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!

The Unseen, Whitechapel Gallery 2

The Unseen Selected by Hurvin Anderson at Whitechapel Gallery

Whitechapel Gallery jumped on the collab train.  In their latest show,  British artist Hurvin Anderson selected 25 works from the holdings of Norwegian collector Christen Sveaas. The starting point is the invisibility of the Black experience in art, a prevalent and pressing theme, but Anderson expands upon the assignment by including little-known Scandinavian artists, depictions of interiors, and works made from elusive materials like coal dust. By broadening the scope and meaning of the “unseen,” Anderson draws your attention to artists you’ve never heard of while urging a deeper understanding of what does and doesn’t get noticed in the vast sea of art.  

Exhibition Site

Peter Saul, Michael Werner Gallery

Peter Saul at Michael Werner Gallery

Think of Peter Saul as the grandfather who has more TikTok followers than you do. At 87, he tackles subjects from modern art to climate change with zany humour and fever-dream visuals. Absurdity reigns supreme across Saul’s canvases, where noodley characters sprout punchline speech bubbles and engage in all manner of silly stuff. Despite this, his work remains rooted in a profound, if cheeky, respect for art history. For as long as people have behaved strangely, art has been there to knock them down a peg. And that’s not about to change. 

Exhibition Site

Michael Dean, Herald St

Michael Dean at Herald St

Welcome to the concrete jungle. A raucous menagerie greets visitors to Herald St this month, where Michael Dean has unleashed an irreverent horde of rebar-reinforced pandas. Dancing through a wilderness grown from construction sites and rubbish heaps, the bears invite you to play with the semiotics of nature à la Roland Barthes… if that’s what you’re into. If not, don’t worry, for Dean’s delight in texture and form, and his ultimately tender reflection on nature’s precarity, are more than enough to carry the show. Humour helps you make sense of heavy subjects, and Dean’s cheeky approach, combined with a true sculptural beauty, is both engaging and refreshing.

Exhibition Site

Luchita Hurtado, Hauser & Wirth

Luchita Hurtado at Hauser & Wirth

For a surrealist escape, look up into Luchita Hurtado’s works from her Sky Skin series. If you’ve ever been out west in America, they’ll feel familiar. They take after the craggy earth and mountains of New Mexico, formed in a way that creates a portal into blue skies. Feathers, stars, and clouds float within her compositions, instilling this sense of freedom within yourself. These works contrast her I Am series, which take a more self-reflective approach (they feature her body and domestic objects painted from the perspective of looking down in front of herself). You could say Sky Skin lends itself to self-reflection too. These are all about the cosmos and how humans, animals, and nature are all connected. 

Exhibition Site

Lonnie Holley, Edel Assanti

Lonnie Holley at Edel Assanti

Do you plan your weekends around flea markets and car-boot sales? Are you lured across the street by a cardboard box marked “FREE?” Lonnie Holley not only shares your fascination for cast-off objects, he has turned it into a rich and moving artistic practice. The pieces Holley assembled for his latest London show are made mostly of detritus collected during trips to Orford Ness, a coastal spit that served for decades as a military testing site. The work meshes a sense of sinister experimentation with the emotional significance industrial objects held for Holley during his childhood in the American South. Severed from their original function, the artifacts take new forms that tease and tinker with your imagination.

Exhibition Site

Lily van der Stokker at Camden Art Centre

Lily Van der Stokker at Camden Art Centre

Lily Van der Stokker takes her fun very seriously. A self-styled “professor of the paint-mix science,” she approaches her work with a rigorous methodology that produces joyful paintings. Pushing back against prevailing ideas that art must be somber to be serious, she paints bursts of flowers, loopy monochrome blobs, and abstract geometric patterns vaguely reminiscent of Ikea shower curtains. It quickly becomes clear, however, that her paintings are hardly one-dimensional. Yes, they trade in joy and exuberance (which are by no means bad things!), but they also question patriarchal hierarchies of what proper art should be. Van der Stokker thus positions herself firmly in a line of feminist artists using “frivolous” means to explore the charged themes of relationships, home, and work.

Exhibition Site

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