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London art exhibitions calendar

Our handy collection of all the big, small and scary art exhibitions coming to town

© Yayoi Kusama

Hello eager art friend, want to do some planning ahead? Well, you've come to the right place with our one-stop shop for all the art exhibitions, big or small, coming to London over the next couple of months. From exciting new gallery openings to upcoming London photography shows, keep your eyes peeled and your paintbrush poised for as much art as your diary can handle. Or, if you can’t wait that long, here's the best new art in London this week to satisfy those creative cravings sooner. 

Art exhibitions in September

London Design Biennale 2016

London's first biennial for design will showcase the talents of designers from 35 nations across the globe, who are responding to the theme of 'Utopia by Design'.

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Somerset House , Temple Until Tuesday September 27 2016

Maggi Hambling – Touch: Works on Paper

Although she's probably best known for her controversial public sculptures (Oscar Wilde, 1998 opposite Charing Cross Station and Scallop, 2003 on Aldeburgh Beach), Maggi Hambling has also amassed a huge body of work on paper, with drawing continuing to be fundamental to her practice. The British Museum has been collecting her drawings since 1985 after acquiring a piece depicting her former teacher Cedric Morris on his deathbed which will be on show here, alongside thirty nine other works spanning early student sketches and etchings, and portraits of Stephen Fry and curator Norman Rosenthal, on show for the first time.

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British Museum , Bloomsbury Until Sunday January 29 2017

The Infinite Mix

Multimedia works by 10 different artists will come together into an immersive installation at this newish creative space on the Strand. Expect holograms, cinema-style projections and music from the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Sonic Youth.

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180 the Strand , Temple Tuesday September 27 2016 - Sunday December 4 2016

Jack McConville: Capital Depths


‘Invest in your future, don’t dilute your finances, 401k, make sure it’s low risk, then get some real estate, 4.25 percent thirty-year mortgage.’ That bit of sound financial advice doesn’t come from Forbes or The Financial Times, but from Kendrick Lamar in the song 'YOLO'. Fiscal savviness: it’s hip, it’s now, and it’s everywhere. It’s in music. It’s even in art, because life is all about that cash money. Young Jack McConville knows. The Scottish painter’s exhibition here shows a singular obsession with the benjamins: clouds of notes float in the sky in one piece (yeah, like ‘The Crystal Maze’); nude bathing women grasp for bills and dance around pools of coins in others. But McConville’s isn’t a straightforward obsession, he’s interested in the language and culture of online finance: liquid assets, pooled resources, fluid capital, financial reserves. Water acts as a metaphor for a capitalist drive that dominates our lives, online and in reality. So the idea is neat, but the show actually works because McConville’s a really good painter. There are hints of the late French masters here – Cezanne, Matisse, Léger – and nods to classic art-historical tropes and imagery, all tied into a clean, simple and relatively unique aesthetic. It’s contemporary figurative painting that doesn’t suck. Which has got to be worth a few bucks. 

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Ibid Gallery , Fitzrovia Until Saturday October 1 2016

Olivia Plender

A new show from the British artist whose work stretches from museum display-like installations to pulp-style comic books.

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Maureen Paley , Bethnal Green Wednesday September 28 2016 - Saturday October 1 2016

Richard Serra: Drawings

The big daddy of American minimalist sculpture will be showing at both the Gagosian's Mayfair and King's Cross spaces. Over on Britannia Street, three characteristically massive sculptures will be on display; here, a series of new drawings.

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Gagosian Davies St , Mayfair Tuesday September 27 2016 - Saturday December 17 2016
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Art exhibitions in October

Cindy Sherman and David Salle: History Portraits and Tapestry Paintings

Two American contemporary giants are brought together in the inaugural show of this new St James's space. Cindy Sherman is famous for her self-portraits in which she dresses up in the guises of others; David Salle is one of the key names of arch, postmodern painting. Here, they both turn their attention to the past.

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Skarstedt , London Saturday October 1 2016 - Saturday November 26 2016

Champagne Life

Champagne Life returns to the Saatchi Gallery for another show dedicates solely to female artists. New work by Aleksandra Mir, Jeni Spota and Phoebe Unwin will feature. 

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Saatchi Gallery , Chelsea Saturday October 1 2016 - Saturday October 29 2016

Tony Cragg

An exhibition showcasing new work by the celebrated sculptor, exploring the juxtaposition of organic and artificial elements. 

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Lisson Gallery , Lisson Grove Saturday October 1 2016 - Saturday November 5 2016

Guerrilla Girls


The feminist activist group looks at the Whitechapel Gallery’s history of exhibiting female artists including Sophie Calle, Nan Goldin, Sarah Lucas and Bridget Riley for this Archive display. Founded in 1985 by an anonymous group of artists to expose the inequality of the art world, culture in general and politics, the Guerrilla Girls will don their gorilla masks and scan their critical eye over this east London institution.

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Whitechapel Gallery , Whitechapel Saturday October 1 2016 - Sunday March 5 2017

Henri Barande

The only chance you'll get in the UK to see the work of French-born artist Henri Barande, who sought total anonymity for fifty years. Two decades ago American curator and critic David Galloway persuaded Barande to share his output but the artist will still only show his work once in a single country. The show's open for less than a month, so get your skates on.

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Saatchi Gallery , Chelsea Tuesday October 4 2016 - Monday October 31 2016

Luc Tuymans: Glasses

Luc Tuymans makes boring paintings. Well, kind of. The Belgian artist has always made pictures that seemingly deal with banal and everyday subject matter – but there's always more hovering behind their bleached, scratchy surfaces. In this new show, he's keeping the concept simple: portraits of people wearing glasses. 

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National Portrait Gallery , Leicester Square Tuesday October 4 2016 - Sunday March 26 2017

The Ulm Model

The first UK show about the Ulm School of Design, a short-lived German institution that took a bold and radical approach to the design of everyday items like traffic lights, petrol cans and kitchenware.

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Raven Row , Spitalfields Wednesday October 5 2016 - Sunday December 18 2016

Maureen Gallace

At first glance, Maureen Gallace's pictures of houses and beaches seem kind of innocuous. But each image reveals a tight painterly language that the New York-based artist has been fine-tuning for years.

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Maureen Paley , Bethnal Green Thursday October 6 2016 - Sunday November 20 2016

Beyond Caravaggio


Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio remains art’s ultimate bad boy some 400 years after his death. A maverick and a murderer, he embodies the ‘live fast, die young’ mantra. However, the drama of Caravaggio’s short life is more than matched by that of his art. A master of theatricality and illumination, Caravaggio revolutionised painting in Rome at the end of the 1500s by painting straight on to canvas and using ‘ordinary’ folk as models for religious characters.

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National Gallery , Trafalgar Square Wednesday October 12 2016 - Sunday January 15 2017
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Art exhibitions in November

The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection

Elton John has one of the best private collections of twentieth-century photography in the world, which may come as a surprise if you thought he just spent his money on CDs and flowers. He's lending around 150 key images for this major Tate Modern show, which focuses on the decades 1920 to 1950, when photographers and artists started to use the medium in earnest to create truly modern visions of the world.

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Tate Modern , South Bank Thursday November 10 2016 - Sunday May 7 2017

Painters' Painters

Contemporary paintings by Richard Aldrich, David Brian Smith, Dexter Dalwood, Raffi Kalenderian, Ansel Krut, Martin Maloney, Bjarne Melgaard, Ryan Mosley and David Salle.

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Saatchi Gallery , Chelsea Wednesday November 16 2016 - Tuesday February 28 2017

Teller on Mapplethorpe

One photographic provocateur curates another, as the German-born Juerguen Teller is invited to select a number of the legendary Robert Mapplethorpe's pictures for this exhibition.

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Alison Jacques , Fitzrovia Thursday November 17 2016 - Saturday January 7 2017

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2016

The exhibition that showcases the work of recent graduates makes a welcome return to the ICA. Rarely coherent, but always bold and refreshing, it makes for a fascinating cross-section of what young artists are making today. 

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ICA , St James' Wednesday November 23 2016 - Sunday January 22 2017

Art exhibitions further ahead

Robert Rauschenberg


Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) was an exceptionally versatile artist. His practice encompassed painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, installation and performance. After leaving the Navy in 1947 and a stint of studying in Europe, Rauschenberg enrolled at Black Mountain College where the influential abstract artist, Josef Albers, taught him and he met lifelong collaborators John Cage and Merce Cunningham.

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Tate Modern , South Bank Thursday December 1 2016 - Sunday April 2 2017

Find our favourite art exhibitions on now

Top ten art exhibitions in London

Fancy seeing an art show this weekend but no idea where to go? Well look no further. You can't go wrong if you head down to one of our ten favourite art exhibitions taking place in the capital right now.

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By: Time Out London Art