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Latest art reviews

Find out what our critics make of new exhibitions with the latest London art reviews

Exhibition view of 'Jeff Koons: Now'. © Jeff Koons. Photo: © Victor Mara Ltd

From blockbuster names to indie shows, Time Out Art cast their net far and wide in order to review the biggest and best exhibitions in the city. Check 'em out below or shortcut it to our top ten art exhibitions in London for the shows that we already know will blow your socks off. 

Latest London art reviews

Jorge Otero-Pailos: The Ethics of Dust

Seriously, ‘The Ethics of Dust’ is a terrible name for a work of art. Yes, it’s taken from something written by John Ruskin, but out of context it sounds like a philosophical treatise by Kim and Aggie (‘How morally clean is your house?’). Fortunately, Spanish preservationist and artist Jorge Otero-Pailos makes better art than his titles suggest.

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Westminster Hall , Westminster Until Thursday September 1 2016

David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and One Still-Life

Critics' choice

imagine sitting perfectly still, locked on the spot, with an old man staring intensely at you, for three days. Sounds uncomfortable doesn’t it? Like a horror movie, or Christmas at your parents’. That’s the commitment you would have had to give the great David Hockney if you’d agreed to sit for one of the 82 portraits on show here. 

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Royal Academy of Arts , Mayfair Saturday July 2 2016 - Sunday October 2 2016

Painters’ Paintings: From Freud to Van Dyck

Okay, listen. There are paintings in this show by Picasso, Cézanne, Degas, Matisse, Van Dyck, Delacroix, Ingres, Corot, Manet, Rembrandt, Poussin, Titian and someone who Sir Joshua Reynolds thought was Mantegna but was actually Bellini. As a starting line-up, that’s not bad in anyone’s book.

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National Gallery , Trafalgar Square Until Saturday September 24 2016

Alex Katz: Quick Light

If you put all clever, jargon-filled analysis to one side, paintings of any kind tend to provoke one of two basic reactions in people. The first is: ‘I could do that.’ (Or just as often: ‘My five-year-old could do that.’ I worry about the pressure being put on these kids.) The second is: ‘I wish I could do that.’

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Serpentine Gallery , Knightsbridge Until Sunday September 11 2016

Mary Heilmann

Critics' choice

Mary Heilmann is first and foremost a painter – though she never intended to be. Growing up amongst surfers and beatniks in California, she moved to New York in 1968 and found the city full of minimalists proclaiming the medium dead. She made a go of it as a sculptor, but after struggling in a bloke-dominated scene, contrarily moved to painting, nurturing her bright, breezy brand of abstraction. 

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Whitechapel Gallery , Whitechapel Until Sunday August 21 2016

Georgiana Houghton: Spirit Drawings

Georgiana Houghton was a nineteenth-century spiritualist and medium who made art under the alleged influence of otherworldly beings. Her work fell into obscurity, but was recently rediscovered and re-evaluated as a precursor to twentieth-century abstraction. Houghton’s ‘spirit drawings’ are small, intimate and mesmerisingly exquisite, with swirling streaks of colour that overlap to form wild, spirographic latticeworks.

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Courtauld Gallery , Temple Until Sunday September 11 2016

Jeff Koons: Now

Jeff Koons is why people loathe modern art. According to the haters, the American superstar is a cynical artistic oligarch, using shock and pop culture to make his pile: he made porn-art, he ripped off comic books, he did balloon sculptures – and he’s become one of the most expensive living artists in the process. So it’s no surprise that Damien Hirst has a massive collection of Koons originals, which he is displaying here in his fancy gallery.

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Newport Street Gallery , Lambeth Until Sunday October 16 2016

Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is one of those artists whose mythology often overshadows her work. Now 87 years old, she has had a litany of avant-garde terms thrown her way over the years – conceptualist, feminist, minimalist – and was an indisputably huge influence on pop art giants including Andy Warhol. 

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Victoria Miro , Hoxton Until Saturday July 30 2016

Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds

Despite ancient texts being full of references to them, the Egyptian cities of Canopus and Thonis-Heracleion remained a lost mystery for years. It wasn’t until the 1990s that an archaeological team discovered their remains – not on dry land, but a few miles off the coast, beneath the Mediterranean. 

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British Museum , Bloomsbury Until Sunday November 27 2016

Edward Barber

A foot in Jesus sandal protrudes from under a police van, while an officer looks smirkingly on. A man stands in Hyde Park: on his head is a paper bag printed with instructions on what to do in the event of a nuclear attack. One reads: ‘Kiss your loved ones goodbye.’ A demure woman sits in a folding chair beside a sign which reads ‘Hello, can you stop for a talk?’.

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Imperial War Museum , Kennington Until Sunday September 4 2016
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