Here you can find all of our recommended art exhibitions that are on in July. 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 on in July
This month’s not to miss choices include summer blockbusters and American cultural icons, plus works inspired by some of the greatest British painters.
1. Cutting Edge: Modernist British Printmaking
This fascinating exhibition explores ten pioneering printmakers who played a key role in the story of Modern art. In the first major show of work from the Grosvenor School of Modern Art, Cutting Edge brings together 120 prints, drawings and posters from Claude Flight and a number of his leading students including Sybil Andrews, Cyril Power, Lill Tschudi, William Greengrass and Leonard Beaumont.
The Grosvenor School of Modern Art became a leading force in the production and promotion of modern printmaking works – particularly linocuts. The school taught a foundation in art history, with each artist lecturing on their speciality. Flight lectured on the art of linocutting and Cyril Power on architecture. The young Sybil Andrews was the School Secretary.
The Grosvenor artists were renowned for their iconic, vibrant prints that championed the energy of contemporary life in the interwar period. This exhibition explores and champions the medium of the block-print linocut, which Claude Flight described as ‘an art of the people’ due to its affordability and accessibility. Influenced by the radical expressions of Futurism, Vorticism and Cubism, the Grosvenor School found its own unique interpretation of the contemporary world, incorporating art deco elements, geometric style and a vivid palette. Their prints still carry a wonderful sense of the excitement and movement of life which has translated seamlessly into the 21st century.
This exhibition is showing at the Dulwich Picture Gallery until 8 September 2019.
2. Igniting Sight: Contemporary Artists Inspired by JMW Turner
JMW Turner has provided an inspirational and aspirational artistic landscape to artists ever since his talent was first recognised. The Victorian critic John Ruskin described Turner as the artist who could most ‘stirringly and truthfully measure the moods of nature’ – Turner’s work still continues to inspire in the same way. By 1910 a wing of the National Gallery of British Art (now Tate Britain) housed his national bequest. In 1984 the annual Turner Prize was named in his honour, and in 2011 the Turner Contemporary gallery opened in Margate. In 2016 Turner’s image was chosen by the Bank of England to appear on the £20 note, honouring his profound contribution to British art.
Turner’s influence beyond the art world is staggering, but it is his influence on practising artists that this exhibition focuses on. Igniting Sight explores the ways in which his influence lives on in contemporary landscape painting, particularly in the work of six artists, all of whom to some extent belong in the great English Romantic tradition which began with Turner’s paintings.
One example is Alex Lowery, an artist known for painting in West Bay, as well as Portland and a select few other places. Turner’s sketches for his West Bay painting (c. 1828) are of particular interest to Lowery: ‘A few lines serve to evoke a stretch of coast that is instantly, and movingly, recognisable after more than 200 years.’ Lowery is aware that he looks for the still point, or what he calls ‘an essence, a kind of unchanging distillation,’ rather than for the drama of a landscape. Lowery’s own use of colour, his juxtaposition of solid land, of regular modern manmade buildings or street furniture against his broad translucent skies, certainly evoke such sensations.
Igniting Sight includes work by Fred Cuming RA, Luke Elwes, Vanessa Gardiner, Frances Hatch, Janette Kerr PPRWA RSA Hon, Alex Lowery, Richard Batterham and Petter Southall.
This exhibition is showing at the Sladers Yard Gallery until 8 September 2019.
3. Keith Haring
Keith Haring was a key part of the legendary New York art scene of the 1980s and was hugely inspired by graffiti, pop art and underground club culture. Through clean lines, bold colour and simple images, Haring’s work communicated his compulsion to speak for his generation. His art responds to urgent issues including political dictatorship, racism, homophobia, drug addiction, AIDS awareness, capitalism, and the environment. By the mid-1980s he had befriended fellow artists Andy Warhol, Kenny Scharf, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Haring’s style gave new life to figuration in painting, in contrast to the more abstract and conceptual approaches of the previous generation, and the more expressionistic gestural painting of his contemporaries. Haring designed record covers for RUN DMC and David Bowie, directed a music video for Grace Jones and developed a fashion line with Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. In doing so, he introduced his art and ideas to as many people as possible, removing the reliance on traditional gallery spaces.
Throughout his career, Haring devoted much of his time to public works, which often carried social messages. He produced more than 50 public artworks between 1982 and 1989 in dozens of cities around the world, many of which were created for charities, hospitals, day care centres and orphanages.
This exhibition is the first of its kind in the UK and shows more than 85 artworks by Haring, including large, vibrant paintings and drawings. Also on display are posters, photographs and videos that capture the vibrancy of New York street culture in the 1980s.
This exhibition is showing at the Tate Liverpool until 10 November 2019.
4. María Berrío, Caroline Walker, Flora Yukhnovich
This summer Victoria Miro is presenting an exhibition featuring three exciting young artists who rethink traditional genres, touching upon themes of migration, the workplace, and the gendered language of painting.
In her large-scale paintings, London-based artist Flora Yukhnovich adopts the language of Rococo. Yukhnovich brings classically-inspired painterly traditions into a more consciously feminine and contemporary real, highlighted by the wisps of millennial pinks and purples. Existing in a fluctuating state between abstraction and figuration, Yukhnovich’s paintings are deeply captivating and instantly recognisable.
Caroline Walker is a Scottish-born, London-based painter who focuses on intimate portrayals of women at work in domestic and public spaces, including hotel maids, office workers and shop assistants. Walker’s subjects possess a unique psychological intensity; we come across them almost as intruders into their world, witnessing narratives hinted at but never fully told. Walker complicates the traditional idea of ‘woman as subject’ while illuminating the overlooked subject of the workplace in contemporary painting.
María Berrío grew up in Colombia and is now based in Brooklyn. Her large-scale works, carefully crafted from layers of Japanese paper, reflect on cross-cultural connections and global migration seen through the prism of her own history. Populated predominantly by women, Berrío’s art often appears to propose spaces of refuge or safety, utopias inspired in part by South American folklore, where humans and nature coexist in harmony.
This exhibition is showing at the Victoria Miro Gallery until 27 July 2019.
5. Kiss My Genders
Kiss My Genders is a group exhibition celebrating more than 30 international artists whose work explores and engages with gender identity. It brings together over 100 artworks by more than 30 artists from across the world, all of whom approach gender not as a fixed set of categories, but rather as something to be challenged, reconsidered and in some cases rejected altogether.
Working across photography, painting, sculpture, installation and video, many of the artists move beyond a conventional understanding of the body and in doing so open up new possibilities for gender, beauty and representations of the human form. As well as addressing gender identity, many of the artworks in this exhibition explore subjects that include national and cultural identity, ethnicity and religious beliefs. The exhibition includes new and site-specific works by Chitra Ganesh, Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings and Jenkin van Zyl.
Ajamu, Travis Alabanza, Amrou Al-Kadhi & Holly Falconer, Lyle Ashton Harris, Sadie Benning, Nayland Blake, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Flo Brooks, Luciano Castelli, Jimmy DeSana, Jes Fan, Chitra Ganesh, Martine Gutierrez, Nicholas Hlobo, Peter Hujar, Juliana Huxtable, Joan Jett Blakk, Tarek Lakhrissi, Zoe Leonard, Ad Minoliti, Pierre Molinier, Kent Monkman, Zanele Muholi, Catherine Opie, Planningtorock, Christina Quarles, Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings, Hunter Reynolds, Athi-Patra Ruga, Tejal Shah, Victoria Sin, Jenkin van Zyl and Del LaGrace Volcano.
This exhibition is showing at the Southbank Centre until 8 September 2019.
6. Serpentine Pavilion 2019
The Serpentine’s annual commission provides a global platform for experimental projects by some of the world’s greatest architects and artists – this year is no exception. A flowing canopy roof of slates decorates the pristine gardens of London’s Serpentine Galleries, supported by a forest of slim columns. The cavernous space is the galleries’ 2019 Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami.
Ishigami is celebrated for his experimental structures that interpret traditional architectural conventions and reflect natural phenomena. His philosophy explores pushing the boundaries of what is possible in architecture, by challenging existing architectural methodologies and proposing alternatives.
You can visit the Serpentine Galleries anytime and see the Pavilion until 6 October 2019.
7. Francis Bacon: Couplings
Considered one of the most influential British painters of the post-war period, Bacon’s disturbing images radically altered the genre of figurative painting in the twentieth century. Bacon is best known for his searing and raw depictions of popes, crucifixions, and portraits of close friends. The human presence is evoked sometimes viscerally, at other times more fleetingly, in the form of a shadow or a blurred figure. In certain instances, the portrayal takes the form of a composite in which bodily traits are transposed or fused.
This exhibition explores a theme that preoccupied Bacon throughout his career: the relationship between two people, both physical and psychological. At the heart of the exhibition are two rarely seen images: Two Figures (1953) and Two Figures in the Grass (1954). These interrelated works have not been seen publicly together since the major retrospective of Bacon’s work at the Grand Palais, Paris, in 1971. After completing Two Figures in the Grass, Bacon did not return to the subject until 1967, the year that homosexual acts in private were decriminalized in England and Wales. That same year he painted Two Figures on a Couch (1967) – this work was last exhibited in London in 1968 and is also included in Couplings.
This exhibition is showing at the Gagosian London until 3 August 2019.
Interesting Upcoming Artist Shows on this Month:
This is a selection of UK art exhibitions, 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 July
Mao Jianhua: The Spirit of the Valley
27 June – 7 July 2019
Chinese artist and entrepreneur Mao Jianhua will present a new series of 48 works on specially commissioned handmade paper at Saatchi Gallery, London.
The exhibition showcases a series of landscape ink paintings created on Xuan paper, a material handmade from the Sandalwood tree which has traditionally been used for writing and painting. Varying in size with several large scale works, the paintings immerse the viewer in Mao Jianhua’s spiritual exploration of nature and his time spent in the Chinese mountains.
The Fall: A Woman’s Descent into the Unconscious | Daniela Yohannes
28 June – 20 July 2019
Daniela Yohannes’ rich and layered works are full of complex narratives and symbolism. They transport the viewer to an alternative universe where life and human nature are in a constant dialogue in search of a better world. The dark, unclothed figures, stripped of their social context, are juxtaposed against the black and richly coloured backgrounds hinting at the possibilities of an alternative universe.
The artist invites the viewer to question not only the identity and social context of the painted figures, but also their own identity and position in society, re-imagine the predetermined terms of their existence.
Addis Fine Art
47 – 50 Margaret Street
ALPHA male: Tim Fowler
7 July – 21 July 2019
This July Tim Fowler will host a solo exhibition of a brand new body of work focusing on family, fatherhood and a mans role in the contemporary household.
The exhibition will consist of several paintings, some scaling over 6ft tall, depicting intimate family scenes, stolen moments alone and the adorable bond between the artists’ twin daughters. Throughout this project Tim has developed a more liberated style of painting, creating deconstructed images by utilizing abstract marks and his signature colour palette to express candid family moments. These subvert ideas of a males role within a contemporary household and, in Tim’s case, a female-dominated home.
Tim explains, ‘Since becoming a father the twins have obviously taken centre stage, and the dynamic between them has always fascinated me. Though they are two individuals and have their own little quirks, they are also always together and almost make up one entity. Capturing that distinct relationship between the two of them has been central to this project.’
2 Brougham St
11 July – 14 July 2019
Seema will be showing a series of five paintings inspired by Thomas Cole’s Course of Empire and based on her experiences as a town planner in London. Thomas Cole’s original series painted between 1835-1836 charts the history of an imaginary nation, clearly alluding to the rise and fall of ancient Rome but addressing issues he saw for America and London at that time. Like Cole, Manchanda considers the cyclical nature of history, whether or not we repeat mistakes and where power is held. She explores the changing form of cities over time, our persistent fears about the state of the world, economies, allegiances, technology, war, climate change, control or lack of it.
Art Academy – London Diploma Show 2019
155 Walworth Road
Elephant and Castle
Street Art Festival 2019
28 June – 20 July 2019
This Summer at Surface Gallery sees the return of the most anarchic, the most spectacular show in town: the Nottingham Street Art Festival. This hugely popular exhibition supports and promotes Nottingham’s vibrant alternative art scene by showcasing some of today’s best local talent.
The exhibition will occupy their three-story building and feature a salon-style hang with artwork packed from floor to ceiling. The central exhibition spills out onto the alley walls at the back of the gallery where you’ll discover work by some of Nottingham’s finest.
16 Southwell Road
6 June – 27 July 2019
Finding inspiration in the digital and the natural world, Matthieu Leger presents oil paintings that collide and merge both environments together. In doing so, he creates a new realm where the digital and the natural co-exist in figurative representations, broken digital abstractions and explosions of colour.
Exhibitions on in the Middle of July
10 July – 3 October 2019
Kentaro Okawara’s debut UK solo exhibition unveils a new series of painting, sculpture and drawing that explore the theme of love through symmetry and the artist’s unique yet universal language.
The exhibition continues Okawara’s long-held belief that making art is an expression of love and a means to connect with each other. Throughout the show, the notion of ‘connecting’ manifests in a variety of ways; literally through the act of embracing referenced in the title, visually through Okawara’s focus on symmetry, and intelligibly through universal motifs.
17 Amhurst Terrace
2 July – 7 July 2019
Connections at Espacio Gallery showcases new work from a hugely diverse national and international group of artists living and working in the UK and invites visitors to explore the personal, social and artistic interconnections between them and their work.
The exhibition combines photography, printmaking, painting and mixed media in a human network connected and separated by geography, language, culture and collaboration.
159 Bethnal Green Rd
Mathe Shepheard RBSA: Japan revisited in the mind
1 July – 17 August 2019
This exhibition features watercolour and Indian ink paintings inspired by Mathe’s travels to Japan twenty years ago.
4 Brook St
The Summer Show 2019
4 July – 12 July 2019
The Summer Show 2019 will showcase a selection of multidisciplinary national and international artists with the opportunity for visitors to buy the exhibited artworks.
La Galleria Pall Mall
5b Pall Mall
30 Royal Opera Arcade
Royal Society of British Artists 2019
4 July – 14 July 2019
The exhibition is sourced from member artists and through open submission, to produce works of the highest standard brought together in an eclectic mix of style and media. The show also includes entries from the finalists for the Society’s prestigious Rome Scholarship award, as well as work produced by the recipient of the Rome Scholarship from the previous year.
The Mall Galleries
ART-EXIT: 1939 – A Very Different Europe
17 July – 11 September 2019
1939 saw a very different Europe and this exhibition shines a spotlight on the forced journeys of many of central Europe’s most distinguished, talented and pioneering artists, who escaped tyranny in search of artistic and personal freedoms. The exhibition features émigrés from European countries including Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Russia by artists including Jankel Adler, Frank Auerbach, Martin Bloch, Marc Chagall, Hans Feibusch, Eva Frankfurther, Lucian Freud, Henryk Gotlib, George Grosz, Josef Herman, Oskar Kokoschka, Heinz Koppel, Else Meidner, Ludwig Meidner, Kurt Schwitters, Chaïm Soutine, Elisabeth Tomalin, Feliks Topolski and Harry Weinberger.
The majority of works are drawn from the Ben Uri Collection, complemented by a small number of works from private collections.
12 Star Gallery
32 Smith Square
FPS at the Muse 2019
16 July – 21 July 2019
The Free Painters and Sculptors are back again at the Muse Gallery for their annual Summer Exhibition.
FPS at the Muse 2019 will feature ethereal landscapes from Alex McIntyre and Leila Godden and portraiture from Ben Wilson. Illustrative and abstract paintings will come from Michael Hempstead, George Antoni, Gosia Lapsa-Malawska and guest artist Bina Shah. Louisa Crispin will be showcasing some delicate and intricate drawings and there will be a variety of striking and thought-provoking printmaking and photography from Mark Welland, Tim Major and Gabriel and John Parfitt.
Sculpture as always plays a prominent role and this year will feature abstract works from Alex Harley, Henryk Terpilowski, Sarah Choi, Simon Probyn and Richard Farrington whilst also featuring a particularly topical piece by Kevin Vincenz.
The Muse Gallery
269 Portobello Rd
Christopher P Wood | 10 Year Retrospective
22 June – 21 July 2019
Leeds born artist Christopher P Wood is one of the most prolific, driven and talented artists in the UK. He is constantly exploring methods, media and themes and his work ranges from large canvases, books and monoprints to pottery and much else. This 10-year retrospective will give Goldmark visitors a chance to both catch breath and catch up with Wood’s prolific output and also take an exhilarating journey through a decade of his work.
The Goldmark Gallery
14 Orange Street
New Gallery: Society of Wood Engravers
22 June – 20 July 2019
This exhibition is a showcase for some of the best wood engravings from Britain and around the world. The prints are chosen from an open submission and include other relief prints – linocuts and woodcuts. Whilst contemporary wood engravers all use the same tools and techniques as those developed over 200 years ago, the prints display a huge variety of personal interpretations and styles.
Back Road West
The Real: Three Propositions
10 July – 25 August 2019
This exhibition presents paintings and drawings by Peter Dreher, Konrad Klapheck and Des Lawrence, all of whom use precise, figurative styles to depict people, places and things.
These artists merge realms of appearance and consciousness to varying degrees in their work, intermixing objectivity and subjectivity as they conjure things and their meanings in two dimensions. At a time when images and information, factual and fictional, circulate instantaneously, they ask the viewer to slow down and to consider how matter and mind intertwine when the world is re-envisioned.
White Cube, Bermondsey
144 – 152 Bermondsey Street
Alan Wilson: A Short Period of Calm
7 July – 28 July 2019
An exhibition of new paintings by Alan Wilson.
Shipton Street Gallery is a small and intimate unique gallery placed in the heart of the art world of East London. Close to Shoreditch and Brick Lane, it is located off Columbia Road where the Sunday Flower market attracts large numbers of visitors.
Shipton Street Gallery
Exhibitions on at the End of July
Paul Lemmon: The Blink of an Eye
15 July – 27 July 2019
Paul Lemmon’s paintings are made using photographic and media source material. In this curated and revised collection, we see him exploring a ‘snap-shot aesthetic’ that predates the era of the selfie.
Paul’s paintings are executed with the canvas lying flat on the floor, built up in rapid layers of vigorous, bold strokes of oil paint. The almost cinematic compositions are made up of a mixture of his own photography and movie stills as source material and are characterised by close cropping, vivid colour, and movement.
Graham Hunter Gallery
81 Baker Street
Makers Mark – Selected Group Show
13 July – 24 August 2019
From brush strokes to fingerprints, drips and dribbles to chisel or saw marks, Cupola Contemporary Art is looking to explore the hand of the maker in the work. Leaving behind the slick high tech polish, we are looking for artists and makers who embrace the raw and unfiltered. For those who like to let the means of production shine through.
Artists taking part include:
Alysia Webster, Ann Bates, Barry Cottrell, Brian Holland, Beca Beeby, Clee Claire Lee, Deiniol Williams, Emma-Jane Rule, Fleur Simon, Hilary Cartmel, Jacqui Gallon, John Brokenshire, John Pedder, Julia Poulton, Karen Sherwood, Lin Cheung, Melissa Montague, Miguel Sopena, Milena Xenaki, Modern Floss – Charlotte Taylor, Molly Goldwater, Paul Morley, Pauline Rignall, Rebeka, Sara Szigethy, Sam Lander, Sonia Tyrna, Stathis Dimitriadis
178 Middlewood Road
Lucy Andrews | Silver Darlings
19 July – 25 July 2019
Presenting a collection of paintings investigating historical, unrecognised low paid or hidden jobs held by women such as work by women in the fish processing industries or mining industries. Herring, sometimes called silver darlings‚ were, gutted and salted by women working in groups of three or four each group packing one barrel at a time. Despite the difficult working conditions the herring industry gave these women huge amounts of independence to travel and work.
Using metal as a surface helps to manipulate qualities of flatness and three dimensionality while offering moments of self-reflection and dialogue around industry and manufacture.
The Asylum Art Gallery
21 Chapel Ash
19 July – 21 July 2019
The exhibition responds to ideas of home and domestic settings as a point of departure, and features works by Genevieve Slater (Manchester), Eleanor Duffin (Bristol), Daniel Sean Kelly (Leicester) and Katie Schwab (London).
East Bristol Contemporary
Trinity Arts Centre
Adult Entertainment: Adelina Sasnauskaite
18 July – 25 July 2019
A selection of paintings and drawings explore the often absurd and hyperbolised image of female sexuality within consumerist context.
‘As a young girl, I have always been aware of the eroticism that surrounds us. I find a weird sort of amusement in the absurd and often hyperbolised depiction of erotica and sexuality – it seems like our everyday lives are surrounded by it whether we choose so or not. Sexualised female form has always been the main selling point for the consumerist society – mass media, music, fashion etc. But mostly what interest me is how all these things like sex, the notion of sexuality, erotica, lust and so on are all portrayed through female body form. How a certain pose or gesture of the female body plays with the subconsciousness of a viewer in order do sell the product.
I was never able to make out what my views on all this were so therefore, I started collecting, drawing and juxtaposing imagery together as my own way of interpreting the visual world surrounding me rather than trying to understand it or confine myself in certain ways of perceiving it.’
7 Roach Road
Age Is Just A Number
18 July – 9 August 2019
Featuring the work of nonagenarian Kathleen Hyndman and 21-year-old Alyssa Dabbs, this exhibtion is a celebration of artists of all generations. The binding theme is quality and that is what unites these wonderful artists. We are also exhibiting the work of mid-career artist Frances Aviva Blane and new work by ceramicist Nadine Bell for what will be their summer exhibition at Zuleika Gallery.
3rd Floor, 6 Masons Yard
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