With access to hundreds of museums and galleries a tube ride away, we Londoners are spoilt for choice when it comes to a fun day out. But sometimes the capital’s embarrassment of riches means it’s tricky to pick where to go.
Do you disappear into the National Gallery for an afternoon, pop by some of the independent galleries in Marylebone, explore East London’s exciting offerings, or wander around the Tate?
Look no further every week: here’s our pick of five extraordinary exhibitions to see in London right now.
Julia Thompson: Soft Furnishing
There’s just one day left to see Soft Furnishing, a collection of sculptures from multidisciplinary Canadian artist Julia Thompson. Thompson explores the passing of time in her work – she examines memory, daily life, and lived experience – and her sculptures reflect this investigation: some are recognisable physical forms; others bend and twist as if they are decaying; others hold parts of mundane objects inside them, like bright pink memory boxes.
INCUBATOR, to October 1; incubatorart.com
Rhiannon Rebecca Salisbury: Matrescence
Unit 1 Gallery / Workshop has just extended Matrescence until October 5, so there’s still time to pop down to the west London space to see this fascinating show about the journey – both physically and mentally – of pregnancy. Award-winning painter Salisbury’s three-month solo residency with the gallery ended up overlapping with her third trimester of pregnancy, leading to intimate and thought-provoking new works.
Unit 1 Gallery, to October 5; unit1gallery-workshop.com
Melania Toma: As Soon As The Sun Sets
Italian artist Melania Toma’s paintings almost seem to be alive: drawing on inspiration from a residency in Mexico, Toma has used fluffy textiles along with paint to create bright, energetic and anthropomorphic images. Through the sculpture-paintings, the artist reflects on long summer days, material and spiritual worlds, and the power of nature.
Daniel Benjamin Gallery, to November 1; db-gallery.com
Nikita Gale: Blur Ballad
Los Angeles-based artist Nikita Gale explores the relationship between materials and power. In their work, which in the past has included installations, films, photographs and collages, Gale examines physical boundaries, such as concrete and barricades, emotional boundaries, such as sound and lighting, and the tensions between structures and ruins.
Emalin, to December 9; emalin.co.uk
Sarah Lucas: Happy Gas
One of the most enduring artists of the YBA era, Sarah Lucas is internationally celebrated for her bold, brash and provocative use of materials and imagery. Using ordinary objects in unexpected ways, she has consistently challenged our understanding of sex, class and gender over the past four decades.
Tate Britain, to January 14; tate.org.uk