London Calling: Five Must-See Art Exhibitions This Summer

From Van Gogh to Cindy Sherman, the work of many pioneering artists will be on display in top museum retrospectives and unmissable gallery shows.

Your Uncertain Shadow (colour), 2010, by Olafur Eliasson. (Photo by María del Pilar García Ayensa/ Studio Olafur Eliasson. Courtesy of Tate Modern)

Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life

In an exploration of color theory, motion patterns, and complex geometry, Olafur Eliasson’s installations entail new ways of encountering art in this immersive experience. Viewers are invited to walk through mirror-covered sculptures and wave their hands through a rainbow-producing curtain of mist. While the interactivity is certainly a crowd-pleaser, there’s real purpose behind the Instagram bait: Eliasson spreads awareness about social and environmental issues like climate change, energy, and migration in this remarkable mixed-media display at Tate Modern.

July 11–January 5, 2020. Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG

Portrait in Green, 1969, by Lee Krasner. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images courtesy of Barbican Centre)

Lee Krasner: Living in Color

Continuously overshadowed by her male contemporaries, Lee Krasner’s turn in the spotlight has finally arrived with a major exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery. After the death of her husband, Jackson Pollock, she took over the barn as a studio space, allowing her to create large-scale installations. Thanks to a partnership between the Barbican Centre in London, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, those incredible and mesmerizing works by the Abstract Expressionist painter are on display in one place, including the 13-foot-wide Combat, a monumental painting of swirling pink and orange hues. 

May 30–September 1. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Alter 3 by Hiroshi Ishiguro, Takashi Ikegami and Itsuki Doi. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images courtesy of Barbican Centre)

AI: More than Human

Offering an unprecedented survey of Artificial Intelligence, “AI: More than Human” demonstrates the technology’s revolutionary leaps forward through cutting-edge research projects by artists and scientists such as Neri Oxman, Massive Attack, Es Devlin, and teamLab. Prepare to converse with a lonely chatbot or maybe listen to a song composed by AI music software.

May 16–August 26. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Olive Trees, 1889, by Vincent Van Gogh. (Courtesy of Tate Britain)

Van Gogh and Britain

Key to Van Gogh’s artistic development were the brief but inspiring years he spent in London; his time there consisted of long city walks, reading  British literature, and exposure to paintings by Constable and Milias. Now, the Tate Britain is bringing Van Gogh back to London with a striking collection of over 50 paintings, including Sunflowers and L’Arlésienne, accompanied by the work of British artists who were deeply inspired by him such as Francis Bacon and David Bomberg. Together, the amalgam of pieces celebrates the dual influence Van Gogh experienced with British culture.

March 27–August 11. Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG

Untitled #92 by Cindy Sherman, 1981. (Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York)

Cindy Sherman

The retrospective features an extraordinary collection of work ranging from the 1970’s to the present day, primarily exploring identity and the ways in which we conceal or alter it.  In a display of personal vulnerability, acclaimed photographer Cindy Sherman manipulates her own appearance and investigates the materiality of film, advertising, and fashion in relation to it. For instance, she recreates Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ 1856 painting Madame Moitessier; it’s entirely extravagant and full of material possessions.

June 27–September 15. National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE

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