Summer in the City – London - ART FIX
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Summer in the City - London

The sun is out and museums and galleries in London are 'delighted and thrilled' to have reopened its doors to all art lovers. That’s why we have curated a selection of the best exhibitions that are not to be missed in London right now. Whether you’re planning a visit IRL or simply dreaming of going, we hope these tips continue to give you the best art fixes.

In order to avoid disappointment (and the typical English queues), be sure to book your tickets in advance.

JR at Saatchi Gallery

  • Chronicles
  • Until 3 October 2021
  • Duke of York’s HQ King’s Road, London
  • saatchigallery.com

After much anticipation, JR’s largest solo exhibition to date has finally opened at the Saatchi Gallery in London! From his ‘graffeur’ days (graffiti painter) to his switch to street art photography, you’ll be able to admire his most iconic projects from the past fifteen years at Saatchi.  Make sure you use the self-guided tool through which the artist himself will tell the stories behind his works. Can’t miss this one Fixers!

JR at Pace 

  • Eye on the World
  • Until 3 July 2021
  • 6 Burlington Gardens, London
  • pacegallery.com

JR is the talk of the town right now. Besides his big solo exhibition at Saatchi, he is also showing at Pace gallery in both London and New York, where all works are for sale.

Jennifer Packer at Serpentine South Gallery

 

From JR’s “Eye on the World” to Jennifer Packer’s “The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing”, you can’t miss visiting the Serpentine South Gallery this summer. Many say that if you only have time to see one show, it should be the one by the American painter Jennifer Packer, and Art Fix agrees.

James Barnor at Serpentine North Gallery

Art Fix visited the major survey of British-Ghanian photographer James Barnor at the Serpentine North Gallery (previously known as the Serpentine Sackler). Six decades of Black lifestyle photography and photojournalism in two countries, two cities and two cultures. An uplifting and interesting exhibit that will keep you on your toes.

The 20th Serpentine Pavilion is open! 

The space was designed by Johannesburg-based practice Counterspace and directed by the very cool Sumayya Vally – the youngest architect to be commissioned for this internationally renowned architecture programme and named world’s most influential architect shaping the future in 2021 TIME100 List.

Julie Curtiss at White Cube Gallery

  • Monads and Dyads
  • Until 26 June 2021
  • 25 – 26 Mason’s Yard 
  • whitecube.com

Tipped as one of the art world’s fast-rising stars, Julie Curtiss is still on view at White Cube Gallery. This painter’s surreal close-up paintings are uncanny and filled with dark humor. Don’t miss the chance to experience these works IRL this summer!

David Hockney at The Royal Academy

  • The Arrival of Spring, Normandy 2020
  • Until 26 September 2021
  • Burlington House, Piccadilly
  • royalacademy.org.uk

One year later and we’re still saying it: spring cannot be cancelled! David Hockney returns to the Royal Academy with an uplifting spring exhibition featuring 116 new and optimistic works made on his iPad in praise of the natural world.

Tickets are sold out but we got them at the door without having to wait; the best time to visit is around lunch time.  

Michael Armitage at the Royal Academy

We highly recommend you visit the colorful exotic and narrative exhibition of East African culture and folklore. The masterpieces by Kenyan-British Armitage are presented on the upper floor of the Royal Academy, and trust us, the climb up the stairs is truly worth it.

Jaclyn Conley at Skarstedt

  • In a New Field 
  • Until 16 July 2021
  • 8 Bennet Street 
  • skarstedt.com

A true gem of an exhibition at the Skarstedt Gallery in which Jaclyn Conley portrays everyday figures of American life with a reference to some of the most iconic images in the history of art. We overheard that the Kistefos museum in Norway acquired a new work from this exhibition, so make sure to keep an eye on this upcoming star!

Hillary Pecis at Timothy Taylor

With another sold out show, you should add Hillary Pecis to your artists-to-watch list. Pecis paints portraits of her L.A. environments, spanning interior scenes (can you spot the artist’s son’s pencil pot?), still lives and landscape paintings of places she passes on her morning run. Don’t miss stepping into this gallery and getting to know Hilary Pecis through her art.

Yinka Shonibare at Stephen Friedman Gallery

  • CBE RA: African Spirits of Modernism
  • Until 31 July 2021
  • 25-28 Old Burlington Street
  • stephenfriedman.com

The British-Nigerian art icon is showing new works at two Friedman galleries. One space is showing Shonibare’s take on Picasso featuring sculptures and masks in vibrant colors, while the other gallery shows textile quilts with embroidery. A unique look on modernism with a touch of cool African spirits!

Urs Fischer at Sadie Coles HQ

  • The Intelligence of Nature
  • Until 13 August 2021
  • 62 Kingly Street 
  • sadiecoles.com

At Art Fix we are so impressed with the diversity of Urs Fisher. The same artist who made the huge candle wax sculptures at the Bourse the Commerce in Paris, shows a very different side at Sadie Coles gallery in London with “The Intelligence of Nature”, a collection of new paintings made during lockdown.

Don Brown at Sadie Coles HQ

Also on display at Sadie Coles HQ is a small exhibit of works by Don Brown. For fifteen years, the subject matter of his sculptures has concentrated on the stunning  sculptures of depictions of Yoko, Don Brown’s wife and muse.

Julien Opie at Pitzhanger

Opie will present a new body of work at Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing on June 25. The centrepiece of the show will be the representation of a French village landscape inviting you to circulate through imaginary spaces.

Will Martyr at Unit London

  • You Gave Me Paradise
  • Until 3 July 2021
  • 3 Hanover Square
  • unitlondon.com

Will Martyr’s seductive work is spread over two floors at Unit London’s new gallery in Mayfair. After lockdown, his utopian views of bright blue skies, flawless bodies and beautiful places are making us long for those wonderful life moments. A great (and arty) way to lift your spirits this summer!

Jaki Irvine at Frith Street Gallery

If you enjoyed our episode on light art and like music, then this is the exhibition for you. With 28 looping pink neon anagrams derived from the word ‘”Cracklin Rosie”, the title of a Neil Diamond song from the 70s, this show is not only easy on the eyes, but will (quite literally) bring music to your ears.

Bridget Riley at David Zwirner

New works from the Queen of Op Art where she, once again, combines shapes, patterns and colors from the past to the present, creating optical illusions and works that never cease to inspire us.

Yayoi Kusama at Tate Modern and Victoria Miro Gallery

The 92 year old, wildly popular and loved artist from Japan is a true social media phenomenon and tops as the top selling living female artist in the world. In London alone, she has two shows aside from her big shows in Berlin and New York. Her show at the Tate Modern is limited but Kusama is always worth going out of your way for. 

The exhibition is available to view by free timed ticket. Even though Tate Modern tickets are sold out until October, you can sign up here to hear when more tickets go on sale.

Paula Rego at Tate Britain

Paula Rego is one of the most famous Portuguese born artists who received the order of British empire. To learn more about this uncompromising female artist who revolutionized the way in which women are represented go to Tate Britain!

Heather Philipson at The Fourth Plinth

The “Fourth Plinth” on Trafalgar Square was originally supposed to hold a statue of William IV, but due to insufficient funds it remained bare for over 150 years. From 2005, the Fourth Plinth commission was led by the Mayor of London’s culture team. The new sculpture was unveiled last year and is titled “The End”; the first fully accessible commission on the Fourth Plinth. There is a braille panel included on the plaque, a tactile image of the work, and an audio description of the work on london.gov.uk.

If you’re curious for more, check out our Story on The Plinth.

 

The Art of Banksy 

If you’re a fan of the intriguing and much talked about artist Banksy, you have to head over to this old warehouse in Covent Garden in London! This unauthorized exhibit features iconic works such as “Rude Cooper”, “Girl and Balloon” to lesser known works.

EAT & DRINK

Vardo, a great place for lunch or dinner inside a cylindrical, stone and glass pavilion. Ideal for a refreshment after visiting Saatchi gallery! 

Maison Francois, on 34 Duke Street St. James’s, is a new all-day French brasserie close to Christie’s and White Cube. Delicious plates to share or go for the full three course option. Highly recommended.

Grab a late breakfast with delicious coffee or quick healthy lunch at 26 Grains in Soho.

Duck Soup in Soho a romantic winebar-restaurant hybrid if you are hungry and feel like a casual place to eat and drink.

Southern Italian cuisine with pasta made by hand daily at Campania in East London!  

Chiltern Fire House has always been a hot favorite of many. This uber cool 5-star hotel has lovely plush decor, the best cocktails in town and the absolute coolest courtyard.

The Ivy Market Grill. A great dining option after your visited the Banksy exhibit with the most comfortable heated terrace so you can enjoy al fresco evenings.

STAY

Citizen M is highly recommended and known for having the world’s best beds, lively lobbies and very interesting art. Make sure you ask one of the ambassadors to tell you more about the works spread all over the hotel.

Brand new: NoMad London Hotel in Covent Garden is in the heart of the action.

Art Fix Tip, we recommend downloading the app Step — the world’s first global culture map. Follow local Londoners and creatives to find the hottest places they’ve ‘stepped’. The perfect companion for your last-minute unplanned moments in London. Download the app here.

INTO THE COUNTRY   

Joana Vasconcelos at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

  • Beyond
  • Until 9 Jan 2022
  • West Bretton, Wakefield 
  • ysp.org.uk

A day at YSP is a wonderful outdoor arty activity. At this open-air gallery, the large-scale sculptures made by the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos will be on display until 2022.

In addition to this temporary exhibition there is amazing art to be discovered at this wonderful destination. From Ai Weiwei to Damien Hirst and James Turrell to Andy Goldsworthy.

Gustav Metzger and Eduardo Chillida at Hauser & Wirth in Somerset

  • 26 June – 12 Sept/3 Jan 2022
  • Sursladee Farm, Bruton, Somerset
  • hauserwirth.com

If you have never visited this art destination in Somerset you should definitely put this on your to-do list for the summer.

Tino Sehgal at Blenheim Palace

After this last year’s confinement indoors, this will be the first exhibition at Blenheim designed specifically for the Park and Gardens. Do you remember the very cool participational exhibit in the Tate’s Turbine Hall in 2012? At Blenheim, there will be choreographed live encounters between people roaming around, involving more than 30 participants. Are you excited yet? We know we are!

Tony Cragg at Houghton Hall

Are you ready for a road trip? Did you miss Anish Kapoor’s much talked about exhibition at Houghton Hall last year? Here is your chance to drive north east to Norfolk this Summer and visit this stately Palladian mansion. The exhibition, curated by Tony Cragg himself, will include large-scale bronze and steel sculptures sited in the gardens and grounds, and smaller pieces shown in the state rooms and gallery spaces of the house. Several new works have been made specifically for this exhibition.

While you’re there don’t forget to take a look at the impressive permanent collection of contemporary sculptures by world-renowned artists. The first work was commissioned in 2000, a ‘Skyspace’ by the American artist James Turrell.

Ugo Rondinone at Tate Liverpool

  • Until 31 October 2023
  • Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool
  • tate.org.uk

 

Every Art Fixer knows Ugo Rondinone’s ‘Seven Magic Mountains’ in the Nevada dessert outside Las Vegas… But guess what Fixers? There’s one in Europe too! Outside the Tate in Liverpool stands this 10-metre high sculpture. 

Nina Hamnett and Lisa Brice at Charleston

Last but not least, we suggest you drive all the way south to Charleston in East Sussex, where you will find an art center that used to be the home of the painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. Here you will find artworks by two great female artists showing alongside each other. Nina Hamnett (1890–1956) the bohemian Welsh painter and Lisa Brice who had a solo exhibition at Tate Britain, London.