Latest art reviews

Find out what our critics make of new exhibitions with the latest London art reviews
bjork exhibition, mouth
'Bjork Digital' at Somerset House
By Time Out London Art |
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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. 

The latest London art reviews

Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Andy Keate.
Art, Contemporary art

Lawrence Abu Hamdan

icon-location-pin Mile End
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There’s crap everywhere in this show. There’s a bin full of plastic tubing and a cricket bat, a stepladder, metal shelves covered with popcorn, teacups and trainers, watermelons on the floor, big bottles of fizzy drink, a paddling pool. Just a bunch of junk hastily and messily laid out. Feeling dismissive is a legit reaction – until it dawns on you what this all means. 

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Heidi Bucher 'Kleines Glasportal, Bellevue Kreuzlingen' (1988) © Estate of Heidi Bucher . Installation views at Art Basel Unlimited, 2016. Photography by Robert Glowacki, image courtesy of The Approach, London
Art

Heidi Bucher

icon-location-pin Hoxton
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Like an expert butcher, Swiss artist Heidi Bucher (who died in 1993) was a master of flaying skin. But it wasn’t animals that she peeled with intricate precision, it was whole lives. 

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photo by Damian Griffiths. Image courtesy of the artist & CGP London.
Art

Marcia Farquhar: DIFFIKUΛT

icon-location-pin Rotherhithe
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CGP’s Marcia Farquhar exhibition isn’t difficult to love, but it is difficult to define. Staged across the gallery’s two Southwark Park spaces, it’s basically a retrospective of a career spent creating indefinable pieces of performance art, installations and sculptures, lots of which wouldn't normally be in a gallery space. 

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© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
Art

Courtauld Impressionists: From Manet to Cézanne

icon-location-pin Trafalgar Square
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Short of Banksy reinterpreting ‘Guernica’ accompanied by bottomless prosecco, it’s hard to think of a more solid banker of a show than this. The Courtauld Gallery is being refurbed for two years, but the decorators have hardly had time to stick the radio on, than its greatest impressionist hits are back on display, with support from iconic works from the National Gallery. 

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Image courtesy of the artist and Goldsmiths CCA.
Art, Contemporary art

Mika Rottenberg

icon-location-pin New Cross
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Argentinian artist Mika Rottenberg knows all about stuff, capitalism, consumerism and all that business. Her show here at the brand new Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art is rammed full of videos and installations that needle, twist and poke at economics, consumerism and commodities. 

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Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Centro Botín, 2017 Photo © Enrico Cano
Art, Architecture

Renzo Piano: The Art of Making Buildings

icon-location-pin Mayfair
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What you see is what you get with Renzo Piano. Literally. His buildings are all about guts-on-the-outside, glass-for-days clarity. And the Italian architect is a behemoth of his art form. From the eviscerated shock and awe of the Centre Pompidou to the shimmering, looming blade of The Shard, Piano’s buildings have a habit of defining a city. 

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© Daniel Richter/DACS, London 2018. Photo: Jochen Littkemann
Art

Daniel Richter: I Should Have Known Better

icon-location-pin Mayfair
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Men are obsessed with sex. I mean, really, it’s a miracle we can keep from blurting out our perverted mental meanderings for any extended period of time at all: a real triumph of evolution and societal conditioning. German painter Daniel Richter (no relation to Gerhard) seems to have no such filter. 

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Copyright Martine Syms, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London Photography: Robert Glowacki
Art

Martine Syms: Grand Calme

icon-location-pin Soho
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Life is hard, work is exhausting and love is confusing. It’s the same for all of us. If you’re looking for art as some sort of escape from the ceaseless neurotic mundanities of your terrible life, Martine Syms’s new show isn’t it. But if you’re ok with an artist perfectly and neatly reflecting all of that business, then boy are you in for a treat.

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Copyright Jenny Holzer and Tate
Art, Contemporary art

Artist Rooms: Jenny Holzer

icon-location-pin South Bank
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American artist Jenny Holzer’s work is decades’ worth of statements, aphorisms, quotes and poetry. She takes words and sentences and plasters them over the streets, prints them on cups and condoms, engraves them into marble, and sends them stuttering at lightspeed along LED columns. 

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David LaChapelle 'An illuminating path' (1998) Courtesy of the artist
Art

Michael Jackson: On the Wall

icon-location-pin Leicester Square
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HIs every crotch grab sent jolts of ecstasy across the globe, his every spasmodic hip thrust left the world reeling. That’s an inhuman level of power for one human to have. It ended up being too much for Michael Jackson, and maybe too much for the rest of us too, which may explain how the National Portrait Gallery can put together a whole show of art inspired by MJ and without it being mega-cheesy or ultra-dull. 

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© Tish Murtha
Art

Tish Murtha: 'Works 1976 - 1991'

icon-location-pin Soho
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‘As far as most strippers and peep-show dancers are concerned, audience is too elevated a term for the men who watch. They are punters and bloody wankers to boot,’ wrote Karen Leslie, the writer and stripper who Tish Murtha collaborated with on ‘London by Night’, a project documenting the London sex industry in 1983. 

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© Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong
Art

Alex Prager: Silver Lake Drive

icon-location-pin Soho
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You get an eerie sense of déjà vu in this show of American artist Alex Prager’s photography. Seeing the drunken parties, suspicious faces and elaborate beach scenes she meticulously stages, you’re certain that each scenario is familiar.

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Thomas Cole 'The Course of Empire: Destruction', 1836
© Collection of The New-York Historical Society, New York / Digital image created by Oppenheimer Editions
Art, Painting

Thomas Cole's Journey

icon-location-pin Trafalgar Square
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The future is scary – ecological disaster, the technological singularity, destruction, annihilation… But the future’s always been scary. Back in British-born American painter Thomas Cole’s day (1801-1848) it wasn’t AI or atom bombs that struck fear, it was the unstoppable force of industrialisation. His body of big, bold, adventurous landscape painting is a warning against greed, modernism and unchecked industrial progress. 

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© Ed Ruscha / photography Paul Ruscha
Art, Contemporary art

Ed Ruscha: Course of Empire

icon-location-pin Trafalgar Square
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Made more than 20 years apart, the works here paint a portrait of a shapeshifting city (Los Angeles, Ruscha’s home), a city in the constant, ceaseless throes of change.

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© Luo Bonian
Art, Photography

Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art

icon-location-pin South Bank
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This isn’t your average summer blockbuster. The basic idea is to show the link between the greats of abstract art (your Braques, Mondrians, Kandinskys etc) and the type of no-selfie-sticks-allowed photography you’d have no trouble calling ‘art’. 

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Anthea Hamilton The Squash, install view Photo: © Tate (Seraphina Neville)
Art, Sculpture

Anthea Hamilton

icon-location-pin Westminster
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Imagine you’re a squash – as in, a butternut squash. Now imagine what kind of art you would most like, based on your squashy-brained characteristics. For her 2018 Tate Britain Commission for the Duveen Galleries, Anthea Hamilton has created a squash-human hybrid, performed each day by an individual dressed in one of seven outfits inspired by various strains of curcubita (that’s for you, ‘Gardeners’ World’ fans). 

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'GB. England. Dorset. From West Bay' (1996) © Martin Parr - Magnum Photos
Museums

The Great British Seaside

icon-location-pin Greenwich
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With summer beckoning like a mermaid in a sailor’s wet dream, the Royal Maritime Museum in Greenwich has turned its main gallery over to an exhibition of photographs taken at the seaside resorts of Britain. Four major names in coastal snapping are represented: Martin Parr, Tony Ray-Jones, David Hurn and Simon Roberts. 

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