26 Love It
Save it

This week's best art

All the art exhibitions and shows to hunt down in London

Bruce Nauman, 'Natural Light, Blue Room', 1971, Courtesy the artist and gallery

Fancy checking out some art this week but don't know where to start? Have a flick through our selection of weird and wonderful shows on at the moment and take your pick. With galleries spread all over the city and an art scene as changeable as London's, we've divided it into areas to help keep track. 

Malick Sidibé

Mali got its independence from France in 1960, and immediately became in thrall to a different kind of colonialism: a cultural one of rock ’n’ roll, motorbikes and jeans. At a time when the West was fretting about whether photography was even an art form, Malick Sidibé was taking pictures of young people in Bamako which contain all the issues in that debate: authenticity, imitation, control of the image.

Read more
Somerset House , Temple Until Sunday January 15 2017

Tala Madani: Shitty Disco

Some people think the sun shines out of their arse. But it’s not just the sun that emerges from backsides in Iranian-American artist Tala Madani’s paintings – it’s spotlights that illuminate dancefloors, it’s primitive cave-painting-esque smears of paint, it’s projections of reclining nudes (actually, that one comes out of a penis).

Read more
Pilar Corrias , Fitzrovia Until Friday November 11 2016

Feminist Avant-Garde Of The 1970s

It’s a big one, this new exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery: 200-plus works by 48 artists from 20 countries. It’s also got a big name that some people will find pretty off-putting. In some ways that’s fine: more space for the rest of us to admire some incredible works of feminist art from the decade of ‘The Female Eunuch’, Spare Rib and defiantly abundant body hair. But it’s also perhaps a bit of a missed opportunity. 

Read more
Photographers' Gallery , Soho Until Sunday January 8 2017

Mike Kelley: Framed and Frame

Being part of a marginalised community isn’t easy. And it’s not something the majority of us can relate to, because, you know, that’s the nature of being the majority. But Mike Kelley could understand. The late American artist emerged from the same Michigan punk scene as The Stooges, making music and eventually art. 

Read more
Hauser & Wirth , Mayfair Until Saturday November 19 2016

Lygia Pape

Light’s important in art. Obviously. From the stark contrasting light and dark of Caravaggio to Monet and his shimmering naturalism, all the way through to Antony Gormley and his big cloud box, artists have always been obsessed with light and how to capture it. Then there’s Brazilian modernist Lygia Pape. In her own, perfectly abstract way, she might be one of the great unrecognised masters of light.

Read more
Hauser & Wirth , Mayfair Until Saturday November 19 2016

Peter Saul: Some Terrible Problems

There’s a painting in this show called ‘Abstract Expressionist Still Life’. It’s a kind of swirling torrent of shit, ketchup and cartoonish, ’50s cars, plus some other bits and pieces. It’s not abstract, expressionist or a still life. It looks like a pisstake of pop art, maybe. And that’s Peter Saul in a nutshell. Now in his eighties, the San Francisan is one of the originators of pop, but he’s always done his own thing, to the extent that he’s almost regarded as an outsider artist.

Read more
Michael Werner Gallery , Mayfair Until Saturday November 5 2016

Abstract Expressionism


If you don’t leave this show feeling completely overwhelmed and totally breathless, you’re either blind, dead or a bit of a dick. The RA has pulled together room after room of paintings and sculptures from probably the most important art movement of the twentieth century and it’s staggering. The abstract expressionists tore painting apart and restructured it into something bigger than it ever had been: more abstract, more passionate, bigger, bolder.

Read more
Royal Academy of Arts , Mayfair Until Monday January 2 2017

The Infinite Mix

Video art is so fucking boring. Okay, not always. Some of it’s great. Loads of it, even. But invariably, gallery shows of video art, especially group shows, involve countless hours of over-long, over-complicated, poorly shot nonsense in black and white, with loads of naked people reciting Baudelaire and rubbing ketchup into each other’s boobs. Not at ‘The Infinite Mix’, though.

Read more
180 the Strand , Temple Until Sunday December 4 2016
Show more

Donna Huanca

There’s only one nightmare more frightening than the one where you’re naked in a room full of clothed people. It’s the one where you’re fully clothed in a room full of naked people. So get ready to have all your bad dreams come true, because American artist Donna Huanca’s show features models wearing body-length nylon stockings and a whole mess of paint. Nothing else. It’s terrifying. 

Read more
Zabludowicz Collection , Chalk Farm Thursday October 27 2016 - Sunday December 18 2016


Felt angry about anything recently? Of course you have, you’re human, and so are the 17 artists included in this group show about the nature of protesting. All the works here aim to question the status quo, challenge power structures and inspire debate. By engaging with sociopolitical issues such as the Black Lives Matter campaign, LGBT rights, the migrant crisis or censorship, the works serve as calls to action. Angry stuff.

Read more
Victoria Miro , Hoxton Until Saturday November 5 2016

Antony Gormley

In the ego Olympics that is the art world, Antony Gormley is basically Usain Bolt. Seriously, it takes a spectacular level of self-importance to build a whole career out of statues of yourself. All those figures you’ve seen everywhere, even ‘The Angel of the North’ – they’re all based on him. You have to be a mega-douche to see yourself as a cypher or symbol; some sort of everyman figure that people are meant to relate to and see themselves in. 

Read more
White Cube Bermondsey , The Borough Until Sunday November 6 2016

Guerrilla Girls


The Guerrilla Girls are some of the art world’s most creative complainers, and for over 30 years now, they have been handing America’s galleries their arses on a platter. For their show at the Whitechapel Gallery, they’ve turned their attentions to Europe. This entire exhibition is based on a survey they sent out to 400 art institutions across 29 countries on the continent. In it, they demand stats for their representation of female artists, those who are gender non-conforming and artists of colour. Spoiler: it doesn’t go well. 

Read more
Whitechapel Gallery , Whitechapel Until Sunday March 5 2017

Peter Wachtler: Far Out

Since it’s nigh-on impossible to explain Peter Wächtler’s show at the Chisenhale, I’d better describe it. So here goes. The Brussels-based German artist has created a four-minute, hand-painted animation in which a solitary figure in a top hat and tailcoat walks towards, but never reaches, a mountaintop castle. Playing over the top is an uptempo rock ’n’ roll song written and performed by the artist himself. 

Read more
Chisenhale Gallery , Mile End Until Sunday December 11 2016

Neo Rauch: Rondo

Nothing makes sense in Neo Rauch’s world. Windmills turn into bendy tubes, men in horned hats crash green cymbals together, ostriches with human faces are stroked like pets. The German artist’s paintings are like the unfinished works of some eighteenth-century outsider artist with a heavy drug dependence, and they’re awesome.  

Read more
David Zwirner , Mayfair Until Saturday November 12 2016

Ed Ruscha: Extremes and In-Betweens

Ed Ruscha is so cool. His art is just so effortless, throwaway, simple and easy. Since the ’60s, he’s made a career out of painting words such as ‘oof’ and ‘honk’ on big canvases. He’s painted the same building over and over, in different variations. He paints the Hollywood sign. He paints sentences. His work seems so calm, collected, cold, deadpan and aloof. But that doesn’t mean it’s unapproachable, or lacks emotional strength.

Read more
Gagosian Gallery , Mayfair Until Saturday December 17 2016

Bruce Nauman: Natural Light, Blue Light Room

Forget objects, sculptures and paintings – Bruce Nauman doesn’t need any of that to make art. For this piece (first made in 1971), all he needed was an empty room and some light. It follows a conceptual path that Yves Klein laid when he filled a gallery with naff-all back in 1958, and in its own quiet, simple way, it’s a pretty great work of art.

Read more
Blainsouthern , Mayfair Until Saturday November 12 2016

Find upcoming art shows in London


IIP Foundation
IIP Foundation

The Indian Institute of Photography wishes you a happy & Colourful Holi !