Your London Exhibition Guide

Must-See Shows This Week

Wondering what’s on view and what to see? Let us be your guide to exploring the London art scene. Scroll through for our favorite exhibitions up now and check back weekly for fresh updates to this list. Happy arting!

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2022 | ArtDrunk

Summer Exhibition 2022 at Royal Academy of Arts

Strawberries and cream, Pimms in the park, and the Royal Academy Exhibition: little else so quintessentially heralds the British summer. This hallowed event has taken place every year since 1769, and as always, there is something here for everyone. This year’s edition is (very loosely) focused on the theme of “Climate,” a purposely open-ended prompt that has drawn a bountiful offering of sculpture, installation, painting, prints, and every other form of art imaginable. The Summer Exhibition accepts submissions from anyone and everyone, meaning never-before-seen amateurs share the galleries with some of Britain’s biggest names. Though we can’t guarantee that everything here will be your cup of tea, we promise that you definitely will have some fun. 

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Image caption: Installation view of the Summer Exhibition 2022 at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 21 June – 21 August 2022.  Photo: © Royal Academy of Arts, London / David Parry
Louise Giovanelli at White Cube | ArtDrunk

Louise Giovanelli at White Cube Bermondsey

Louise Giovanelli has dropped a glitter bomb in White Cube’s cavernous Bermondsey hangar. Signed to the gallery at just 29, the young artist’s paintings are as sparkly as her current market. Taking unusual formats (most are very tall and very skinny), the canvases are light-hearted meditations on both the history of painting and our contemporary digital landscape of non-stop visual stimulation: references to Renaissance religious art share merry company with a portrait of Mariah Carey’s famously insured legs. The paintings often have a blurry quality, as if the material exuberance of their surfaces is slowly erasing whatever subject they once depicted. Overall, it’s a subtle and alluring testament to painting’s seductive pull and shifty nature. 

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Cornelia Parker at the Tate Britain | ArtDrunk

Cornelia Parker at Tate Britain

If your good opinion of Britain has been strained this summer (with a historic heat wave, government turmoil, and the ripples of Brexit…), perhaps there is no better moment to take in Cornelia Parker’s retrospective at the Tate. Parker’s large-scale installations tackle some of the most weighty issues consuming this island nation. Her particular talent lies in assembling physical objects laden with historical and cultural meaning — silver trinkets, brass-band instruments — in ways that provoke and challenge your assumptions about the past, and chip away at your accepted notions of the present. At every turn, Parker pulls at the threads that hold Britain together, and leaves you with a tangible feeling of how art speaks truth to power. 

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Image credit: Cornelia Parker, Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View 1991, Tate. © Cornelia Parker
Theaster Gates at the Serpentine Pavilion | ArtDrunk

Theaster Gates The Serpentine Pavilion 2022

Amidst London’s hectic hustle, serenity is the rarest of commodities. How lucky we are this summer, then, to have Theaster Gates’s “Black Chapel,” an oasis of tranquility set smack in the middle of Hyde Park. The black cylindrical structure is modeled on the historic pottery kilns of Stoke-on-Trent, referencing Gates’s own work as a ceramicist. Gates wants the structure to foster spiritual meditation and serve as a venue for communal experience: it will host music concerts, workshops, and even a tea ceremony. Ultimately, the Chapel invites you to fill the space with your own reflections, to take a peaceful breath and add some small part of yourself to this welcoming vessel.

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