We are already a week into July; yes, summer is flying by and, as usual, there are dozens of brilliant exhibitions throughout the city.
If you go, don’t worry: most of the exhibitions continue well into September. But on the other hand, if you have a free afternoon and would like to go see some art, we’ve got your back. Here’s our roundup of all the new art shows to check out this month.
It just opened
Space Popular: The Portal Galleries at the John Soane Museum
Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg, who form the design duo Space Popular, have brought a new kind of exhibition to the John Soane Museum. Playing with the idea of a door as a portal, they explore the past, present and future of these magical portals using virtual reality.
soane.org until September 25
In the Fantastic Black 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,” the Standard said. read our review here.
southbankcentre.co.uk until September 18
African Fashion at V&A
Featuring textiles, visual arts, photography and music, the V&A has brought over 70 new pieces to build this exciting exhibition on African fashion spanning the mid-20th century to the present day.
“This exhibition immerses 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 in 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 take audiences into the world of a ‘cyber witch’.
It is not an exhibition, but a series of futuristic AR commissions that can be seen online through Instagram.
thephotographersgallery.org.uk online until August 1
Earthborn at Richard Saltoun
Born From Earth is a collection of works by eleven contemporary ceramicists: from pioneers of the practice to rising stars. It explores themes in art and architecture and has teamed up with the London Architectural Association to offer lectures and events to accompany the exhibition.
richardsaltoun.com until August 13
opening this week
Lucian Freud: The Painter and His Family at the Freud Museum
To celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the artist’s birth, the Freud Museum hosts an exhibition of his work for the first time. If you haven’t been to the Hampstead space before, it’s quite remarkable: it was home to her equally famous grandfather Sigmund and his aunt Anna.
The exhibition includes paintings, drawings, family photos, books and letters.
freud.org.uk until January 29, 2023
Culture Tenant at Camden Art Center
Tenant of Culture is the name of London-based artist Hendrickje Schimmel’s practice. Now, the Camden Art Center will share the largest collection of her work to date. Soft Acid investigates the history of women who work in the laundry industry using discarded materials and fabrics. Come and see how familiar objects, like trainers, take on a new form.
camdenartcentre.org July 8 to September 18
An insular rococo in Hollybush Gardens
This Clerkenwell gallery will showcase the work of Julie Becker, KRM Mooney, Jack O’Brien, Charlotte Prodger and Anne Tallentire in this exhibition about site, space and the public and private worlds.
hollybushgardens.co.uk July 8 – September 24
Gallery Living With Ghosts at Pace
This collective exhibition has been curated by the writer and critic Kojo Abudu. Nine artists investigate the continuing effects of Africa’s colonial past, addressing 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 to August 5
In a dream, you climb the stairs of Nikita Gale in the Chisenhale Gallery
The Los Angeles-based artist, who makes large-scale installations with concrete, metal, light and sound, will enjoy his first UK solo show at Chisenhale Gallery.
chisenhale.org.uk July 9 to October 16
Opening at the end of this month
Milton Avery, American Colorist at the Royal Academy of Arts
Avery was a painter considered by some to be one of the greatest American colorists of the 20th century, a technique in which color becomes a work of art’s primary method of communication. Now, for the first time, the public can see his work on this side of the pond.
royalacademy.org.uk July 15 to October 16
Maybe you were already planning to take a day trip out of London, or maybe you are very interested in seeing some art. Whatever your reasons, these exhibits are just a short (sort of) train away, and you can do a little 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 to the work she produced later in life when working in a studio alongside her husband, artist Julian Trevelyan. She hopes to be enchanted by the brightly colored pieces of hers.
victoriagal.org.uk July 9 to October 16
Ingrid Pollard: Carbon Spins Slowly at Turner Contemporary, Margate
This will be the first major mid-career survey of the British artist exploring social constructions and issues around race in her practice. The Turner Prize-nominated exhibition will showcase a variety of Pollard’s work including film, sculpture, photography and installation from the 1980s to the present.
turnercontemporary.org July 9 to September 25
Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings and Watercolors at Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
After a limited edition sold-out run last year, this exhibition is back. It includes more than one hundred works of art that explore the techniques that became the foundation of this movement.
ashmolean.org July 15 to November 27