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London art exhibitions calendar

Our handy collection of all the big, small and scary art exhibitions coming to town in 2018

Robert Longo, ‘Untitled (X-Ray of a Bar at the Folies-Bergère, 1882 after Manet)’, 2017. Photo: Genevieve Hanson

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 2018 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 Opening This Month

Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece

The greatest figurative sculptor of the past few hundred years didn’t come up with it all by himself. The French artist Auguste Rodin was walking in the footsteps of Greek giants (with a particular love for the British Museum’s Parthenon Marbles): you could say he was Rodin on their coattails. This show promises to pit his work against that of his Hellenic progenitors, as well as to re-ignite the endless debate about where exactly the Elgin Marbles belong. More a lover than a fighter? The exhibition also features 'The Kiss'.

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British Museum , Bloomsbury Thursday April 26 2018 - Sunday July 29 2018

Rose Wylie: Lolita's House

Exhibition of paintings by the superb British artist Rose Wylie. The title 'Lolita's House' is only tangentially a reference to Nabokov's famous novel. It's actually inspired by a property opposite Wylie's Kent home, outside which the neighbour's teenage daughter would wash their car back in the 1970s. The artworks here - made in Wylie's deceptively simple and very witty style - rely on the artist's memories of the period, mixing together fact and fiction.  

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David Zwirner , Mayfair Until Saturday May 26 2018
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Paul Maheke

Paul Maheke’s first major UK exhibition will look at these themes through the lens of power structures, magic and the cosmos. Maheke, whose work addresses western representations of black queerness, will pull these themes together using performance, video and sculpture.

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Chisenhale Gallery , Mile End Until Sunday June 10 2018

2018 Sony World Photography Awards

The world's most diverse photography competition returns to Somerset House to fill the walls with this year's shortlisted and winning entries. The shortlists can't have been that short, because pictures by over 600 artists find their way in. That's what happens when you have 320,000 submissions. It's curated by Mike Trow, ex-Picture Editor at British Vogue, and meanders its way through all the major genres: landscape, street photography, wildlife, portraiture, travel and more. If previous years are anything to go by, the Sony Photography Award attracts top talent and within that 600 will be some real gems. 

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Somerset House , Temple Until Sunday May 6 2018
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Sarah Cain: Wild Flower

Forget to water your pot plant for a few weeks and it's probably heading for horticultural heaven. Many of our leafy friends, however, are made of sturdier stuff. This exhibition of new paintings by Sarah Cain is inspired by the impressive hardiness of uncultivated plants, and the way they thrive in the very worst of environments.* *That's no excuse for you though. Go water that drooping peace lily now.

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Timothy Taylor , London Until Friday May 25 2018

Adapt to Survive: Notes from the Future

'Adapt to Survive' is the buzzword du jour for savvy start-ups and other forward-thinking individuals. Check out what it means to seven artists from across the globe in this new, free exhibition at the Hayward exhibition. The show includes a short film called 'I Hate Karl Marx' and a computer-animated fox speaking a mash-up of HG Wells' classic novel The Time Machine. 

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Hayward Gallery , South Bank Until Monday June 11 2018
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Caterina Silva: Impressioni

The Impressionism movement in France remains one of the best-known in all of art history. This new exhibition of artworks by Caterina Silva references Monet et al., whilst taking the idea of impressionism in an entirely new direction. The contemporary Italian artist likes using everyday materials she finds around the house (including soap, ink and liquorice) in place of boring old paint. 

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Bosse & Baum , Peckham Until Saturday June 9 2018

Joe Corré: Ash from Chaos

‘Selfish, pointless and fucking sad’ is how NME recorded fans as describing Joe Corré's ceremonial burning of a load of punk memorabilia in 2016. Love him or loathe him for such an act, the ashy remains of the firepit caused by the son of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren are now going on display at the Lazinc gallery. Peering out from the charred pile will be a recreation of McLaren's Death Mask by sculpture Nick Reynolds.

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Lazinc , Mayfair Until Saturday April 28 2018
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Nudes

New exhibition exploring quite possibly the most popular subject in the whole history of art: naked people.

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Sadie Coles , Mayfair Until Saturday May 26 2018

Christian Boltanski: Éphémères

‘Éphémères’ is the French word for Mayflies, the delicate insects that are famously born, mate and die in one day. Artist Christian Boltanski is less interested in the miracles of the natural world and more in the concept of ephemerality or temporariness. In his first exhibition in London since 2010, Boltanski captures the fleeting nature of existence. Featured artworks include a number of large-scale video installations, such as the haunting 'Misterios' which was shot in Argentina’s remote Patagonia region.

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Marian Goodman Gallery , Soho Until Saturday May 12 2018
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Art Opening Next Month

Lee Bul

In 1997, MOMA took an artwork by Lee Bul off display because it stank too much. Titled 'Majestic Splendor', the instalation was made of rotting fish embroidered with sequins. Luckily, this wasn't the end of the of the line for it. You can now see this and many other works by Lee Bul at the Hayward Gallery's major exhibition. Trust us, there's nothing fishy about this super-clever and provocative contemporary artist.

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Hayward Gallery , South Bank Wednesday May 30 2018 - Sunday August 19 2018

Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art

Truly monumental moments in the history of art don’t come about all that often. But the invention of photography and the birth of abstract art were both ‘one of those moments’. Tate Modern not only agrees on the importance of these events, but argues that the two freely riffed off each other. Starting in 1910 and ending with a selection of contemporary images created for the exhibition, shared influences and ideas between photography and painting are easy to spot. Big names on the painters’ team include Bridget Riley, Georges Braque, Joan Miro and Jackson Pollock. And for the photographers we have Edward Weston, Aaron Siskin and the brilliant surrealist pioneer Man Ray.

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Tate Modern , South Bank Wednesday May 2 2018 - Sunday October 14 2018
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Tacita Dean: Landscape

There’s not one, not two, but three Tacita Dean shows on this year; the RA hosts the ‘Landscape’ branch, while the National Gallery shows ‘Still Life’ and the National Portrait Gallery offers ‘Portrait’, funnily enough. The centre of ‘Landscape’ will be a major new experimental video work ‘Antigone’ – featuring poet Anne Carson and actor Stephen Dillane – and combining multiple places and geologies into one analogue cinematic image. The show is housed in the newly opened Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries, and will also feature a massive drawing on a blackboard and a series of cloudscapes in chalk on slate. Dreamy stuff.

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Royal Academy of Arts , Mayfair Saturday May 19 2018 - Sunday August 12 2018

Sea

In the 18th century, desperate mothers leaving their newborns in the care of London's Foundling Hospital would often tie an identifying strip of fabric to them. Artist Jodie Carey now uses this sad piece of history as the inspiration for an exhibition of new artworks. Hundreds of strips of fabric have been dipped in liquid clay and fired, creating a haunting memento to the children this historic institution looked after. 

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Foundling Museum , Bloomsbury Friday May 25 2018 - Sunday September 2 2018
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Mary Corse

'Let there be light!' said god and American artist Mary Corse heard him loud and clear. Corse's quest to capture the beauty and mystery of light saw her enroll on a quantum physics course to create her 1968 series 'Electric Light'. Let the light shine in with her first major UK solo show at Lisson Gallery. 

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Lisson Gallery , Lisson Grove Friday May 11 2018 - Saturday June 23 2018

Richard Long: Circle to Circle

Stone, mud and flint all play a part in sculptor Richard Long's artworks. This new exhibition by a man continuously inspired by the natural world, showcases his obsession with circles. The bull's eye of the show is a large stone circle on the gallery floor. 

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Lisson Gallery , Lisson Grove Friday May 11 2018 - Saturday June 23 2018
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August Sanders

For over 60 years, photographer August Sander captured the many different faces - often quite literally - of Weimar Germany. The pictures in this exhibition demonstrate Sander's unique ability to make his sitters feel entirely at home in front of the camera and show the array of different lifestyles people had in pre-WWII Germany. 

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Hauser & Wirth , Mayfair Friday May 18 2018 - Saturday July 28 2018

Werner Büttner: Plenty of Room for All Sorts of Happiness

German artist Werner Büttner came to fame as one of a group of artists known as the 'Junge Wilde'. His career and talent, however, have far outlasted this initial burst of youthful innovation. This exhibition brings together very recent artworks with those created during the 1980s. 

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Marlborough , Mayfair Friday May 25 2018 - Saturday June 23 2018
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Future Art Exhibitions

Klimt/Schiele: Drawing

Klimt and Schiele were both working in Vienna in the early 1900s and saw the world changing around them. Both known for their particular drawing and painting styles, as well as controversial for their very sexually explicit nudes, they were friends and shared a love of drawing. This collaboration between the Royal Academy and the Albertina Museum in Vienna marks 100 years since both these great artists died.

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Royal Academy of Arts , Mayfair Sunday November 4 2018 - Sunday February 3 2019

Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One

'Aftermath' takes a look at the impact of WWI on art made in the UK, France and Germany. From the cabaret steeped hedonism of the Weimar Republic as captured by Otto Dix and George Grosz to the birth of Dada through Hannah Höch and André Masson this exhibition gathers together art that is rarely shown together. As well as art from Germany there will be work from artists working at the time in Europe such as Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger and Winifred Knights. 

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Tate Britain , Westminster Tuesday June 5 2018 - Sunday September 16 2018
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Ed Ruscha: Course of Empire

An exhibition which compliments the National Gallery's Thomas Cole show, the elder statesman of Pop Art Ed Ruscha presents a vision of modern American landscape. Focusing on the idea of 'Modern Empire' via industrial buildings of downtown LA, the boxy utilitarianism of Ruscha's work is a sark contrast to the winsome romance of Cole's 19th century vision of rolling green fields and stately mountains. 

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National Gallery , Trafalgar Square Monday June 11 2018 - Sunday October 7 2018

Mai 68

Paris, May 1968 and revolution is in the air. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of a seminal moment in modern European history, the Lazinc gallery is putting on display its own collection of posters designed by French protestors. Visitors can also view film clips, memorabilia and a recreation of the screen-printing room used to manufacture the images.

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Lazinc , Mayfair Friday May 4 2018 - Saturday May 12 2018
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Tomma Abts

Bigger isn't always better. Artist Tomma Abts makes all her paintings precisely the same size: 48cm x 38cm to be exact. But that's where the rules end. The artist practices working intuitively, meaning the endlessly creative artworks take shape organically as she paints. See them this summer at the Serpentine Gallery. 

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Serpentine Gallery , Knightsbridge Thursday June 7 2018 - Sunday September 9 2018

Thomas Cole's Journey

Although he was born in Bolton, 19th century painter Thomas Cole is a bit of an unknown figure to audiences outside of the US. In fact, this the first time many of his works have been seen beyond America. Like a yankee Turner, his dreamy landscapes of everywhere from Niagara Falls to New York's Catskill mountains show his adoptive home in a romantic light. 

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National Gallery , Trafalgar Square Monday June 11 2018 - Sunday October 7 2018
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Banu Cennetoğlu

Banu Cennetoğlu is a Turkish artist, based in Istanbul whose work looks at the distribution and consumption of information in modern life. Although news and fake news are things that affect us all living Cennetoğlu’s work is made against the backdrop of extreme art and news censorship under the current Turkish government.

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Chisenhale Gallery , Mile End Friday June 29 2018 - Sunday August 26 2018

Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s conceptual, politically focused work has been gaining momentum for some time. Hamdan, who makes his work between Beirut and Berlin tackles a range of issues, usually through installation. This show is attempting to break down how we get to the truth when overloaded with information and news via the internet.

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Chisenhale Gallery , Mile End Friday September 14 2018 - Sunday December 9 2018
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Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde

Not only were the Avant-garde movements of the early 20th century a hotbed of creativity, they also inspired a number of intimate relationships - both erotic and platonic - between virtually everyone involved. Whilst featuring a low down on around 40 legendary pairings, from Surrealist photogs Lee Miller and Man Ray, to literary lovers Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, this exhibition picks apart what we actually mean by 'couple' in the first place. 

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Barbican Centre , Barbican Wednesday October 10 2018 - Sunday January 27 2019

Michael Jackson: On the Wall

It’s a pretty off the wall idea: a whole exhibition of contemporary art inspired by the king of pop. Featuring work from the likes of Andy Warhol and Isa Genzken, it could be a thriller of a show, or it could just be bad. Either way, it’ll make HIStory. That’s a lot of weak Michael Jackson references, there. Sorry about that.

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National Portrait Gallery , Leicester Square Thursday June 28 2018 - Sunday October 21 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

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!!