Here you can find all of our recommended art exhibitions that are on in June. Below is a list of our 7 must-see art shows for the month, along with a navigation that can take you to smaller weekly listings that are worthy of note. This section is updated with new shows every week. If you want to see exhibitions in London or in your area simply go to our Artist Calendar – let us know about an exhibition using the form at the bottom of that page for the chance to be included in one of our Art Exhibitions on Now posts!
7 Unmissable Art Exhibitions in June
This month’s not to miss choices include some of the most renown group exhibitions in the world, alongside artistic investigations into culture, faith, the unconscious, and the destruction of cultural heritage.
1. Michael Rakowitz
Michael Rakowitz is an Iraqi-American artist best known for his conceptual art, often displayed in unique non-gallery settings. Rakowitz’s work has appeared worldwide and last year he created a piece for Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth as part of his project ‘The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist’. The work is a recreation of a sculpture of a lamassu (a winged bull and protective deity) that stood at the entrance to Nergal Gate of Nineveh, Iraq, from 700 B.C. It was destroyed in 2015 by Islamic State.
Since 2006 Rakowitz has sought to reconstruct more than 8 000 artefacts from the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad that are missing, stolen, destroyed or ‘of status unknown’. As the exhibition explores, the sacking of the museum was, he has said, the first event of the war about which there was a consensus – whether you were for or against the conflict, this was a tragedy.
In What Dust Will Rise (2012), Rakowitz pursues creativity from destruction in another context; working with Afghan artisans, Rakowitz honours Jewish and German libraries destroyed in World War II by carving stone books from the ruins of the Bamiyan Buddhas. By uncovering unexpected connections and stories, Michael Rakowitz’s art explores uncomfortable truths, erasure and invisibility across cultures.
This exhibition is showing at the Whitechapel Gallery until 25 August 2019.
2. The 251st Summer Exhibition
Following on from last years Summer Exhibition will not be easy; it celebrated the Academy’s 250th anniversary and was the biggest Summer Exhibition in their history. We are, however, in safe hands. Acclaimed British painter Jock McFadyen RA will take the mantle from Grayson Perry to coordinate this year’s Summer Exhibition and it promises to be just as extraordinary as last years.
For those who don’t know, the Summer Exhibition has been run without interruption since 1769 and is the world’s largest open submission art show. It brings together art in all mediums – prints and paintings, film, photography, sculpture, architectural works and more. Around 1,200 works will be on display, most of them for the first time.
Highlights this year will include an animal-themed ‘menagerie’ in the Central Hall, with works by artists including Polly Morgan, Charles Avery and Mat Collishaw. Artist sisters Jane and Louise Wilson RA will curate two galleries, one of which will showcase work exploring light and time. Further artists exhibiting include Jeremy Deller, Marcus Harvey and Tracey Emin RA, and Honorary Academicians Anselm Kiefer, James Turrell and Wim Wenders.
Outside the galleries, international artist Thomas Houseago will take over the RA’s courtyard with a group of large-scale sculptural works, and the exhibition will spill out into nearby Bond Street with a colourful installation of flags featuring work by Michael Craig-Martin RA. There are certain things the Summer Exhibition delivers on every single year: a broad spectrum of art in all mediums, a remarkable mixture of emerging artists and household names, and more to see and explore than any other exhibition you’re likely to visit this year.
The Summmer Exhibition is showing at the Royal Academy of Art until 12 August 2019.
3. Huguette Caland
Shifting between figuration and abstraction, Lebanese artist Huguette Caland’s large, colourful canvases and detailed drawings from the 1970s and 1980s offer a delicate balance between the suggestive and the explicit.
In the 1970s, after moving to Paris from Beirut, Caland achieved artistic recognition with her exuberant and erotically charged paintings that challenged traditional conventions of beauty and desire. The female physique is a recurrent motif in her work, depicted as landscapes or amorphous forms. Caland has often used her own body as a subject, and her self-representation comes from a desire to liberate and control how her own body and the bodies of other women are depicted.
Her first UK solo exhibition will include signature large canvases with bright colours, such as her Bribes de corps (Body Parts) series. Alongside these paintings are Caland’s intricate drawings, which demonstrate her mastery of line. In these works, portraits of friends and lovers transform into landscapes, and landscapes into overtly sexualized body parts.
This exhibition is showing at the Tate St Ives until 1 September 2019.
4. Natalia Goncharova
In the first retrospective of Natalia Goncharova (1881-1962) ever held in the UK, visitors will experience her bold and innovative body of work and be taken on an exploration of her diverse sources and inspirations, from Russian folk art and textiles to modernist trends and beyond.
Goncharova found acclaim early in her career. Aged just 32 she established herself as the leader of the Russian avant-garde with a major exhibition in Moscow in 1913. She then moved to France where she designed costumes and backdrops. She lived in Paris for the rest of her life, becoming a key figure in the city’s vibrant art scene.
Goncharova’s artistic output was immense, wide-ranging and at times controversial. She paraded the streets of Moscow displaying futurist body art and created monumental religious paintings. She took part in avant-garde cinema, experimented with book designs and designed for fashion houses in Moscow and Paris.
This exhibition is showing at the Tate Modern until 8 September 2019.
5. BP Portrait Award 2019
Portraiture is one of the oldest and most important art forms, dating back at least to ancient Egypt. While initially a practical method for records – being the only way to record the appearance of someone – portraits have always been more than just a record.
Portraits have been used to show the power, importance, virtue, beauty, wealth, taste, learning or other qualities of the sitter. They document the context of a time and place, giving clues to later generations about cultures and societies that might be otherwise difficult to understand. For this reason, portraiture remains an essential art form, and the BP Portrait Award reflects the cultural and historic importance of portraiture.
The BP Portrait Award remains the most prestigious portrait painting competition in the world and represents the very best in contemporary practice. 2019 will mark the Portrait Award’s 40th year at the National Portrait Gallery and 30th year of sponsorship by BP. The four portraits in the running for the First Prize are Emma Hopkins’ portrait of her friend Sophie and her pet dog Carla, Sophie and Carla; Quo Vardis? by Massimiliano Pironti, which shows the artist’s 95-year-old grandmother Vincenza Pesoli in her kitchen; Carl-Martin Sandvold’s self-portrait, The Crown, and Charlie Schaffer’s portrait of his close friend, Imara in her Winter Coat. The BP Portrait Award exhibition continues to be an unmissable highlight of the annual art calendar.
This exhibition is showing at the National Portrait Gallery until 20 October 2019.
6. Faith Ringgold
This June the Serpentine Gallery is mounting an exhibition of works by American artist Faith Ringgold. The show celebrates the artist’s 50-year career, which has challenged gender and racial inequality with unwavering directness. Ringgold was born in Harlem in 1930 at the tail end of the Harlem Renaissance, an intense period of cultural creativity spanning fashion, art, music and theatre, which celebrated African American identity.
Among the works going on display are Ringgold’s political paintings, narrative quilts and children’s books. She also made posters for the Black Power movement of the 60s and 70s. Ringgold’s activism didn’t stop at art – in 1973 she co-founded the National Black Feminist Organisation with her then 18-year-old daughter, Michele Wallace. The two led protests against the lack of diversity in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s exhibition programme. Inspirational and challenging, Ringgold’s work is as relevant now as it ever was as she continues to challenge the realities of the American Dream.
This exhibition is showing at the Serpentine Gallery until 8 September 2019.
7. Brilliant Visions: Mescaline, Art, Psychiatry
Brilliant Visions presents drawings and paintings by Surrealist artists who took part in the Guttman-Maclay mescaline experiments of the 1930s. Julian Trevelyan, Basil Beaumont and Herbrand Williams are some of the artists featured next to archival materials and additional artworks from the Bethlem Museum’s collection.
In the 1930s two psychiatrists at the Maudsley Hospital, Dr Eric Guttman and Dr Walter Maclay, encouraged patients suffering from schizophrenia to make art in an attempt to ‘explain themselves’. However, they noted that only a minority of patients had the capacity to translate their hallucinations into pictorial form. These findings led the doctors to invite professional artists from the Surrealist movement to take part in experiments involving the drug mescaline, as it was believed to produce an ‘experimental psychosis’.
For the Surrealist artists, it was an opportunity to delve into the unconscious mind to find creative inspiration. The artistic depictions of the hallucinations – which ranged from ecstatic to terrifying – were understood by the psychiatrists as illustrations of psychopathic states, and used as tools for analysis and classification.
This exhibition is showing at the Bethlem Museum of the Mind until 1 September 2019.
Interesting Upcoming Artist Shows on this Month:
This is a selection of UK art exhibitions in June, including group, solo, artist-led and gallery curated shows, that we think are interesting or unusual in some way. We update this section every week so you know the exhibitions to see now. If you want to submit your own, follow the link at the bottom of this section.
Exhibitions on at the Start of June
POST LUX TENEBRAS (After Light, Darkness)
29 May – 24 June 2019
POST LUX TENEBRAS (After Light, Darkness) is an exhibition of rich and multi-layered works which illustrate Alison Meek’s exploration of the loss of wisdom she perceives in the modern world.
Harking back to the many discoveries of the ancient Greeks, the loss of this knowledge and its rediscovery centuries later, Alison’s exhibition uses a historical lens to explore artistic, scientific and political concepts.
The show will also feature a short film illustrating the background of the pictures.
Tactile Mk.3 ~ An International Showcase of Sign Painters
30 May – 4 June 2019
Tactile aims to spread awareness and celebrate the craft of Sign Painting through an immersive annual event to satisfy letter lovers of all kinds.
This spring, Tactile will be returning to Hackney Road for its third annual event, inviting Sign Painters from across the globe to contribute to Tactile’s Letter Tile Exhibition, which will showcase the work of 50+ guests from the International Sign Painting community. All pieces are one-off, designed and painted by hand, and will be available to purchase.
188 Hackney Road
The Oval Window
29 May – 1 June 2019
Bringing together six artists, The Oval Window explores fictional, historical and mythical figures, using sculpture, film, painting and print to develop new narratives grounded in embodied, relational experience.
The Oval Window refers to a membrane that separates the passage between the inner and outer ear, and to a poem by the avant-garde poet JH Prynne, who pieces together a mosaic of voices drawn from diverse sources, from ancient Chinese poetry to the language of computer programming. In the context of the exhibition, the notion of the aural passage and its evocation of interior corporeal space opens questions of memory, inheritance and the politics of the body in relation to the process of devising new narrative forms.
Gerald Moore Gallery
Bank Job: ‘Big Bang 2’
11 May – 14 July 2019
HSCB (Hoe Street Central Bank) opened in 2018 printing art/money in order to buy up and cancel £1.2M of local predatory debt. In May 2019 this debt was literally exploded in a van in an action/artwork called BIG BANG 2.
Between 11 May and 14 July 2019 Walthamstow’s rebel bank will open its doors to bring home BIG BANG 2. Come to the bank to explore the aftermath of this explosion as the van is made into commemorative coins and the bank becomes a space to imagine and take steps to a fairer society. Witness the project in progress as this community heist of an art project / feature documentary film ‘Bank Job’ reaches its climax. Read our article on the project here..
Hoe Street Central Bank
151—155 Hoe Street
The Jealous Prize
30 May – 23 June 2019
This year The Jealous Prize celebrates its 10th Birthday and to commemorate this milestone, the annual award has been presented to four winners; Lydia Boehm MA Royal College of Art, Alvin Ong MA Royal College of Art, Phillip Reeves MA Goldsmiths and Francisco Rodriguez MA Slade School of Art. The Prize is a residency in Jealous Print Studios, London, to create an exclusive screenprint edition with Jealous’ dedicated Studio Team, and for many winners this is their first experience of creating an edition.
To coincide with the release of these beautiful new editions, Jealous presents a dedicated exhibition featuring each of their screenprints alongside original works, which further explores each artists practice and how it has developed since their graduation in 2018.
53 Curtain Rd
4 June – 9 June 2019
For 6 days, Espacio Gallery will be transformed into a treasure trove of tiny artworks for lovers of the miniature form. The exhibition will comprise of the largest show ever hosted by renowned South African miniaturist Lorraine Loots, showcasing over 900 penny-sized watercolour paintings created over a timespan of 6 years.
Having exhibited in New York, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Chicago, Singapore and Sydney, this will be the artist’s first ever exhibition in the United Kingdom, as well as the first (and only) opportunity to finally look back on the Paintings for Ants story. The exhibition will act as a retrospective of the artist’s expansive collection of miniature paintings created between 2013 and 2019, as well as showcasing 20 of her most recent never-before-seen pieces, known as ‘The London Collection’.
159 Bethnal Green Rd
Exhibitions on in the Middle of June
Awash: An Exhibition With Work by Jo Angell
6 June – 31 July 2019
Jo Angell is an artist and designer working close to North London’s Alexandra Palace. Jo’s recent series of prints and paintings are abstracts, reflecting the interplay of land meeting water. The inspiration has come from landscapes as diverse as the harbours of Iceland to a riverside Essex village. Her images break the world down into bold graphic shapes, and the melding of texture and colour often reflects the interaction between industrial materials and nature.
Of Cabbages and Kings
127 Stoke Newington High St
London N16 0PH
Stella Populis by Blondey
7 June – 31 August 2019
Ronchini Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition ‘Stella Populis’ of 22-year-old Blondey in London; an artist, clothing designer and skateboarder.
The exhibition includes photography, digital illustration and installation, and is a study in the manifestations of super-fanaticism relating to both religion and pop culture in an attempt to draw parallels between the two.
22 Dering St
6 June – 28 June 2019
Trate is a self-taught Canadian figurative artist, working under an alias that refers to the human traits he paints. Painting since his youth, he employs a raw, childlike aesthetic and vivid colour schemes to chronicle the human condition.
The evocative canvases exhibited in Unclaimed Children capture elements of the human condition through a vivid palette of reimagined physical forms. Bereft of any depth of field, the piercing eyes and arresting bodies on the canvases draw the viewer into a humanistic dialogue.
45 Vyner St
Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf: The Daughters of Medusa
30 May – 14 June 2019
Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf, The Daughters of Medusa features bold, figurative paintings of women – both self- portraits and subjects Rebecca knows – inspired by the mythological characterisation of women’s cycles, as well as personal stories and experiences.
She explains: ‘Medusa is a symbol of woman as the other. Beautiful and pure on the one side and monstrous on the other. This image exists in many different forms and is one we’ve carried culturally for millennia. It still shapes our views of womanhood and is inextricably linked with menstruation; the inherent ability to hold the cycle of life and death within oneself.’
Zebra One Gallery
1 Perrin’s Court
6 June – 30 June 2019
Having created artwork since 1995, over the last 24 years, Maser has generated a large and dedicated following in Ireland and abroad. His unique, artistic style draws upon numerous influences including optical art and mid-century art, and is regularly complemented with bold colours, pattern and text, across a variety of mediums.
During his time in London, Maser found himself in search of natural forms to create more balance within his life, and as a way to alleviate anxiety and to regulate sleep patterns. However, his personal interest soon became intrinsically infused with his artistic practice, and led him to creating one of his most considered bodies of work. ‘Taxonomy’ describes the science of investigating and identifying natural organisms.
17 Osborn St
8 June – 1 September 2019
After over ten years and more than one hundred exhibitions, ‘Summer Escape’ will show work from Lombard Street Gallery’s most collected artists. They are delighted to invite you to join us in this celebration of Summer and the freedom that light and line bring to both artists and the audience who enjoy their work.
‘Summer Escape’ will exhibit work from Greg Bottle, Hugh Ribbans, Ruth McDonald, Claire Gill, Graham Ward, Dawn Cole, Anthony Giles, Michael Blaker, Max Angus and Nick Kelly.
Lombard Street Gallery
2 Lombard St
5 June – 29 July 2019
Tillmans’ ninth solo exhibition at the Maureen Paley Gallery focuses on his multifaceted approach to image-making, featuring new and previously unseen works from the mid-1980s to the present day.
Throughout his career, Tillmans has been challenging the potentiality of making pictures. His work has epitomised a new kind of subjectivity in photography, pairing intimacy and playfulness with social critique and the persistent questioning of existing values and hierarchies. Through his seamless integration of genres, subjects, techniques, and exhibition strategies, he has expanded conventional ways of approaching the medium, and his practice continues to address the fundamental question of what it means to create pictures in an increasingly image-saturated world.
Within the ground floor gallery are new Greifbar works, created in the darkroom without negatives or a camera, but purely through the manipulation of light on paper. These Greifbar works mark a shift in the series by employing a new duo-chromatic palette. Another series of Greifbar works that are more intimate in scale and restrained in their palette also punctuate both floors of the gallery.
21 Herald Street
The Origins of British Landscape
1 June – 8 September 2019
Featuring masterpieces by artists including Thomas Gainsborough and George Stubbs from two private collections, the exhibition will show how landscape painting first emerged as a genre in the 18th century, coinciding with a rise in landscape gardening and scenic tourism.
The exhibition, which also features work by Claude Lorrain, Joshua Reynolds, Mathias Read and George Smith of Chichester, is the first to open at The Auckland Project’s new Bishop Trevor Gallery in Auckland Castle, with the Castle itself due to open fully to the public later this year following a major conservation programme.
The Auckland Project
14 June – 16 June 2019
‘The Unvoiced exhibition brings together a group of artists from a variety of backgrounds. We have several artists over 40, a majority of female artists with a strong feminist ethos, artists who have used their art to deal with their mental health issues, queer artists who don’t conform to gender stereotypes and different nationalities all under one historical roof. The St Augustine Tower has such an interesting story and a very particular atmosphere. It is great venue to bring this show to the attention of the capital’s art lovers. London, and especially Hackney, is the perfect location for a show that wants to celebrate diversity and to help give artist who might still be under-represented in the art world a voice.’ Fabienne Jenny Jacquet, Curator.
The St Augustine Tower is managed by Hackney Building Trust and this year it is providing artists and creatives in general with a space for exhibitions, residencies, talks and other cultural activities.
Pedro Miguel Baeta | Rachel Campbell | Fabienne Jenny Jacquet | Anna Kenneally | Claire Mariette | Rosielea | Jennifer Smith | Noriko Watanabe | Chloe Wing
St. Augustine’s Tower
All At Sea
14 June – 16 June 2019
Hannah Scott and Maria Macc, explore our relationship with the sea through a collaborative, site-specific installation, at The Crypt, St John on Bethnal Green Church. Two diverse views of working on the sea are brought together, as observed by Hannah on board one of the world’s largest container ships and by Maria experiencing the fishing practices of the Cornish fishermen. The connecting point is the sea and how vital it is to the livelihoods of the people observed and as an everyday superhighway supporting all our lifestyles. The work aims to encourage people to reflect on the wider impact of consumer culture on the natural environment.
St John on Bethnal Green
200 Cambridge Heath Road
21 June – 25 June 2019
Jelly art group is back at Pie Factory Margate this June, featuring exciting new work by artists Karen Crosby, Elizabeth Burman, Claire Manning and Ruth Payne. Working both collaboratively and individually, the four artists will exhibit work made in response to four found objects, one object for each artist. Once again, JELLY will show work in diverse mediums, from drawing, collage and print to photography, projection and installation.
5 Broad St
13 June – 6 July 2019
The James Freeman Gallery are pleased to present ‘Another Country’, an exhibition about the use of the past as an imaginative space. The show features work from Ray Caesar, Olivia Kemp, James Mortimer, Christopher Noulton, and Guillermo Martin Bermejo. We had the pleasure of interviewing James Mortimer recently – you can read it here.
James Freeman Gallery
354 Upper Street
Exhibitions on at the End of June
Don’t Panic by Samuel Jablon
21 June – 1 July 2019
Ballon Rouge Collective is excited to present American artist Samuel Jablon’s ‘Don’t Panic’ curated by Francesca Gavin. It is Samuel’s second solo exhibition with B.R.C., and his first ever in London.
Samuel deconstructs language into objects. His approach to narrative and structure is intentionally inventive and fragmentary. Vibrant, colourful canvases are covered in words or phrases that can be assembled, reassembled and taken apart. Yet they still retain some sense of meaning. The small canvases that make up the exhibition echo the intimacy of the book page or the spoken word. The content is captured from his experience of urban space, particularly in New York City. The artist notes down snippets of conversation, advertising slogans and social phrases which become the starting point for series of paintings that expose the emotional litmus of the city, and play with the history and experience of painting itself.
French Riviera 1988
309 Bethnal Green Road
24 June – 30 June 2019
A retrospective selection of contemporary painting and drawing by Peter Clossick, from 1980 to 2019. Connecting with what is perhaps the most basic sense of all, a tactile sensation leading from the visual image that reaches out to the viewer.
The Cello Factory
33-34 Cornwall Road
18 June – 23 June 2019
Perspectives is a vibrant exhibition presented by a group of national and international artists. Each artist creates art through their own personal prism. Their themes range from the personal to the seeking of the universal. Their styles, materials and techniques vary but all offer us a unique artistic expression and strive to show us the world from their own unique perspective.
The exhibition offers a diverse range of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, mixed media and installation.
Tess Barlow, Héloïse Bergman, Amy-Leigh Bird, Ben Chandler, Magdalena Del Mar, Fred Fabre, Karolina Jonc Buczek, Ruth Hart, Delia Keddie, S.R. Jimmy, Elisabeth López Saiz, Liz Purkis, Alison Stirling, Adeline Timis, Adam Turk, Raya Yordanova, Thomas Young.
159 Bethnal Green Rd
Hold the line: an examination into the evolution of explanation
24 June – 30 June 2019
Benjamin Parker’s work examines the socio-political and cultural constructs developed to create the illusion of dominance or ownership over nature and the environment – ranging from scientific classification and exploration to rituals of ownership through naming, from religion to revised evolution through man-made (un-natural) selection.
Using a subtly balanced fusion of historic and culturally informed iconography, process and materials, the body of work on show examines current answers to social, cultural and environmental issues against a backdrop of primal questions such as origin, evolution and legacy. It records our self-appointed elevation from nature and at the same time feels the truth of its echoes in our ‘civilised’ constructs. It charts our journey of constant certainty and temporal explanation.
ArtWorks Project Space – Blackhorse Lane Studios
114 Blackhorse Lane
Realf Heygate: Acheiropoieta
21 June – 26 July 2019
In what will be the artist’s first solo show – Realf Heygate (b. 1994, Leicester) obtained his BA (First Class Honours) in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins in 2017
‘Acheiropoieta are religious idols that appear miraculously, independent of the human hand. As truthful representations of their divine subject, most commonly the holy face, acheiropoieta act as the authoritative image from which subsequent copies can be authentically made. The contemporary model of image distribution resurrects this notion. As technology renders the origin ever more irretrievable, the miraculous and the mechanical become indistinguishable. Digital images travel through seemingly alchemic devices. Where the origin eludes us, we can interpret this as little else than magic. In their ubiquity, these devices, and the images they proliferate, become a focus of popular devotion. It is in their disavowal of human mediation that acheiropoieta are revived.’
JD Malat Gallery
30 Davies Street
Echoes of Light
21 June – 20 July 2019
Los Angeles-based artist Andy Moses is set to make his London debut with his solo exhibition, Echoes of Light at JD Malat Gallery. Curated by Larry Bell, one of America’s most renowned and influential artists, Echoes of Light will feature a selection of concave paintings, alongside Andy’s newest circle and hexagonal pieces created especially for the London showcase.
JD Malat Gallery
30 Davies Street
If you want to find out about more exhibitions that are on near you, or if you are feeling inspired to try something new, search our Exhibition and Artist Opportunity Calendar by region to find an event for you.
Let us know about your exhibition by filling out the form at the bottom of the page and we may include it in one of our Art Exhibitions on Now posts.
all images are copyright of the artist unless otherwise stated