June 16, 2024
Art Gallery

The 9 Best London Art Exhibitions Opening in June 2024


June’s got it all for art fans. It’s a busy month in the art world, with major summer openings at almost every London institution, covering pretty much every base you could want covered. There’s immersive light art, classical painting, influential sculpture, conceptualism, video art, huge amounts of photography and then the artistic smorgasbord that is the Summer Exhibition.

Forget the sunshine and tins in the park with your mates, go into a dark, cool, quiet art gallery this summer instead. You won’t get a tan, but you will be culturally fulfilled, which is almost better. 

Nine amazing London art exhibitions opening in June

Zanele Muholi 'Ntozakhe II, Parktown' (2016) Image courtesy of the artist and Stevenson Gallery © Zanele Muholi
Zanele Muholi ‘Ntozakhe II, Parktown’ (2016) Image courtesy of the artist and Stevenson Gallery © Zanele Muholi

Zanele Muholi

This mid-career survey of South African visual activist Zanele Muholi captures the breadth and power of an extensive body of work dedicated to presenting a multifaceted view of Black LGBTQI+ individuals. This show originally opened near the start of the pandemic, and has now been expanded with more recent work, all tackling big important themes like labour, racism, sexism and sexual politics.

Zanele Muholi is at Tate Modern, Jun 6-Jan 26 2025. £18. More details here.

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Sculptor Alberto Giacometti at Work in Studio (Photo by Pierre Vauthey/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)

‘The Body as Matter: Giacometti, Nauman, Picasso’

What do modern art behemoth Pablo Picasso, sculptural master Alberto Giacometti and conceptual pioneer Bruce Nauman have in common? It’s a question no one has ever bothered asking, but Gagosian is hellbent on answering it anyway with this big summer show bringing the three artists together to look at how bodies were a central concern for all of them.

‘The Body as Matter’ is at Gagosian Grosvenor Hill, Jun 6-Jul 26. Free. More details here.

Rheim Alkadhi, Harvest of Flames, 2019, industrial transport tarpaulins, metal hardware. Photo by Christiane Schmidt, courtesy of the artist.
Rheim Alkadhi, Harvest of Flames, 2019, industrial transport tarpaulins, metal hardware. Photo by Christiane Schmidt, courtesy of the artist.

Rheim Alkhadi: ‘Templates for Liberation’

Can art be a weapon of freedom? Alkhadi’s tarpaulin sculptures in this UK debut exhibition draw painful attention to the situation in present-day Iraq, where the aftermath of war and Western interference continue to be felt, which, alongside archive material and a reading room, function as ‘a material template for a set of liberatory encounters’. 

Rheim Alkhadi is at the ICA, Jun 11-Sep 8. £6. More details here

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Roger Mayne: ‘Men and boys in Southam Street, London’ © Roger Mayne / Mary Evans Picture Library

Roger Mayne: ‘Youth’

Few photographers have managed to capture the very essence of British identity like Roger Mayne. His work in the 1950s and ’60s captured a nation in flux, a population trying somehow to adapt to the modern world, and he did it all with brutal honesty and open candour. This show brings together 60 mainly vintage prints of images of kid and teens on the street, and a series of more intimate, personal photos too.

Roger Mayne is at the Courtauld, Jun 14-Sep 1. More details here

Installation view of the Summer Exhibition 2023 at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, 13 June - 20 August 2023. Photo: © Royal Academy of Arts, London / David Parry.
Installation view of the Summer Exhibition 2023 at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, 13 June – 20 August 2023. Photo: © Royal Academy of Arts, London / David Parry.

The Summer Exhibition

The RA’s annual showcase of all the artists you need to know about right now will return for its 256th edition to brighten up the summer holidays. The world’s oldest open submission exhibition (which means anyone can enter their work to be considered for inclusion), the artist with the big job of sifting through the works and curating them this year is sculptor Ann Christopher. 

The Summer Exhibition is at the Royal Academy of Art, Jun 18-Aug 18. More details here

‘Six Lives: The Stories of Henry VIII’s Queens’

This in-depth exploration of the most famous exes in history spans the centuries: there are paintings of Henry XIII’s six wives from Tudor times through to nineteenth century French portraiture, all combined with the work of pioneering modern photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto (who does a fine line in ultra-uncanny images of models and waxworks) and loads of jewels and costumes. 

Six Lives: The Stories of Henry VIII’s Queens is at the National Portrait Gallery, Jun 20-Sep 8. £20. More details here

4. Francis Alÿs Children’s Game 14, Piedra, papel o tijera, Mexico City, Mexico, 2013 In collaboration with Julien Devaux and Félix Blume Courtesy of the artist2
4. Francis Alÿs Children’s Game 14, Piedra, papel o tijera, Mexico City, Mexico, 2013 In collaboration with Julien Devaux and Félix Blume Courtesy of the artist

Francis Alys: ‘Ricochets’

He’s pushed a block of ice across Mexico City, kicked a flaming football, painted a line across Palestine and moved a mountain: Belgian artist Francis Alÿs goes for big gestures to make big points. He’s one of the most affecting and recognisable conceptual artists working today, and now he’s taking over the Barbican for an exhibition about children’s games in all their different forms around the world. 

Francis Alys is at the Barbican, Jun 27-Sep 1. £17. More details here.

Anthony McCall, Solid Light Films and Other Works, 1971-2014. Installation view Eye Film Museum, Amsterdam 2014. Photo by Hans Wilschut. Courtesy of artist and Sprüth Magers Gallery.
Anthony McCall, Solid Light Films and Other Works, 1971-2014. Installation view Eye Film Museum, Amsterdam 2014. Photo by Hans Wilschut. Courtesy of artist and Sprüth Magers Gallery.

Anthony McCall

McCall’s got a trick, and it’s a good one: he can make light seem solid. His dizzying, immersive light installations use smoke and mirrors to twist your noggin and make you feel imprisoned in a jail of light. Is it the Tate finding a post-Kusama way to tap into the epidemic of immersive instagram-friendly art installations? Almost definitely, but at least this is by a living artist who knows what he’s doing, and not just someone projecting paintings by poor old Klimt on the wall in a carpark.

Anthony McCall is at Tate Modern, Jun 27-Apr 27 2025. £10. More details here

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