The Top 10 Exhibitions You Won’t Want To Miss This Summer

By Shemaiah Gold

One of the best things about visiting London are the world-class museums, galleries and exhibitions. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that nothing beats an in-person art encounter. This summer, London city is jam packed with the most insightful and creative exhibitions, whether you’re in London for a short visit or just want to expand your creative mind, We’ve put together this guide for all the top exhibitions happening in London this summer so don’t just enjoy the sun on the beach like everybody else, prepare to become enlightened by an array of the weird and wonderful world of contemporary art.

1. Kusama’s Obliteration Room at The Tate Modern

https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/yayoi-kusama-infinity-mirror-rooms

23rd July – 29th August 2022 (Free)

Yayoi Kusama’s interactive Obliteration Room begins as a white space which visitors are invited to cover with stickers. Over the course of a few weeks the room is transformed from a blank canvas into an explosion of colour, with thousands of spots stuck over every available surface

2. Picasso Ingres: Face to Face at The National Gallery

https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/picasso-ingres-face-to-face

3rd June – 9th October 2022 (Free)

For the first time ever a painting by Pablo Picasso (Woman with a Book, 1932) from the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California, and the painting by Jean-Auguste- Dominique Ingres (Madame Moitessier, 1856) which famously inspired it, will be shown side by side at the National Gallery, London as part of a special collaboration between the two institutions.

3. Our Time On Earth At The Barbican

https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2022/event/our-time-on-earth

5th May – 29th August 2022 (££)

The new show at London’s Barbican Centre takes us inside a tree and under the earth to encourage us to marvel at the biosphere and rethink our place within it. ‘Our Time On Earth’ urges us to demote ourselves from the top of the species hierarchy and consider how what we design could be attuned to the needs of all beings, not just our own.

4. Eternally Yours At Somerset House

https://www.somersethouse.org.uk/whats-on/eternally-yours

16th June – 18th September 2022 (Free)

Showcasing diverse examples of creative reuse, from historical samples of the Japanese art of Kintsugi and Boro, which embrace upcycling and repurposing, to works from contemporary artists who put repair at the heart of their practice, Eternally Yours explores the unexpectedly hopeful and healing stories that repair reveals. In light of the recent global pandemic, the exhibition seeks to unpack how ‘repair’ can guide both our individual and collective healing.

5. Gold At The British Library

https://www.bl.uk/events/gold

20th May – 2nd October 2022 (£)

Dazzling beauty, striking resilience. Gold has long held the power to ignite feelings of awe and wonder across cultures.

Take a journey around the globe to learn how gold elevated art in manuscripts and books. Discover the masterful techniques used to handle such a precious metal. Examine items that are hundreds of years old. Unveil the stories illuminated by gold.

6. Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Accession at Buckingham Palace

15th July – 16th October 2022 (££)

https://www.rct.uk/visit/the-queens-gallery-buckingham-palace?gclid=Cj0KCQjw-%20JyUBhCuARIsANUqQ_Lc0-c-RhYGQw2g_6C07ow_KGAWBoxqGuXLobk74l-%20f9ktLc1-9OywaAms9EALw_wcB

Celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 by exploring a remarkable exhibition documenting the Queen’s Accession to the throne in February 1952. The historic display in the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace features an exquisite collection of Her Majesty’s royal portraits and jewellery.

7. Beatrix Potter: Drawn From Nature at The V&A

12th February – 8th January 2022 (£)

https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/beatrix-potter-drawn-to-nature

Head to the V&A to take in the delightfully soothing exhibition, Beatrix Potter: Drawn To Nature. Produced in collaboration with the National Trust, it traces the Peter Rabbit creator’s journey from South Kensington to the Lake District using a collection of her watercolour sketches, personal letters, and quirky ephemera. Among the myriad charming displays: her personal insect collection (part of a full section devoted to Potter’s lifelong obsession with the natural sciences); the illustrated Christmas cards that Potter sold before becoming a published author; and an early 20th-century Jemima Puddle-Duck toy.

8. Van Gogh Self-Portraits at the Courtauld Gallery 3rd Feb – 8th May 2022 (£)

There’s nothing quite like seeing the Post-Impressionist , Van Gogh’s canvases in person. Having reopened after a major facelift at the close of 2021, the Courtauld Gallery has started 2022 with a bang courtesy of Van Gogh Self-Portraits, which includes 16 of the 37 self-portraits the artist made over the course of his too-short life. Perhaps the museum’s greatest coup? Reuniting two paintings made during Van Gogh’s 1889 stay in a psychiatric hospital near Saint-Rémy for the first time.

9. The World Of Stonehenge at The British Museum

17th February – 17th July 2022 (Free)

https://www.britishmuseum.org/exhibitions/world-stonehenge?gclid=Cj0KCQjw-%20JyUBhCuARIsANUqQ_IAqW94aYCgBKGhYg9OFkYdZS5CWeN0UT8Dq_bbDNtvSWmmdEB1%20_YwaAgfeEALw_wcB

If you’ve ever visited Stonehenge and found it underwhelming, the British Museum’s The World Of Stonehenge brings to life the civilisation behind the monument in vivid detail. Sprawling across a number of cavernous rooms, the exhibition includes all manner of treasures from prehistoric Britain, many of which are peculiarly moving – especially the timber columns of Seahenge, erected along the Norfolk shore in 2049BC and transferred in tact to the museum for long-term preservation. The most breathtaking piece, though, comes from Germany: the Nebra Sky Disc, one of the oldest known representations of the cosmos, made with Cornish gold.

10. Hair: Untold Stories at The Horniman

20th May – 2nd October 2022 (Free)

https://www.horniman.ac.uk/project/hair-untold-stories/

The Horniman is one of south London’s best-kept cultural secrets. If you’ve yet to visit, make a point of going while its Hair: Untold Stories exhibition is still on. Brilliantly designed by Goldsmiths professor Emma Tarlo (Entanglement: The Secret Lives Of Hair) and the museum’s own curator Dr Sarah Byrne, it pulls apart the complex narratives around hair globally – illustrating its points with everything from early 20th- century hairnets to artist Jenni Dutton’s dress made entirely from pale blonde tresses.