The Best Art and Design Exhibitions to Visit in London this Summer
Must-see exhibitions from the Serpentine, Barbican, Design Museum and more.
As we firmly enter into the summer season, we’re seeing a number of immersive events and pop-ups taking place across London. More and more art and design exhibitions are opening up showcasing the effects of lockdown, offering responses to socio-economic and political events and asking thought-provoking questions in regards to the current climate change crisis. From Angela Santana‘s namesake exhibition at Saatchi Yates to 180 Strand’s “Future Shock,” we’ve rounded up some of the most exciting art and design exhibitions taking place this summer.
Continue scrolling to find out more about our must-see exhibitions for the year.
Seventeen Gallery, East London
Inspired by pandemic living, “You’re On Mute” is a new series of work by Emily Perry made in response to the lockdowns of 2021 and 2022. Developed for a single female performer, the works occupy a gallery space at Seventeen Gallery and consist of domestic objects and large bean bags upholstered in fabric found on public transport. Performed by Roberta Bernadelli, “You’re On Mute” sees the artist exploring the effects of lockdown on womxn, utilizing phrases commonly heard on video calls to engage individual audience members. Elsewhere, the performer can be seen blow-drying her hair or taking part in performative yoga sessions.
DATE: July 8, 2022 — July 10, 2022
LOCATION: 270-276 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4DG
Japan House, London
“Symbiosis” explores the idea that an extraordinary living art project is transforming the island’s landscape and lives of its inhabitants. The project draws inspiration from the “Inujima Art House Project,” an innovative scheme in the Seto Inland Sea which brings together artists with the local population. Aiming to use art and creativity to breathe life back into a diminishing island, “Symbiosis” looks to enrich the lives of its inhabitants.
DATE: May 21, 2022 – September 4, 2022
LOCATION: 101-111 Kensington High St, London W8 5SA
Design Museum, London
The latest exhibition from the Design Museum brings together the work of the 2021/22 Design Researchers in Residence, including Thomas Aquilina, Delfina Fantini van Ditmar, Samuel Iliffe and Sanne Visser. A collective of four thinkers based at the Design Museum, the exhibition showcases their research projects created in response to the climate crisis. This year’s residency theme begs the question: rather than making something new, how can design respond to what’s already there? The projects take us from the U.K.’s polluted lakes to shadow of Grenfell Tower and beyond.
DATE: June 24, 2022 – September 29, 2022
LOCATION: 101-111 Kensington High St, London W8 5SA
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
Penny World is an exceptional showcase of the last 30 years of work from London-based artist and poet Penny Goring. The exhibition marks Goring’s first solo exhibition in a public institution and sees the artist present a series of paintings, sculptures and drawings alongside digital collages and videos. Influenced by the U.K.’s current cost-of-living crisis, Penny World explores the long-term effects of financial uncertainty and seeks to assert the power of creativity in the face of austerity.
DATE: June 9, 2022 – September 18, 2022
LOCATION: The Mall, St. James’s, London SW1Y 5AH
The Barbican’s latest exhibition is an immersive exploration of radical ideas for the way we live. Curated by Caroline Till and Kate Franklin, “Our Time On Earth” brings together a series of dynamic responses to the climate emergency. Spanning art, science and activism, the exhibition encourages viewers to immerse themselves in a world of possibility.
DATE: May 5, 2022 – August 29, 2022
LOCATION: Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS
Design Center, London
Leading design showcase “New Designers” presents the work of 2,500 hand-picked graduate design talents from around the U.K. Aiming to support the U.K.’s grassroots designers, the 37th year of ND’s showcase will bring together the students from 200 university courses, showcasing their design work.
DATE: June 29, 2022 – July 9, 2022
LOCATION: Business Design Center, Islington, N1 0QH
Arcadia Missa, London
“Music for Shipping Containers” is a solo exhibition by artist Jan Vorisek. Spanning sculpture, installation, performance and sound, Vorisek’s work aims to explore themes of power, control and subversion and looks into how commodity fetishism inserts itself into our lives. Alongside a musical score, the exhibition is complete with a drone sound that permeates the space, implying a sense of surveillance.
DATE: June 25, 2022 – September 9, 2022
LOCATION: 35 Duke Street, London, W1U 1LH
180 Strand, London
Blurring the lines between the physical and virtual, “Future Shock” is an exhibition showcasing pioneering artists at the forefront of sound and vision. Presented by 180 Studios and Fact, the exhibition sees a line-up of visionary artists like Ib Kamara, Object Blue and Gaika transforming 180’s spaces through immersive digital technology. Showcasing AI and 3D digital mapping alongside laser work, holographic projections and electronic music, “Future Shock” aims to challenge our preconceptions and provide vital sensory experiences.
DATE: April 28, 2022 – August 28, 2022
LOCATION: 180 Strand, Temple, London, WC2R 1EA
Somerset House, London
“Eternally Yours” is a free exhibition exploring ideas around care, repair and healing. Showcasing a range of examples of creative repurposing, the exhibition features historical artefacts that embraced upcycling alongside works from leading artists and designers with a focus on repair. “Eternally Yours” invites its visitors to develop a newfound appreciation of the worn and aged, taking the concept of repair as a philosophy.
DATE: June 16, 2022 – September 25, 2022
LOCATION: Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Galerie Kreo, London
“Chez Soi” is a group show that encourages its visitors to reconsider what our homes might look like if all separation was removed. Ironically, the gallery space is divided into six mini scenes that see a curated range of contemporary and vintage design pieces occupying the area.
DATE: April 7, 2022 – July 16, 2022
LOCATION: 24 Cork Street, London, W1S 3NG
The Design Museum, London
This is the first exhibition of its kind to explore the world of ASMR, particularly in a physical sense. The Design Museum has curated an acoustically-tuned environment to help visitors understand all the ways in which people are using ASMR to navigate the new world. Featuring a Bob Ross listening room and squishy sensory booths, the exhibition aims to trigger responses and challenge your preconceptions.
DATE: May 13, 2022 – October 16, 2022
LOCATION: 101-111 Kensington High St, London, W8 5SA
Zurich-born artist Angela Santana brings together 14 of her largest oil paintings in an exhibition that explores the male fantasy and the female form. The showcase seeks to be an empowering reinterpretation of the male gaze, one that encourages visitors to challenge their understanding through a series of radically disrupted paintings and digital artworks.
DATE: June 8, 2022 – August 31, 2022
LOCATION: 6 Cork St, London, W1S 3NX
Serpentine South Gallery, London
The product of over twenty years of Gonzalez-Foerster’s explorations into science-fiction and alien life, “Alienarium 5” features almost entirely new work inspired by the artist’s experiments into deep space. The exhibition aims to provide a speculative environment in which to imagine possible encounters with extra-terrestrials, transforming the gallery into an immersive sensory environment expanding the audience’s ability to imagine alternative life forms.
DATE: April 14, 2022 – September 4, 2022
LOCATION: Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA