10 to See: Summer Shows

10 to See: Summer Shows

This summer’s must-see solo exhibitions, group shows and biennales demonstrate the UK’s dynamic artistic landscape. Foregrounding both new and established practitioners across photography, design, architecture and sculpture, this season’s key presentations are bursting with creativity.

1. London Design Biennale

Exploring the universal yet complex landscape of Emotional States, this year’s edition comprises responsive installations and projects. The contributions address social needs whilst asking wider questions about the future of design.

From 4-23 September.

2. Serpentine Pavilion 2018, London

Inspired by the domestic architecture of Mexico whilst referencing British materials and history, architect Frida Escobedo’s (b. 1979) design combines light, water and geometry to create a secluded yet dynamic courtyard.

Until 7 October.

3. 250th Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London

Curated by Grayson Perry, this year’s Summer Exhibition promises to be the boldest and most colourful to date. Of the 1300 artworks, featured artists include Anish Kapoor, Wolfgang Tillmans, Bruce Nauman and Tracey Emin.

Until 19 August.

4. Jameel Prize 5, V&A, London

Foregrounding contemporary artists and designers inspired by Islamic tradition, 2018’s shortlist comprises disciplines as diverse as fashion, multi-media installation, architecture and painting.

From 28 June.

5. Alex Prager: Silver Lake Drive, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

Encompassing 40 photographs, Silver Lake Drive marks Prager’s (b. 1979) first mid-career survey. The pieces in the show walk the line between a hyperreal and dreamlike aesthetic, bringing out the melodrama of subject’s inner lives.

Until 14 October.

6. Liverpool Biennial 2018

Asking the question: Beautiful world, where are you?, Liverpool Biennial 2018 surveys the current social, political and environmental landscape through work by over 40 artists, considering how societies can use history to move forward.

From 14 July.

7. Giuseppe Penone: A Tree in the Wood, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield

“The tree is a spectacular creation because each part of the tree is necessary to its life. It is the perfect sculpture.” Penone’s (b. 1947) sculptures use this visual motif to investigate humanity’s relationship with the environment.

Until 28 April.

8. Lee Bul, Hayward Gallery, London

Transforming the space into a mesmerising, uncanny landscape, this show brings together over 100 works from 1980-2018. Drawing on science fiction, architecture and personal experience, it constructs ideal and fictional worlds.

Until 19 August.

9. The London Open, Whitechapel, London

The pull towards urban living continues to increase as global populations develop. Reflecting this fact, The London Open 2018 selects 22 global artists who live across and are inspired by the city.

Until 26 August.

10. Viviane Sassen: Hot Mirror, The Hepworth Wakefield

Known for an innovative approach to fashion and fine art practice, Dutch artist and photographer Sassen (b. 1972) creates fragmented compositions and hyperreal landscapes by drawing on Surrealist tropes.

From 22 June.

1a. Alex Prager, Irene, 2010. C-print, 121.9cm x 176.5cm (print), 124.5cm x 181cm (framed). Courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.
1b. India, London Design Biennale 2018. Image credit: Ed Reeve
2.  Serpentine Pavilion 2018, Designed by Frida Escobedo, Serpentine Gallery, London. Image © designboom
3. Anish Kapoor, Svayambh. Royal Academy of Arts.
4. Marina Tabassum, Prayer Hall, Bait ur Rouf Mosque Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2012. Photo: Sandro di Carlo Darsa © MTA/Sandro di Carlo Darsa
5. The Big Valley: Susie and Friends, 2008. Alex Prager Studio/Lehmann Maupin Gallery.
6. Melanie Smith, Maria Elena (film still), 2018. Photo: Julien Devaux
7. Giuseppe Penone, Abete, 2013.
8. Courtesy Hayward Gallery.
9. Rachel Ara, This Much I’m Worth (2016).
10. ©Viviane Sassen, Yellow Vlei, series Umbra 2014. Courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.