It’s been a while coming for us rain-soaked Londoners, but we can finally say it – summer is officially here! Before you pack your diary to the brim with picnics, barbecues and beach trips, take a look at our list of recommendations for some of July’s most exciting exhibitions and events that are definitely worth carving out some time for. Between lunar photography in New York, interactive installations in Singapore, rave culture in London and anthropogenic investigations in Bologna, we’ve got more than enough to coax you off the sun loungers and into the galleries!
The Anthropocene Project
Fondazione Mast, Bologna
16 May – 22 September 2019
The Anthropocene Project is a multidisciplinary body of work from world-renowned collaborators, including Nicholas de Pencier, Edward Burtynsky and Jennifer Baichwal. In the form of an exhibition at the Fondazione Mast, the show will see a profound mix of art, film, virtual and augmented reality and scientific research projects come together – all with a focus on investigating the human impact on the planet.
ArtScience Museum, Singapore
28 June – 31 December 2019
The award-winning Japanese art collective, teamLab, is exhibiting a number of interactive installations at Singapore’s ArtScience Museum – to become the gallery’s first ever permanent exhibition. The show, which will be revised continuously over the years, includes Transcending Boundaries, an installation that sees visitors walk around a digitally-rendered garden, as well as a tranquil space named Sanctuary where visitors can restore and recharge.
Arthur Jafa: A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
29 June – 8 September 2019
Video artist and filmmaker Arthur Jafa has spent two decades working in the medium of film to document and represent African American history, identity and experience, drawing on music, television, documentary photography, literature and journalistic media. Jafa’s new exhibition at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, which incorporates works from photographer Ming Smith, visual artist Frida Orupabo and YouTuber Missylanyus, continues his exploration of African American visual culture by looking at how the USA’s past has formed its present.
Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet
Royal Academy of Arts, London
30 June – 29 September 2019
Swiss artist Félix Vallotton arrived in Paris in 1882, where he began studying and painting the lives of the Parisian bourgeoisie. This summer, the Royal Academy of Arts has brought together over 100 of the painter’s artworks – including woodcuts – which will be on display in the UK for the first time. Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet is made up of various portraits, landscapes and satirical works that offer visitors a remarkable insight into the legacy of the little-known Belle Epoch painter.
Afterimage: Dangdai Yishu
Lisson Gallery, London
3 July – 7 September 2019
In-demand, independent curator Victor Wang serves up a sizzling selection of contemporary Chinese art in this radical reimagining of what the country’s creative scene looked like through the eyes of practitioners born between 1960 and 1990. Rich works of video, installation, and performance art abound in a show that explores a period of invigorating experimentation.
Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
3 July – 22 September 2019
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography will survey visual representations of the moon from the dawn of photography through the present. In addition to photographs, the show will feature a selection of related drawings, prints, paintings, films, astronomical instruments, and cameras used by Apollo astronauts.
Ablade Glover: Wogbe Jeke – We Have Come a Long Way
October Gallery, London
4 July – 3 August 2019
In celebration of Ghanaian painter Ablade Glover’s 85th birthday, October Gallery is showcasing a series of new works by the artist which revel in colour and movement. Merging abstraction, realism and expressionism, Glover’s paintings typically feature thronging crowds, festivities, market scenes, towns and women in traditional dress, painted in vivid, bold strokes to capture the exuberant energy of Ghana as he sees it.
Hugh Holland: Silver. Skate. Seventies.
Benrubi Gallery, New York City
11 July – 7 September 2019
One of skateboarding’s most beloved – and pioneering – photographers gets the full gallery treatment with this extensive look back at a newly discovered stash of black and white shots which make LA’s embryonic mid-70s skate scene look like the coolest thing to have ever happened. A must-see for fans of tube socks, short shorts, and dudes with really rather potent ‘taches.
Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life
Tate Modern, London
11 July 2019 – 5 January 2020
Olafur Eliasson returns to Tate Modern for an unmissable exhibition. The new show will force you to become aware of your senses, people around you and the world beyond. Some artworks introduce natural phenomena such as rainbows to the gallery space. Others use reflections and shadows to play with the way we perceive and interact with the world. Many works result from the artist’s research into complex geometry, motion patterns, and his interest in colour theory. All but one of the works have never been seen in the UK before and we cannot wait!
Sweet Harmony: Rave | Today
Saatchi Gallery, London
12 July – 14 September 2019
This immersive retrospective exhibition is set to cause a riot. Opening on 12 July at London’s Saatchi Gallery, the curatorial team have assembled a comprehensive survey of rave culture, as seen through the voices and lenses of those who experienced it. Some of the rave movement’s most prolific and authentic commentators are involved, such as Jeremy Deller, Ted Polhemus, James Alex Hardy, Anna-Lena Krause, Ewen Spencer, Weirdcore and many more.
- Izabela Jurcewicz uses her camera to become both a surgeon and a patient
- XYZ Lab designs a removable and “grotesque” fifth issue for Rouge Fashion Book
- Relive the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer through Summer of Something Special
- Intimate, safe and romantic: Ekaterina Popova paints the interiors of her friend’s bedrooms
- Alfie Dwyer on creating game-like worlds and moulding tangible films like “putty”
- Through playful forms, Bára Růžičková tackles the rigid structure of the design industry
- Facebook rebrands to distinguish the company from the app
- Jack Kenyon photographs the wondrous spectacle of the Supreme Cat Show
- &Walsh designs Zooba's identity inspired by the busy streets of Cairo
- A book chronicling tiny, bizarre treasures curated by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf
- Find hidden squares and experimental inktraps in Fatih Hardal's FH Giselle
- Pentagram’s Giorgia Lupi on her data-driven designs for & Other Stories