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bjork exhibition, mouth
'Bjork Digital' at Somerset House

Latest art reviews

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

Written 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

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Strand

They’re just showing off at this point, the folks behind 180 The Strand. They’ve got the cavernous space, they’ve got the mind-bending artists, and they've got the experience of putting on the best immersive art exhibitions in London over the past decade. They don’t even need to try.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Bermondsey

Size matters in art. A few hundred years ago, the only subjects you were allowed to paint really big were scenes from the bible or history. Big meant important, it meant special. German photographer Andreas Gursky works on a ‘history painting’ scale, creating vast, brain-bending, eye-twisting, perfect images, but what he captures isn’t biblical or of much historical importance, his is the art of the endless everyday, of the mundane juggernaut of normal life.

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Millbank

Walter Sickert is disintegrating. He’s melting into nothing, disappearing right in front of you in a staggeringly good, muddy, sombre early self-portrait from 1896. This neatly encapsulates what makes the English painter (1860-1942) so interesting: it’s not his handling of paint or how he captures light or anything, it’s the bubbling undercurrent of darkness that courses through his work. 

 

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Mayfair

Trauma weighs heavy on the body. Everlyn Nicodemus knows that feeling well. After years of suffering racist abuse and humiliation across Europe, the African artist suffered a breakdown, a brutal experience she describes as near-death. The works in this show are how she fought to reclaim her identity, her body and her sense of self.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Hyde Park

Turns out, aliens stink. And they’re hairy too. You can see for yourself, because there’s one here at the Serpentine. You peek through a little peephole in the wall and there it is in the dark, a gargantuan hirsute apparition on an undulating golden carpet, its scent wafting through the space, a heady mixture of wood, metal, dust and sweat.

 

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Euston

You might think plants are just green things you somehow can’t manage to keep alive in your flat, but they’re so much more than that. Plants are political. And the Wellcome wants to show you how. 

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Renaissance art
  • Trafalgar Square

It’s best not to think about Raphael’s youth. He’d become one of the biggest artists of the Italian renaissance by his twenties, the golden boy of the most important patron in Rome by his thirties, and had changed the shape of art forever by the time he died just before his forties. When I was in my twenties I got rejected from a job in a meat-packing factory.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Hyde Park

Lucky old Barking and Dagenham. While the rest of London’s boroughs had to spend the last three years languishing without a bunch of artists parachuted in to run workshops with local people, Barking and Dagenham was blessed with Helen Cammock, Ilona Sagar, Rory Pilgrim and Sonia Boyce, all sent in to work with the community and make art out of it thanks to the council's New Town Culture programme.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Chalk Farm

The funny thing about human fear of future machines is that it’s at its most acute when the machines are at their most human. Big hulking metal robots? No problem. But robots that are almost human? Terrifying, incomprehensible, the subject of millions of sci-fi books and movies.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Millbank

There’s a post-colonial, anti-capitalist carnival happening at Tate Britain. If that doesn’t sound like much fun, that’s because it isn’t. It’s serious. The colourful procession is British-Guyanese artist Hew Locke’s big new commission for the grand neo-classical central gallery of this old building.

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Barbican

This exhibition is a premonition, a warning. In all the heaving, dark, post-apocalyptic paint and steel created by the artists in Britain in the wake of World War II, you see a roadmap for how our own lives could be after war today, and it’s brutally harrowing.

 

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Piccadilly

Devoting a whole show to a nineteenth-century model and muse is pretty niche, even by art history standards. But the reverse psychology of this RA exhibition is compelling, and by the end of it what emerges is not just a portrait of the artist, but of the strange morality and tastes of a whole age.

 

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Whitechapel

Some people are just desperate to see how the sausage gets made. They want to watch all the skin and guts and snouts get mashed up and then stuff their faces. This is an exhibition for them, a celebration of the behind-the-scenes world of the artist’s studio where they can revel in the process, the environment and the conditions of art making; they can watch the art sausage get made. 

 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • The Mall

The fight for sex workers’ rights is nothing new. Since the nineteenth century there has been a ceaseless struggle to get sex work decriminalised – to recognise sex workers as workers, and protect their lives and livelihoods in the process. 

This group show features artists – most with experience of the sex industry – using creative expression to explore ideas of labour, migration, trans liberation and social justice.

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • South Kensington

To a lot of people, Beatrix Potter means fluffy bunnies and fiddly names like Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Jemima Something-or-other. But there’s also a lot of Beatrix Potter super-fans out there who’ll remember every rabbit, hedgehog, frog and fox by heart. She’s a national treasure, for God’s sake.

 

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  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Piccadilly

There’s no point reviewing this installation as a work of art, because that’s not really what it is. It’s something to post on social media, something to go and do between shopping in Soho and brunch at Brasserie Zedel. It’s to art what Harry Potter World is to cinema. 

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