Top 10 photography exhibitions in London

Discover a world beyond Instagram at the city's best current and upcoming photography shows

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London's cultural menu doesn't start and finish with paint on canvas – experience a whole new world of artistic awesomeness at these blockbuster photography exhibitions, taking place at venues including The Photographers' Gallery and Getty Images Gallery.

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  • Courtesy George and Betty Woodman, and Victoria Miro, London © The Estate of Francesca Woodman

    Francesca Woodman: Zigzag

    Focusing on the late American photographer’s use of the zigzag as a compositional device, this intimate show of 25 works includes ten newly released images from Woodman’s estate. There are the recurring settings of dilapidated building interiors with wooden floorboards and, as you’d expect, the naked female body.

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  • © James Woodend

    Astronomy Photographer of the Year

    Among the awe-inspiring shortlisted entries for this year’s competition are pics of psychedelic auroras, spine-tingling meteor showers and the centre of the Heart Nebula. The last example is a star-clustered region of glowing gas in the Cassiopeia constellation – in case you didn’t already know.

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  • © Condé Nast / Horst Estate

    Horst: Photographer of Style

    A retrospective exhibtion of Horst P Horst's prolific 60-year career. The German-American photographer did shoots for couturiers such as Chanel, Schiaparelli and Vionnet in the ’30s, as well as experimenting with early colour techniques. His most renowned images will be on display alongside rarities and unpublished pictures, plus there will be a recreation of Horst's 1940s studio. 

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  • Primrose: Early Colour Photography in Russia

    The social history of Russia is charted through this beautiful and intriguing assortment of images.

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  • © Rotimi Fani-Kayode, courtesy Autograph ABP & Tiwani Contemporary, London

    Rotimi Fani-Kayode

    A retrospective of photographs by the Nigerian artist (1955-1989) whose work tackles issues of sexuality and homoerotic desire and addresses themes of diaspora and belonging.

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  • © Jan Kempenaers, courtesy Breese Little

    Jan Kempenaers: Enjoy the Process

    A survey of the Belgian photographer's enigmatic images. Kempenaers’ photographs capture urban and rural vistas including a road trip along America’s West Coast as well as WWII memorials in Yugoslavia. . 

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  • © Dennis Hopper, courtesy The Hopper Art Trust. www.dennishopper.com

    Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album

    Many stars claim that had they not been actors, they’d have been hooligans; by all accounts Dennis Hopper (1936-2010) managed to be both.

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  • © Lorenzo Vitturi

    Lorenzo Vitturi: Dalston Anatomy

    Focusing on east London’s Ridley Road Market, the Italian artist and local resident manages to distil the area’s individuality and dynamism in these captivating photographs.

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  • © John Hilliard

    John Hilliard: Not Black and White

    The British conceptualist questions the reliability of photography to truly capture a subject or object.

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  • © Tim Hetherington, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York and Magnum.

    Tim Hetherington: Infidel

    The late photojournalist’s images and videos capture individual perspectives of war, both military and civilian. Infedel, a series of large-scale images were taken in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan between 2007-2008 when Hetherington managed to get close to the American soldiers stationed there. Counterbalancing these is Hetherington’s short film Diary, a personal reflection on his experiences of reporting on world affairs.

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Courtesy George and Betty Woodman, and Victoria Miro, London © The Estate of Francesca Woodman

Francesca Woodman: Zigzag

Focusing on the late American photographer’s use of the zigzag as a compositional device, this intimate show of 25 works includes ten newly released images from Woodman’s estate. There are the recurring settings of dilapidated building interiors with wooden floorboards and, as you’d expect, the naked female body.

MORE INFO

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10 comments
Viharsh K
Viharsh K

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helen
helen

World Press Photography Competition 2013, Royal Festival Hall , Southbank Two uncles carry their dead nephews in their arms, followed by an army of angry villagers, desperate for justice. A dead body of a suspected collaborator is dragged through the streets of Gaza City. The corpse of a Sudan Armed Forces soldier floats in an oily pond after a clash with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Looking at these harrowing photos it can be hard to believe that they are images of real life. And even harder to think there is someone one the other side of the camera, risking their life at times, taking the shot. The competition contains a combination of portraits, character studies, daily life, news and nature. But the majority seem to fall in the contemporary issues category, demonstrating conflicts of war, drugs, gangs and death. The exhibition comes with a warning for a reason. How the judges narrowed over 100,000 photos into this 55 exhibition amazes me, but it is clear why they are chosen. Though there are some strange additions, like the Danish photographer’s depiction of his family life on holiday in Italy, falling into the Daily Life category. His naked wife sits on the toilet yawning while a toddler rifles through the bin next to her. Another child is asleep in the next room. I’m not sure I’d be happy if I was her. The gallery has two separate sections which left it feeling slightly disjointed and would be easy to miss one whole part of the exhibition entirely. However, each photo is well annotated with just enough description of the event to draw the viewer into the scene without boring them. If you are of a nervous disposition, are already feeling depressed or emotional and have diminished faith in humanity- I would not visit. It is not an uplifting or ‘fun’ exhibition- but it will make you appreciate your own safe bubble of life. And make you want to buy a decent camera.

Giovanni Fanuele
Giovanni Fanuele

Bello e interessante! Anche la traduzione in Italiano è migliore della media. Bravi, complimenti. Saluti e auguri. From Brescia, Italy

Denn
Denn

This section seems like an afterthough - never seems to be comprhensive / updated enough.

Peter
Peter

There is fantastic exhibition of the ARENA GROUP of photographers at the Menier gallery, Southwark, Opened yesterday. Very moving & beautiful.

Jenny
Jenny

The Contemporary Art Society, based in Clerkenwell, is putting on a show by John Stezaker, Deutsche Borse 2012 winner, from 4 September. Not to be missed!

geoff
geoff

I only counted 9!