This week's best art

All the best current art exhibitions and shows to hunt down in London

Alex Hartley, 'A Gentle Collapsing II', courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro.

Fancy checking out some art this week but don't know where to start? Have a flick through our selection of the best shows on at the moment and take your pick. With galleries spread all over the city and an art scene as changeable as London's, we've divided it into areas to help keep track. Everything featured below got a shiny four or five-star review from us, but check out all the latest art reviews for more. 

August Sander

4 out of 5 stars

In the fake news era, a time when obvious lies can sway elections, it seems odd to think that the truth might actually be the most powerful weapon. But it was threatening enough in inter-war Germany to get August Sander’s photographs banned by the Nazis. 

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Hauser & Wirth , Mayfair Tuesday May 29 2018 - Saturday July 28 2018

Spiegelgasse (Mirror Alley)

4 out of 5 stars

Turns out, it’s not all cuckoo clocks, chocolate and ruthless efficiency over in Switzerland. The tiny European nation is also funny, surreal, sexy, weird and very creative. This show of Swiss art from surrealism through to today – named after the street where Dadaism was invented in Zurich – paints a bizarre, twisted and hugely expressive picture of Swiss visual culture. 

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Hauser & Wirth , Mayfair Tuesday May 29 2018 - Saturday July 28 2018
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Bernard Frize: Blackout in the Grid

4 out of 5 stars

In a black-snot city it can be hard to get your fix of rainbow hues. So if you’re feeling the impact of a grey-on-grey commute a little too strongly, you could do a whole lot worse than spending half an hour with the art of Bernard Frize. 

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Simon Lee , Mayfair Monday May 28 2018 - Saturday June 30 2018

Juno Calypso: What to do with a Million Years

5 out of 5 stars

In the suburbs of Las Vegas is an enormous underground bunker. Seriously, like, massive: it has a pool, a house, a garden, a barbecue, everything you could need for an eternity underground. It’s the physical embodiment of the two heartbeats throbbing in America’s chest: grandiose, overblown, chintzy opulence, and abject fear of annihilation. 

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TJ Boulting , Fitzrovia Tuesday May 29 2018 - Saturday June 23 2018
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Tacita Dean: Landscape

3 out of 5 stars

Tacita Dean’s many-headed art beast has sprouted its third and final bonce: after a show of portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery and one of still life at the National Gallery, Dean now opens the doors of the Royal Academy’s new building with a show of landscapes.

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Royal Academy of Arts , Mayfair Until Sunday August 12 2018

Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece

4 out of 5 stars

One look at Medusa would turn flesh to stone. Auguste Rodin was sort of the opposite, dedicating his life and radical art instead to somehow turning stone into living, breathing, rippling flesh. His revolutionary sculptures feel quiveringly close to bursting alive and writhing with movement. 

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British Museum , Bloomsbury Until Sunday July 29 2018
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Joseph Beuys: Utopia at the Stag Monuments

Here’s the Joseph Beuys myth: the hugely influential German artist was a pilot in World War II. He crashed his Stuka over the Crimea and was found by a tribe of nomadic Tartars who wrapped him in fat and felt to keep him warm. They saved his life. Out of that fable came a whole career based on felt, fat, electricity and medicine – the building blocks of survival, used to help deal with his country’s tormented recent past. 

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Thaddaeus Ropac , Mayfair Tuesday May 29 2018 - Saturday June 16 2018

Surface Work

4 out of 5 stars

The history of art is full of old dead white blokes. We’ve had centuries of western men dominating the stuff we put in our eyes. Modern and contemporary abstract art is no different – it’s all Kandinsky and Pollock and Rothko, as if a woman never picked up a paintbrush and did some squiggles on a canvas. But – guess what, bozos – they did. 

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Victoria Miro Mayfair , Mayfair Tuesday May 29 2018 - Saturday June 16 2018
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Katharina Grosse: Prototypes of Imagination

4 out of 5 stars

German artist Katharina Grosse is best known for her monumental painty interventions: chromatic collisions where colour covers whole walls, buildings, trees, patches of grass, roads, possibly the odd dozing pensioner. She’s not some street-art saddo just territorially pissing paint, though. Her abstractions transform environments, teasing the eye, dramatically refiguring the landscape.

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Gagosian Britannia St , St Pancras Tuesday May 29 2018 - Friday July 27 2018

Sadie Benning: Sleep Rock

4 out of 5 stars

Camden Arts Centre on Finchley Road is just down the road from the Freud Museum, former home to the daddy of psychoanalysis. Sigmund was obsessed with dreams, believing them to be a repository of hidden desires ripe for ripping apart on the therapist’s couch. So it’s a neat coincidence that the CAC has also drifted off to the land of nod with ‘Sleep Rock’, the first UK solo exhibition by American artist Sadie Benning. 

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Camden Arts Centre , Frognal Until Sunday June 24 2018
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Marianna Simnett

4 out of 5 stars

You’re going to flinch and you’re going to squirm. And that’s exactly what Marianna Simnett wants. She uses her art to send jolts through the viewer: in her surreal, morosely fantastical, gore-filled films, the (usually female) body is seen as a thing that can be manipulated, controlled and owned – she wants you to think about your flesh sack, how you inhabit it, how society uses it and who is the real master of it. 

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Zabludowicz Collection , Chalk Farm Until Sunday July 8 2018

Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art

3 out of 5 stars

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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Tate Modern , South Bank Until Sunday October 14 2018

Ed Atkins: Olde Food=

4 out of 5 stars

=British artist Ed Atkins’s new show is a confusing, overwhelming, dense indictment of our servitude to the internet. He drags you through a muddy bog of food porn, fake tears and medieval costumes and leaves you reeling.=

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Cabinet Gallery , Vauxhall Thursday May 31 2018 - Saturday June 2 2018
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Beatriz Milhazes: Rio Azul

3 out of 5 stars

In a simple-minded analysis, quite a lot of art is about shapes and colours, and that’s certainly true of Beatriz Milhazes. The Brazilian artist makes small-ish collages out of bits of paper and things, large-ish paintings that seem to be based on collages and – in this show – some big dangly mobiles and an absolute whopper of a tapestry. 

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White Cube Bermondsey , The Borough Until Sunday July 1 2018

Cedric Morris: Artist Plantsman

4 out of 5 stars

London is currently home to two exhibitions of art by British painter Cedric Morris. The first, at the Garden Museum, concentrates on his dual identity as an artist and an award-winning gardener. Floral still lifes and the English countryside don’t exactly set the world on fire as the subject of an art exhibition. But ‘Cedric Morris: Artist Plantsman’ turns this tranquil topic on its head, showing how the British artist painted the humble bouquet as an unruly, wild, wonky thing. 

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Garden Museum , Lambeth Until Sunday July 22 2018
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Magali Reus

3 out of 5 stars

Magali Reus makes art from mundane, everyday objects. Fire extinguishers, nuts and bolts, rucksacks, mattress springs: things that help the world tick over but are never given serious aesthetic consideration. Out of it comes her tricksy, slippery, faintly neurotic brand of sculpture, currently on display at the South London Gallery.

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Sunday May 27 2018

The Great British Seaside

4 out of 5 stars

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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National Maritime Museum , Greenwich Until Sunday September 30 2018
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Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy

4 out of 5 stars

This exhibition focuses entirely on 1932, a pivotal and prolific year for Pablo. In its summer, a major retrospective of his work was held, but instead of feeling like he’d made it,  he fretted about being past it.

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Tate Modern , South Bank Until Sunday September 9 2018

Rachel Howard: Repetition is Truth – Via Dolorosa

4 out of 5 stars

Humanity's capacity for atrocity was laid bare during the Iraq war when images emerged of the humiliating treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. One showed Ali Shallal al-Qaisi stood on a box, a hood pulled over his head, arms spread wide, with wires attached to his fingers and genitals. A painting of that horrifying act opens Rachel Howard’s show at Newport Street Gallery. 

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Until Monday May 28 2018
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Susan Collis

4 out of 5 stars

If being around fragile objects gives you the sweats and fills you with the fear that you’re seconds away from tripping over and accidentally destroying someone’s life’s work, this exhibition may not be for you. 

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Seventeen , De Beauvoir Town Wednesday May 30 2018 - Saturday June 9 2018

Molly Soda

4 out of 5 stars

Imagine walking down a gorgeous, glittering, friendly, neon pink corridor that suddenly turns into a dark alley filled with people beating the bejesus out of you. That, in American artist Molly Soda’s world, is how the internet works. 

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Annka Kultys , Bethnal Green Wednesday May 30 2018 - Saturday June 16 2018
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Surface Work

4 out of 5 stars

The history of art is full of old dead white blokes. We’ve had centuries of western men dominating the stuff we put in our eyes. Modern and contemporary abstract art is no different – it’s all Kandinsky and Pollock and Rothko, as if a woman never picked up a paintbrush and did some squiggles on a canvas. But – guess what, bozos – they did. 

Read more
Victoria Miro Mayfair , Mayfair Tuesday May 29 2018 - Saturday June 16 2018

Art Now: Lisa Brice

4 out of 5 stars

John Everett Millais’s ‘Ophelia’ is the unofficial poster girl of Tate Britain. Most recently her soggy image was slapped on the cover of the book of Tate ‘highlights’ overflowing on the gift shop stands. Lisa Brice, a South African-born artist now living in London, was commissioned to paint a response to the famous pre-Raph portrait as part of her ‘Art Now’ exhibition.

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Tate Britain , Westminster Until Monday August 27 2018

Ian Cheng

4 out of 5 stars

Bob is a pretty damn innocuous name for a creature that’s going to bring about the apocalypse. You see, BOB (or Bag of Beliefs) is US artist Ian Cheng’s new digital life-form. Across six enormous screens, Cheng has given birth to little AI creatures. 

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Until Sun May 27
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IIP Foundation

The Indian Institute of Photography wishes you a happy & Colourful Holi !