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Top photography exhibitions in London

Look at life through the lens and find the best new photography exhibitions around London

By Time Out London Art |
Best London photos: Wolfgang Tillmans: 'Lars in Tube', 1993. © Wolfgang Tillmans, © Maureen Paley
© Maureen Paley

There's so much more to London art than just painting or sculpture – lose yourself in all kinds of new worlds by tracking down the best photography exhibitions in London.

From sweeping landscape scenes to powerful portraits captured by daring individuals, photography in London offers a full-exposure of thought-provoking, visually captivating art. Look away from the Instagram feed for just a minute and go explore.

RECOMMENDED: Check our complete guide to photography in London


Top photography exhibitions in London

Dora Maar 'Untitled (Main Shell)' Centre Pompidou, MNAM-, Dist. RMN - Grand Palais/Jacques Faujour

Dora Maar

Tate Modern, Bankside
4 out of 5 stars

‘Lady artist deleted from history’ is a pretty familiar story. And it’s the one that, broadly speaking, underpins this show at Tate Modern. Dora Maar (1907-1997) was a female artist footnoted by history thanks to her gender and her relationship with Pablo Picasso. But the most interesting thing to emerge from this fascinating retrospective – the first ever held in the UK – isn’t simply that Maar is an artist forgotten, it’s that she is such a ridiculously prolific and varied artist forgotten. 

John Offenbach 'Patisserie Chef' © the artist

JEW: Photographs by John Offenbach

Jewish Museum, Camden Town

These 34 large-scale photographs by John Offenbach explore what it means to be Jewish today. Sitters include religious and secular Jews, school teachers and convicted criminals, homeless and wealthy people. The photographer travelled the globe to photograph people in twelve different countries including Ethiopia, Ukraine, Argentina and China. 

Jo Ann Callis 'Untitled' (1994) From the series 'Forbidden Pleasures' © the artist

Feast for the Eyes – The Story of Food in Photography

Photographers' Gallery, Soho
4 out of 5 stars

We may need to eat to live, but food is rarely just fuel: it’s ritual, it’s celebration, it’s sex; a signifier of good or bad taste, status or aspiration, individual or national identity. This juicy new exhibition is alive to all of that, and draws images from fine art, advertising, magazines, and – hurrah! – all those lurid retro recipes that suggest vegetables are best served via jelly moulds. 

Art, Photography

Shot in Soho

Photographers' Gallery, Soho
3 out of 5 stars

Soho has become a much-mythologised part of London’s psyche – especially as the Cross Rail developments seem set to wipe away any last vestige of its former grubby glories. So it’s no wonder that The Photographers’ Gallery – situated in Soho – should dedicate a show to its changing face and fortunes. 

© Tim Walker

Tim Walker: Wonderful Things

V&A, South Kensington
5 out of 5 stars

Fantastical. Fairytale. Magical. Lot of words are used to describe the photography of Tim Walker, but rarely this one: sex. Yet as this exuberant solo exhibition at the V&A proves, the British photographer’s special brand of surrealism, honed over decades working for fashion magazines, is far from saccharine innocence. 

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