Your London Exhibition Guide

Must-See Shows This Week

Wondering what’s on view and what to see in London? Here are our top picks.

Once you’ve made it through this list, don’t forget to check out our London Neighborhood Guides to explore other art spots, plus restaurants and more.

Peter Doig The Courtauld

Why you should see it: It is rare that we have an opportunity to share an exhibition on view at The Courtauld Gallery on ArtDrunk, as the storied museum’s collection focuses on work from the Renaissance through the 20th century. There’s no shortage of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist work here – and that’s exactly what brought contemporary artist, Peter Doig to the gallery. Artists like Cézanne, Monet, Van Gogh have been a large source of inspiration for Doig, and seeing his new and recent work within the context of those 19th century icons is a poignant reminder of the art historical lineage of today’s figurative painting.

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Image: Peter Doig, Alpinist, 2022, Pigment on linen, 295cm x 195cm © Peter Doig, All Rights Reserved, DACS 2023

Mohammed Sami at Camden Art Centre

Why you should see it: Contemporary painting, particularly when seen in a stark white gallery space, can sometimes feel detached or, dare we say… sterile. Mohammed Sami’s work is anything but. These are the paintings that make you feel feelings — anxiety, claustrophobia, heartbreak, yearning. Sami masterfully depicts the sensory experience of knowing a place, but through our garbled memory and distorted recollection. The work is devoid of the human figure, yet their absence says more than their presence possibly could.

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Noorain Inam at indigo+madder

Why you should see it: Over the last year, Fitzrovia has become a newfound hub for younger London galleries. Perhaps our favorite of the group is the joint space shared by indigo+madder and Castor Gallery on Whitfield Street. Their current offerings perfectly demonstrate why –  catch the beautifully surreal paintings by recent Slade graduate Noorain Inam (she’s 25!) at indigo+madder. And just a few paces away, see Castor’s exhibition of paintings by the late Clyde Hopkins, an established professor and artist with work in the Tate’s permanent collection.

indigo+madder | Castor Gallery

Joseph Beuys & Antony Gormley at Thaddaeus Ropac

Why you should see it: Any show billed as being curated by Antony Gormley is immediately worth checking out. But to see Joseph Beuys’ work through the eyes of Gormley feels particularly special – their shared interest in the natural world and the human form comes alive through their drawings. While at the gallery, don’t miss the “main event” – Joseph Beuys: 40 Years of Drawing.

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Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2022 at South London Gallery

Why you should see it: New Contemporaries features the most exciting work coming out of young, emerging artists in the UK. The 47 participating artists, all in art school or alternative peer-to-peer learning programmes, largely created works around memory, identity and spirituality. Think RA Summer Exhibition but more selective and digestible. 

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Cecilia Vicuña (Hyundai Commission) at Tate Modern

It took far too long for the art world to recognize Cecilia Vicuña for the remarkable artist she is. Born in 1948, she wasn’t represented by a major gallery until 2018. But now is the time to make amends, and Vicuña brings her complex and captivating eco-conscious art to the Tate. Her signature quipus, intricate woven sculptures based on an ancient Incan craft, grace the museum’s Turbine Hall. In her native Chile, Vicuña witnessed the environmental destruction wrought by foreign industry, and her work has long sought to expose, explore, and heal the rifts we humans make between ourselves and our planet. In London, the quipus integrate artifacts found along the muddy banks of the Thames. Looking up at their dangling forms, your imagination flies out the windows, down the river, and across the ocean, filling you with a sense of interconnectedness and separation, fragility, and strength.

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