Tabish Khan the @LondonArtCritic picks his top 6 exhibitions to see in London in July. Each one comes with a concise review to help you decide whether it’s for you. For those looking for more art, three of his top 5 from last week are still open to visit.
Ai Weiwei: Making Sense @ The Design Museum
Items ranging from historic porcelain cannonballs to contemporary LEGO bricks are turned into politically charged works in Ai’s trademark blend of art, design and activism. He’s arguably one of the world’s most important living artists and it’s clear to see why in this exhibition packed with powerful political statements. Until 30 July.
Lee Ufan & Claude Viallat: Encounter @ Pace
A giant rock has cracked a massive pane of glass by being dropped upon it, a sculpture looks so fluffy it feels as if leaving the door open would cause it to float away. It’s all about the material in Lee Ufan’s work, which is accompanied by Claude Viallat’s sparing abstract paintings as a pairing of two artists who both have a practice spanning many decades. Until 28 July.
Victor Lim Seaward: Midnight Oil @ Brooke Benington
A snail crawling on a golden sculpture of an ear or a greyhound among stripped back trees and a hand grabbing a bunch of sticks. It’s all slightly creepy and surreal in this exhibition filled with imagination and references to religion and the natural world. Until 29 July.
The Big City @ Guildhall Art Gallery
This exhibition brings together different views of London from the beautiful Victorian nocturnes of John Atkinson Grimshaw to a big hulking painting of close up of Brutalist buildings by David Hepher, the latter a great contrast to the largest oil paintings that sits at the centre of the gallery space. It really captures the changing face of a city that never looks the same, hosted in a gallery that sits in its centre. Until 30 July.
Chris Ofili: The Seven Deadly Sins @ Victoria Miro
Dream like visions of people, plants and art historical references come together in a beautiful colour palette in this series based on the seven deadly sins. Whether it be figures falling to Earth or languidly laying on the ground, each painting is captivating and filled with detail. Until 29 July.
Saint Francis of Assisi @ The National Gallery
Francis was a saint who believed in a simple life dedicated to the natural world, and his story has inspired Old Masters like Zurbaran and El Greco (pictured) to contemporary artists so we get to see an Antony Gormley statue displaying the wounds of stigmata and a Giuseppe Penone tree carved inside a tree. Best of all this top exhibition is free to visit – in keeping with the saint’s ethos. Until 30 July.
All images copyright artist and gallery unless otherwise stated. Ai Weiwei photo: Ed Reeve. Saint Francis image copyright National Gallery of Ireland. More Exhibitions to see in London HERE