and rubbish dumps to study Earth’s wonders and fragilitiea. Dion uses specimens – natural and manmade – to make uncanny representations of these environments. His drawings, sculptures and installations tell natural histories using the techniques of scientific enquiry and museum displays. Until 13 May whitechapelgallery.org.
All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life at Tate Britain
All too Human, one of this year’s most highly-anticipated exhibitions, recently opened in a vivid celebration of British painters who focus on the intimate representation of human figures, relationships and surroundings. Artists include Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Walter Sickert, David Bomberg, as well as rarely seen work from Frank Auerbach and Paula Rego. Three important works by Francis Bacon will be shown in the UK for the first time in at least three decades. All artists have drawn inspiration from living in London in their works. Until 27 August tate.org.uk
Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins at The Barbican
The photographs on display at the Barbican will reflect a diverse and complex view of the world’s most marginalised groups as captured by numerous photographers. Driven by both personal and political motivations, many photographers strove to deliver an authentic representation of the disenfranchised communities with whom they spent months, years or even decades with, often conspiring with them to construct their own identity through the camera lens. Figures featured include outlaws, sexual experimenters and more from the Casa Susanna Collection, Paz Errazuriz, Pieter Hugo, Mary Ellen Mark and Dayanita Singh. Eye-opening. Until 27 May 2018 barbican.org.uk
Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018
This year, all four shortlisted artists examine the manipulation of images and information. From government propaganda to unreliable visual representation, they all look at modern culture with a post-Trump, post-Brexit awareness. Until 3 June, thephotographersgallery.org.uk
T-Shirt: Cult, Culture, Subversion at Fashion & Textile Museum
If you can’t get enough of T-shirts, then this is the exhibition for you. The Fashion and Textile Museum allows you to explore the T-shirt in the 20th Century; charting the history, culture and subversion of the most affordable and popular item of clothing on the planet. The exhibition will feature a private collection of Vivienne Westwood t-shirts, as well as an introduction to the historical biography of the wardrobe staple and an insight into its technological advances, mapped through sections focusing on contemporary design. 9 February – 6 May 2018, find out more here.
The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy at Tate Modern
Tate Modern’s first ever solo exhibition of Picasso’s work cuts straight to the juicy part. Considered to be his ‘year of wonders’, his work in 1932 took on a heightened sensuality, leading him to even greater fame. The curators delve behind the myth of Picasso to reveal his true character in a month by month exploration of his work that year. 8 March – 9 September 2018, find out more here.
Ocean Liners: Speed and Style at the V&A
Oh, to have cruised in the golden age of the ocean liner, epitomised by Marlene Dietrich dripping in Dior, and oceans apart from Olympic-sized kiddie pools and after-dinner cabaret. The V&A has selected 250 objects from the period, from a wooden panel fragment from the Titanic to a Cartier tiara worn by Lady Allan. Bon voyage! Until 10 June. vam.ac.uk
Science, art, or somewhere in between? Wellcome Collection’s spring exhibition displays four contemporary artists’ collaborations with scientists. ‘Somewhere in Between’ features Martina Amati, Daria Martin, Maria McKinney and John Walter’s art that interprets human experience, sense, sexual health, bodily limitation and position on the food chain. Until 27 August. wellcomecollection.org
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