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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
  • Marylebone

There’s that old saying that writing about music is like dancing about architecture, and Catherine Yass’s films about buildings have a similarly futile feel. But that’s intentional. The British artist films architecture in states of flux – being built, knocked down, regenerated – to make us consider the political implications of our built environment. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Trafalgar Square

There’s a party going on at the National Gallery, and it’s not family friendly. We’re talking drinking, fighting, dancing and a lot of nudity. The host of this shindig is French master Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), who - the gallery insists - is ‘the single most important French painter before Manet and the impressionists’.

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • The Mall

This exhibition was built to be performed in. Black art and sound collective Nine Nights - made up of members GLOR1A, Gaika and Shannen SP - have created Channel B as a series of stages from which to broadcast their ideas of black futurism and aesthetics. It’s a great, powerful concept, but when there are no performers there to ‘activate’ the spaces, does it work as an exhibition? Well, sometimes yes, but often no. 

 

  • 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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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Mayfair

Mark Rothko is hard to think about clearly. He’s hard to talk about, examine and consider. His work has become such an integral part of our cultural landscape - especially here in London, where the Tate is home to his Seagram Murals - that it’s almost impossible to separate his art from the narrative, the myth of Rothko; this tortured artist who painted his pain. 

 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Hyde Park

Hervé Télémaque saw the political potential of Pop, and pushed it to bursting. Born and raised in Haiti, Télélmaque spent a few years immersed in the abstract expressionism of New York before settling in Paris in the early 1960s. There, he set about building a visual language that would fuse pop aesthetics, found imagery and abstraction, all with a singularly political purpose. 

 

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Sculpture
  • Barbican

Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) is a victim of his own success. The pivotal modernist sculptor and designer’s experiments with material and light were groundbreaking, and totally shaped how our world looks. That’s an amazing, impressive feat. But his influence also means that walking into this beautiful retrospective feels a hell of a lot like walking into the world’s fanciest Ikea. 

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  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Lisson Grove

You can add an eighth death to ‘Seven Deaths’, Marina Abramović’s latest film installation: mine. Because this two hour ode to Marina’s favourite opera singer is so silly that I died of both embarrassment and amusement.

 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • New Cross

We all want a perfect tan. Well, not all of us. Some of us actually long for peaches and cream paleness, or bright rosy cheeks. And each of those desires comes with a heavy implication: why would a white person want to be browner, why would a black person want to be whiter? Well, young painter Olivia Sterling is hellbent on poking and prodding that fleshy question in the gut.

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Painting
  • Dulwich

Woodcuts. Most of the time, they’re difficult. Rigid. Fiddly. A bit like me on my morning commute. But it turns out, they can be much more than that. They can be spontaneous, vast, and colourful. This enlightening exhibition shows exactly how.  

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Contemporary art
  • Vauxhall

Photorealist painting is a bit like parkour or putting your whole fist in your mouth: just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Because at its worst, the ability to paint photorealistically is the ultimate expression of skill over taste. So why are so many of American artist Rachard Estes’ hyper-precise paintings so good? 

 

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Haggerston

From the walls, suns blaze across a travel-agent-ready sea. A plinth of gold Caffeine-Free Diet Coke cans supports some fake sushi. In another room, there’s a second huge block made of thousands and thousands of Lego bricks. It’s called ‘Noise’, like electronic rubbish has crystalised into matter: a toy that has become massively lumpen and unplayable. Damien Roach’s new show is packed with tensions between the digital and the physical.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Bank

It’s like Trigger’s Broom down in the London Mithraeum. The ancient Roman Temple of Mithras was discovered in the 1950s, moved about a bit, covered in crazy paving, moved into storage and then moved back a few metres from where they first found it, reassembled piece by piece each time. If you move a building from where it was built, is it still the same building? If you rebuild it, is it still itself?

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  • Art
  • Millbank

The Tate Britain exhibition of the renowned British-Portuguese artist is far from her first solo show, but it is the biggest of her 60-year career. A good retrospective should take you on a sort of ‘This is Your Life’ journey through an artist’s work, and that’s exactly what you have here, a huge show of more than 100 pieces, grouped into very different Rego epochs. 

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