Curated guide

What to see at London Gallery Weekend
By Barry Pierce | Art | 30 May 2024
Above:

Nan Goldin, Colette with her photo collection, Boston, 1973. © Nan Goldin, courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

London Gallery Weekend is upon us and, as always, the choice of galleries and exhibitions to visit across the city is almost breathtaking. The largest event of its kind in the world, this weekend 134 galleries across London will open their doors and launch their summer exhibitions. It is an opportunity to make a day out of visiting many of the smaller galleries that make up the backbone of London’s art scene. But, of course, there is the question of where to even begin!

Our guide to London Gallery Weekend splits the city into its three major gallery districts, Central, East and South, and handpicks the shows you simply cannot miss.

Central

John Baldessari: Ahmedabad 1992
Sprüth Magers
31 May – 27 July 2024

John Baldessari, a pioneer of American Conceptualism, continually challenged clichés and explored the expectations shaping how we perceive art works. Drawing from a breadth of sources – advertising, film culture, Marcel Duchamp, and Ludwig Wittgenstein – he created absurdist, complex yet accessible juxtapositions. Sprüth Magers presents Ahmedabad 1992, a solo exhibition of an alluring series of mixed media assemblages Baldessari produced during his residency in India. For the first time in decades, a selection from this unique period in the artist’s oeuvre will be on view at the London gallery.

Harmony Korine: AGGRESSIVE DR1FTER Part II
Hauser & Wirth
9 May – 17 July 2024

Best known for writing the script for Larry Clark’s cult classic Kids and for directing Gummo and Julien Donkey-Boy, Harmony Korine has been a central figure in transgressive art for thirty years. In a second chapter to Korine’s 2023 exhibition, AGGRESSIVE DR1FTER, at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, this new exhibition in London features a series of paintings drawn from his newly released film Aggro Dr1ft, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2023 and was notably shot using infrared cameras. These hallucinatory works, like his films, blur the boundaries between ‘high’ and ‘low’ in ways that simultaneously attract and repel viewers with their hypnotic, otherworldly atmosphere.

Hajime Sorayama: I, Robot
Almine Rech
30 May – 27 July 2024

For over four decades, the Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama has been creating hyper-realistic paintings of sexy robot women. His ongoing Sexy Robots series ponders the alluring, intimidating imagery of a cyborg human, merging woman and droid, fleshy anatomy and flashy armour, in a cheeky and unsettling continuum from the Hollywood pin-up to the fantastical future. I, Robot at Almine Rech takes its name from the Isaac Asimov story of the same name, a fable about the allure and potential ramifications of perfecting humanity through sentient technology.

Sir John Akomfrah: The Secret Life of Memorable Things
Cork Street Galleries
24 May – November 2024

Following Sir John Akomfrah’s presentation at the Venice Biennale, his new work, The Secret Life of Memorable Things consists of five lines of double-sided banners across Cork Street in Central London. Totalling 30 individual artworks, they are, in Sir John’s words, “a way of bringing a slice of the Venice Biennale presentation to London.”

Nan Goldin: Nan Goldin
Gagosian, Burlington Arcade
14 May – 22 June 2024

An exhibition of Goldin’s earliest works, these photographs date from 1972 to 1974 and inspired the direction of her work for the subsequent fifty years. The black-and-white images commemorate Goldin’s closest friends, members of Boston’s transgender community. Goldin depicted them in a shared apartment and at one of her favourite places, The Other Side, the city’s most prominent drag club and one of the only queer spaces that existed in Boston at the time.

GALLERY

East

Cara Benedetto: WGW
Rose Easton
10 May – 15 June 2024

Cara Benedetto’s WGW examines the construction of white victimhood in media. A series of psychotically fangirled prints combine images of popular US actors playing UK royals – Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana and Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth – with text describing the ontology of White Girl Wasted. A large vinyl depicting the conservative groups Moms for Liberty, United Daughters of the Confederacy, and members of the British royal family serve as a backdrop to a short PowerPoint video looping an exchange between Queen Elizabeth and Hilary Clinton at a raging kegger.

Boscoe Holder and Geoffrey Holder: Boscoe Holder | Geoffrey Holder
Victoria Miro
31 May – 27 July 2024

Shown in tandem for the first time, exhibitions by Boscoe (1921–2007) and his younger brother Geoffrey (1930–2014) foreground the siblings as painters against the significance of their achievements in theatre, dance, and film. Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Boscoe and Geoffrey Holder were true polymaths whose groundbreaking careers in the visual and performing arts led them individually to the UK, where Boscoe settled in 1950, and the US, where Geoffrey made his home in 1953, and to wider international acclaim.

Christiane Peschek: The Girls Club
Annka Kultys Gallery
31 May – 27 July 2024

At Annka Kultys Gallery, Austrian artist Christiane Peschek presents a suite of digitally-manipulated selfies that reflect the uncanny powers of a femme face that refuses recognition. Thirteen meticulously-crafted hand-dyed silk works mounted to aluminium frames are enshrined by a black vinyl wall installation that bears the phrase “The Girls Club”. The images, which are all characterized by deep-fried edits to a series of self-portraits taken on the artist’s iPhone, collapse the face into an abstract field of material data, one that can refuse the superstructures of capital and identity that augured it.

GALLERY

South

Jade de Montserrat: In Defence of Our Lives
Bosse & Baum
31 May – 15 June 2024

Jade de Montserrat’s second solo exhibition for Bosse & Baum, In Defence of Our Lives, brings together works on paper that combine text and fractured images of bodies to voice experiences of exploitation and violation. Unapologetic yet vulnerable, the show interrogates issues of reproductive justice, race and trauma, and relates to plights for liberation through small works and large-scale works on paper, the latter of which form the unfinished Cobalt Folio.

Amy Beager: Slow Blink
Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Tower Bridge
31 May – 6 July 2024

Amy Beager’s latest solo exhibition at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery was made in a period of grief, following the loss of her cat Ashitaka. In a series of vividly coloured, otherworldly spaces we encounter a woman and her cat, the boundaries between their bodies blurred to evoke states of transformation and interconnectedness. Drawing on personal memories and fluctuating emotions, these tender paintings trace their relationship and Beager’s experience of mourning while also exploring our wider connection to nature and the spiritual realm.

GALLERY

All info about the galleries partaking in London Gallery Weekend, along with curated walks and maps, can be found here.


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