What Are The Unmissable Exhibitions In July?

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What Are The Unmissable Exhibitions In July?

We look ahead to London art and exhibition openings for July 2018 and select our must-see exhibitions to keep you cultured over the summer. You're welcome.

Get drunk on art

We're not knocking Campari, but in a gallery we'd only expect to find it on an opening night — not as the subject matter of an exhibition. We shouldn't dismiss it however, as it was a company that launched vibrant avant-garde advertisements and helped Italian modern art gain greater exposure. Perhaps this show is a bit of smart advertising too, as afterwards you suddenly find yourself craving that bitter Italian alcoholic beverage.
The Art of Campari at Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art. 4 July-16 September, £6.50

Sculpture in the sun

This home by Richard Woods will probably be worth a million given Regent's Park is prime real estate.

Frieze Art Fair has been putting up a sculpture park in Regent's Park every October to coincide with the fair. However, last year it had the sensible idea to start the sculpture park early so punters get to enjoy it over the summer. Happily, it has kept this brilliant idea going — expect to find a colourful house and a flag for refugees in this year's selection.
Frieze Sculpture Park in Regent's Park. 4 July-7 October, free.

Banksy's back

Banksy does like to riff on other artist, in this instance Jack Vettriano's singing butler.

Just the mention of his name gets street art fans excited, but this time you won't find Banksy's work on the street but in a Mayfair Gallery. Get ready for a satirical look at politics, art history and anything else the mysterious mischievous artist has chosen to lampoon. Check out our preview for some more details.
Banksy, Greatest Hits: 2002-2008 at Lazinc, Mayfair. 12 July-25 August, free.

Optical illusions

Copyright Patrick Hughes.

Nobody forgets their first experience with a Patrick Hughes work, walking past a painting of an interior before it all starts shifting in your vision. We were completely confused as to how it was done until we got close and realised how these works mess with our eyes. Once we blink the illusion resets and our eyes can't figure out how it worked in the first place. These need to be seen in person to understand how impressive they are.
Patrick Hughes: A Newer Perspective at Flowers, Cork street. 12 July-1 September, free.

Something of the night

We don't know what a deep sea isford is, but we think we'd like to avoid it. Copyright Trustees of the Natural History Museum 2018

Are you a creature of the night? Even if you are, you have nothing on the animals on show at Natural History Museum. Its latest exhibition looks at the creatures that live in the dark, whether it be in caves or in the ocean depths. Smell what it's like to be in a bat cave, encounter blind fish and be enthralled by bioluminescence.
Life in the Dark at Natural History Museum. 13 July-6 September, £11.50.

Life in colour

Abstract colourful works shift and shimmer as we wander around them and perplex our eyes. It's part of the movement known as Op Art and Carlos Cruz-Diez is one of its masters. He's been perfecting these works for many years and now that he's in his nineties the auction house Phillips is pulling together a collection of his works to fill people's lives with colour.
Carlos Cruz-Diez at Phillips. 16 July-6 September, free.

Under the sea

Time to come face to face with preserved species from the deep blue sea. Examine the teeth of a Great White Shark, the muscles of a whale, and other large ocean dwelling species. It promises to be a fascinating look into their detailed anatomy and the last time we saw a similar exhibition, it blew us away.
Sea Creatures at Royal Horticultural Halls. 27 July - 30 August, £18-20

Inspiring women

Nicola Adams was the first British woman to win a boxing Olympic gold medal. Copyright Anita Corbin.

Anita Corbin has created a fantastic photography project of 100 women who were all the first woman to achieve goals within sport, politics, faith, military and more. Familiar faces include Nicola Sturgeon as the first woman to First Minister for Scotland and Rachel Whiteread as the first woman to win the Turner Prize. The more obscure — but no less deserving — figures include Edith Kent who was the first woman to receive equal pay.
Anita Corbin: First Women UK at Royal College of Art, Battersea. 20 July-22 August, free.

It's a kind of a magic

Magical realism is a term for realistic paintings with dreamlike subject matter. It's an art style that's gone out of fashion recently but still retains an allure for some. This historic exhibition looks back at magical realism in inter-war Germany when the term was coined. The exhibition features works that examine dark themes in the economic hardships encountered in Weimar Germany at the time. Expect the surreal, the fantastical and the macabre.
Magical Realism: Art in Weimar Germany 1919-33 at Tate Modern. 30 July-14 July 2019, free.

Festivals and One Night Only

Here we round up the shorter run arts festivals and events including two one night only arts extravaganzas.

Random International, the guys behind the Rain Room, have promised something special for Art Night.

Some exhibitions run for months but if you don't free up Saturday night then you'll miss several art pieces as Art Night is moving to south London stretching from Battersea to South Bank. Get your walking shoes and daily steps clocked up in a few hours, as there's plenty of art that can only be seen from 6pm-6am. Check the website for the full list of exhibitions and look out for a caravan hanging from a crane.
Art Night is curated by Hayward Gallery. 7 July, 6pm-6am.  

Avid Art Night followers will know that Whitechapel Gallery took charge last year — now they have a taste for one nighters they are putting on one of their own, titled Nocturnal Creatures. Expect installations, performances and tours covering all of the East End. Details are a little light at the moment but make sure to check the website closer to the time.
Whitechapel Gallery presents Nocturnal Creatures. 21 July, 6-11pm.

Kensington and Chelsea opens its doors after dark as well, but for more than one night. There are talks at galleries, architectural tours of the Design Museum, a photographic open air gallery in Sloane Square and a bus transporting people while playing Portobello radio — giving you the full west London experience.
Kensington and Chelsea Art Weekend. 27-29 July.

Last Updated 03 July 2018