28 March 2017 | 17 °C

14 Of The Best And Worst Exhibitions To See This Month

Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.

14 Of The Best And Worst Exhibitions To See This Month
The stunning portraits and gallery design in Andrew Salgado's exhibition. Image courtesy Beers London

PORTRAITS, GRASS AND LIVE BUTTERFLIES: A fantastic portrait painter produces his best show yet. Inspired by the Orlando massacre these paintings reference masculinity in a gallery filled with artificial grass and live butterflies. The setting only heightens the sense of interrogating the psychology of the sitter. A painting garden of Eden. Andrew Salgado: The Snake at Beers London, 1 Baldwin Street, EC1V 9NU. Until 17 December, free

Londonist rating: ★★★★★

PORTRAITS FROM AROUND THE WORLD: Trump, Brexit, the refugee crisis and celebrity deaths aplenty — 2016 has been quite the roller coaster. So why does this exhibition of the best portrait photography from across the world feel so dispassionate? They may be beautifully composed, but most are rather dull. The only portrait that strikes a chord is Nigel Farage looking ridiculously smug, cigar in mouth. Taylor Wessing photographic portrait prize at National Portrait Gallery. Until 28 February, £5

Londonist rating: ★★☆☆☆

ELTON JOHN’S PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTION: Man Ray, Aleksandr Rodchenko and portraits of Picasso and Matisse. The quality of the works is very high and a must for fans of early photography. The collection of black and white photography of people, places and objects is beautiful and subtle. That's more than we can say for the frames, as these gaudy monstrosities are a constant distraction and nearly ruin the show. The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography at Tate Modern. Until 7 May, £15

Londonist rating: ★★★☆☆

Gavin Turk's exhibition includes his take on Warhol. Photo Prudence Cumming Associates.

FAKING IT: Gavin Turk is famed for playing with the perception of what's real. His graduate show piece was a fake blue plaque dedicated to himself. He places himself on the cover of Hello magazine and creates his own Warhols and Pollocks. Turk does make it obvious what the source of the illusion is, for example a magnetic field generator visible under a tabletop where a razor blade is perpetually spinning. Not a new artist by any means, but this show is perfect for the post-truth era. Gavin Turk: Who, what, when, where, how and why at Newport Street Gallery, Newport Street, SE11 6AJ. Until 19 March, free

Londonist rating: ★★★★★

LOTS OF PENISES: Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's works have been curated by living photographer Juergen Teller. There is nudity aplenty in this confrontational exhibition. However, Mapplethorpe's photos are no longer controversial and beyond the nudity there's often not much to offer. His subtler works are actually very good but the show has instead to focus on his more brazen, but less impressive, work. Teller on Mapplethorpe at Alison Jacques, 16-18 Berners street, W1T 3LN. Until 7 January, free.

Londonist rating: ★★☆☆☆

TAXIDERMY AND TAXONOMY: How do we classify animals and what separates them from humans? The Wellcome Collection explores taxonomy, trying to liven it up with taxidermy dioramas. But the rest of the exhibition is all very dry and academic — far too much historic reference material. A mixed affair and below the Wellcome's usual high standards. Making Nature: How we see Animals at Wellcome Collection. Until 21 May, free.

Londonist rating: ★★★☆☆

ABSURDITY OF THE INTERNET: Trolls, our obsession with data and being liked are mocked in this satirical video by Rachel Maclean. There is a celebrity called Data who subsists on all the likes she receives and trolls are manifested as rat-like creatures taking down celebrities both in real life and online. It's intense and often disturbing, much like the internet itself. Rachel Maclean: Wot U :-) About at Tate Britain. Until 2 April, free

Londonist rating: ★★★★☆

Not bad for an amateur painter, though without Dylan's name they would have gone nowhere. Image courtesy Halcyon Gallery.

BOB DYLAN PAINTS: Bob Dylan trades in his songwriting pen for a paintbrush. The works on the large part feel very amateurish. A few paintings of the open road stand out as accomplished, but the rest are leaning on the celebrity name behind them. Bob Dylan: The Beaten Path at Halcyon Gallery, 144-146 New Bond Street, W1S 2PF. Until 11 December, free

Londonist rating: ★★☆☆☆

DIGITAL JIHAD: This annual collection of art by graduate artists is a vast improvement on last year's efforts. Out with the ponderous video art and in with snappy videos like Digjihad where radical imagery is mixed with super sweet animations. Plus the bulbous sculpture of a reclining King by Jamie Fitzpatrick dominates upstairs in true mock regal style. The exhibition is now back to its experimental best. Bloomberg New Contemporaries at ICA, The Mall. Until 22 January, £1

Londonist rating: ★★★★☆

ABSTRACT DRUDGERY: Painting, photography, collage, performance. Robert Rauschenberg did it all but all the spark is lost in an exhibition that's more interested in art history than what the artist stood for. Air bubbling through a mud pit is a welcome relief but it can't save a rather dull recounting of Rauschenberg's abstract works. Robert Rauschenberg at Tate Modern. Until 2 April, £16.80

Londonist rating: ★★☆☆☆

PIONEERING CERAMICISTS: Chart the history of Jewish ceramicists as they escaped war and often created ceramics with whatever materials they had to hand. The stories are fascinating even if the ceramics themselves are not. Try to visit on a Tuesday or Saturday when there will be a potter in residence creating new works. Shaping Ceramics at Jewish Museum, 129-131 Albert street, NW1 7NB. Until 26 February. £7.50

Londonist rating: ★★★☆☆

Animals become furniture in this playful exhibition at Ben Brown Fine Arts. Image courtesy the gallery.

ANIMAL FURNITURE: The French Lalannes are renowned for crossing art with interior design. Here various animals are used to function as-over elaborate chairs and tables. Sheep to sit on and a goat whose innards are a writing desk. Brilliantly playful. Claude and Francois-Xavier Lalanne at Ben Brown Fine Arts, 12 Brooks Mews, W1K 4DG. Until 26 January, free

Londonist rating: ★★★★☆

DULL PAINTINGS: 'Painting isn't dead' is the scream often heard from those sick of everyone thinking the leading edge is all about video and performance. So here we get bright colours, collage and minimalism. But the only thing linking these works is they are all remarkably dull, with the exception of Dexter Dalwood's evocative interiors and landscapes. A poor showing from the Saatchi gallery. Painters' Painters at Saatchi Gallery. Until 28 February, free.

Londonist rating: ★★☆☆☆

GENOCIDE INSPIRED: War artist John Keane creates dark paintings on the Rwandan genocides. Paintings of skulls and ones where clothes are embedded in the canvases serve as a reminder of the human life now gone. Powerful and uneasy viewing. John Keane: If you knew me, if you knew yourself, you would not kill me at Flowers East, 82 Kingsland Road, E2 8DP. Until 10 December, free

Londonist rating: ★★★★☆

Last Updated 01 December 2016