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London art exhibitions calendar

Our handy collection of all the big, small and scary art exhibitions coming to town in 2017

'Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent' at Somerset House

Hello eager art friend, want to do some planning ahead? Well, you've come to the right place with our one-stop shop for all the art exhibitions, big or small, coming to London in 2017 over the next couple of months. From exciting new gallery openings to upcoming London photography shows, keep your eyes peeled and your paintbrush poised for as much art as your diary can handle. Or, if you can’t wait that long, here's the best new art in London this week to satisfy those creative cravings sooner. 

Art exhibitions in May

Prix Pictet 2017

The seventh edition of what's arguably one of the most illustrious prizes in photography will circle around the theme of 'space' – the twelve shortlisted photographers all deal with this subject in varying ways. 

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V&A , Brompton Until Sunday May 28 2017

Terry Adkins: Solitude

The late American artist's first solo exhibition in the UK will focus on his 'Recitals' series, a collection of work that delves into the lives of musicians including Jimi Hendrix and John Coltrane. 

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Thomas Dane , St James' Tuesday May 23 2017 - Saturday May 27 2017

Bruce Conner: A Movie

A presentation of the American artist's groundbreaking 1958 film 'A Movie', a collage of found footage that includes westerns, war movies and soft-core porn.

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Thomas Dane , St James' Tuesday May 23 2017 - Tuesday July 4 2017
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David Mach: Incoming

The Turner Prize-nominated Mach will be creating one of his gargantuan newspaper installations, the first of its kind in 15 years. As it will largely be improvised in the gallery itself, we're not too sure what to expect – except that it will weigh a staggering 30 tonnes.

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Griffin Gallery , Holland Park Until Friday July 7 2017
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Franko B: Sleeping Beauty

The Italian artist – best known for his performances – will be showing a brand-new marble sculpture of a Middle Eastern child refugee, 'Sleeping Beauty', alongside older photographs that document people sleeping rough on the streets of London.

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Freud Museum , Frognal Wednesday May 24 2017 - Sunday July 16 2017

Alice Neel: Uptown

The celebrated American artist Alice Neel spent 50 years living in Upper Manhattan. This focuses on the portraits she painted of her fellow residents: fellow artists, academics and members of the neighbourhood's immigrant communities. 

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Victoria Miro , Hoxton Tuesday May 23 2017 - Saturday July 29 2017

Ding Yi

The Chinese artist – who emerged in Shanghai in the late '80s – has developed a style of abstraction composed of interlinking crosses that reflects an interest in the rapid modernisation of his country. 

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Timothy Taylor , London Tuesday May 23 2017 - Saturday June 24 2017
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Art exhibitions in June

31 Women

In 1943, the collector Peggy Guggenheim hosted the seminal '31 Women' exhibition at her New York Gallery. It gave an exclusive, resounding voice to female artists of the time, chiefly from the surrealist and abstract expressionist scenes. This exhibition is something of a long-awaited sequel, bringing contemporary artists into the mix.  

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Breese Little , Bethnal Green Friday June 2 2017 - Saturday July 29 2017

The Place is Here

This show takes a look back to the work of black artists during the turbulent decade that was the 1980s. Against a backdrop of seismic social and political change, these artists each sought to develop unique voices that expressed their – often conflicted – senses of identity.

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South London Gallery , Camberwell Thursday June 22 2017 - Sunday September 10 2017

Ron Nagle: Amended Testimony

The American West Coast sculptor has been creating brilliant, bold, small-scale ceramics as part of the California Clay Movement since the 1950s.

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Modern Art , Old Street Friday June 2 2017 - Saturday July 8 2017
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Fahrelnissa Zeid

Part of the Tate's ongoing shift towards showcasing artists from outside the well-trodden West, this is a retrospective of a Turkish artist who lived across 90 years of the twentieth century and travelled extensively across Europe, Asia and America. Zeid's dazzling, jewel-like paintings were influenced by art of the Islamic world and Western avant-garde abstraction. 

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Tate Modern , South Bank Tuesday June 6 2017 - Sunday October 8 2017

Milton Avery

The gallery's first exhibition of works by the twentieth-century artist, whose colourful, flattened, stylised paintings led him to being widely described as 'the American Matisse'.

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Victoria Miro Mayfair , Mayfair Wednesday June 7 2017 - Saturday July 29 2017

Signe Pierce: Faux Realities

A show of photography by the American self-described 'reality artist', whose lurid, hyperreal images force us to ask questions about what's real or not in our permanently switched-on world.

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Annka Kultys , Bethnal Green Thursday June 8 2017 - Saturday July 1 2017
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Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!

Wow: based on the title on this exhibition, it sounds like Grayson Perry's feeling mighty full of himself. Or is it meant with a touch of irony? The cross-dressing artist – and one of Britain's most unlikely national treasures – tends to be either denounced as a twee middlebrow populist, or a razor-sharp commentator on the foibles of our society. In any case, this major show of new works promises to look at the idea of the popular: how art can resonate with the average joe, and what it means in these uncertain post-Brexit times. 

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Serpentine Gallery , Knightsbridge Thursday June 8 2017 - Thursday September 7 2017

Sargent: The Watercolours

Although he's best known for his portraits, John Singer Sargent was also a highly accomplished watercolourist. This show will bring together a number of the dazzling landscapes he executed while doing the obligatory artist-travelling-around-Europe thing – everything from Alpine mountainscapes to the canals of Venice.

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Dulwich Picture Gallery , Dulwich Village Wednesday June 21 2017 - Sunday October 8 2017
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Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent

The Thameside arts institution will be hosting an olfactory extravaganza this summer, bringing together a number of contemporary perfumiers who are pushing their scents in new, exciting and occasionally rather whiffy directions. Within the show there'll be a perfume laboratory, where visitors can not only see various fragrances being made, but also concoct their own. 

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Somerset House , Temple Wednesday June 21 2017 - Sunday September 17 2017
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Art exhibitions further ahead

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power

This exhibition looks set to flip the idea of 'black art' on its head, tracing an underlooked 20-year period of creative innovation among African-American artists, against the seismic backdrop of the Civil Rights movement.

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Tate Modern , South Bank Wednesday July 12 2017 - Sunday October 22 2017

Zadie Xa

Korean-Canadian Xa works with a lurid, maximal aesthetic that spills across painting, textiles, video and sound. Amongst the trippiness are concerns with identity and the murky realms of fantasy and desire.

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Pump House Gallery , Battersea Thursday August 3 2017 - Sunday September 24 2017

Matisse in the Studio

Not just an extraordinary painter, Henri Matisse was also an avid collector, who picked up all sorts of objects and artefacts during his travels to North Africa, Mali and the Far East. This exhibition will look at the influences these exotic acquisitions had on his art.

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Royal Academy of Arts , Mayfair Saturday August 5 2017 - Sunday November 12 2017
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Sculpt at Kew

Gorgeous sculptures in gorgeous gardens: is there any better combo? Over 30 artists working across bronze, ceramics, glass and woodwork will be showing their stuff in this open-to-all exhibition. (FYI: access to the show is included in the general admission ticket.)

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Kew Gardens , Kew Monday September 18 2017 - Sunday October 15 2017

Rachel Whiteread

Twenty-three years down the line, it's easy to forget how Rachel Whiteread shocked audiences with her Turner Prize entry 'House': the concrete cast of the interior of a Victorian house in Mile End. But it won her the prize – she was the first woman to do so – and since then, Whiteread has risen to become one of the most influential figures of the art establishment. She'll always be chiefly for making casts of negative spaces, but her work stretches beyond that – this long-overdue retrospective should flesh out a highly accomplished career.

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Tate Britain , Westminster Tuesday September 12 2017 - Sunday February 4 2018

Basquiat: Boom for Real

The first question that everyone should be asking about the first UK retrospective of Jean-Michel Basquiat is this: why the hell has it taken so long? The artist's career was short (he died, tragically, from a heroin overdose at 27), but shone all the brighter for it. Basquiat grew up in Brooklyn, and became a graffiti artist in his teenage years. Then, coming of age in the seismic New York art scene of the '80s, he was taken under the wing of Andy Warhol and shot to fame and fortune: a glittering superstar. His paintings are bright, wild, unique and hoovered up everything from anatomical textbooks to African art as influences. To see them assembled en masse is set to be a thrilling experience.

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Barbican Centre , Barbican Saturday September 23 2017 - Sunday January 28 2018
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Thomas Ruff

Thomas Ruff belonged to the Dusseldorf School of Photography: a movement of photographers who emerged in the '70s, and dispensed with any artsy, pseudo-psychological funny business in favour of taking pictures that were unfussy, deadpan and objective. This promises to be a thrilling overview of Ruff's four decade career – look out for his passport-style portraits (seriously, they're way cooler than they sound) as well as his plunderings of archival material and pornography.

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Whitechapel Gallery , Whitechapel Wednesday September 27 2017 - Sunday January 21 2018

Haroon Mirza

Marking the ten-year anniversary of this Chalk Farm space, Mirza's commission will rework two of his previous pieces into a new installation that will reflect the architecture of what was once a Methodist chapel.

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Zabludowicz Collection , Chalk Farm Thursday September 28 2017 - Sunday December 17 2017

Jasper Johns

Indisputable fact: there's no more important painter alive today than Jasper Johns. The 86-year-old artist's influence stretches so far and wide that it's practically immeasurable. He came of age in 1950s New York, in the fertile years between splashy Abstract Expressionism and ice-cool Pop, which was when he created his iconic piece 'Flag', which nodded to both movements. Iconoclastic and experimental, Johns moved the goalposts of painting.

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Royal Academy of Arts , Mayfair Friday September 29 2017 - Sunday December 10 2017
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Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites

Fifteenth-century Flemish artist Jan van Eyck was as much a technical pioneer as he was an artistic genius, mastering illusionistic space in his exquisitely constructed paintings. Five centuries later, his masterwork 'The Arnolfini Portrait' inspired a new wave of artists: the Pre-Raphaelites, a circle of Victorian bad boys who championed his draughtsmanship and symbolism.

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National Gallery , Trafalgar Square Wednesday October 4 2017 - Monday April 2 2018
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Find our favourite art exhibitions on now

Top ten art exhibitions in London

Fancy seeing an art show this weekend but no idea where to go? Well look no further. You can't go wrong if you head down to one of our ten favourite art exhibitions taking place in the capital right now.

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By: Time Out London Art

Comments

2 comments
Tan - XLVII D
Tan - XLVII D

WEST16 Street art exhibition at the Westbank Gallery is what you need to get out = it's gonna be out of this world 25+ London artists!!