August is traditionally a quiet month for art but there's still plenty to see — if you’re undecided about whether to visit these exhibitions, here’s our guide to which are worth it. All are free to visit.
The Art of Burning Man at Lights of Soho
Burning Man is a festival on many people's bucket lists to visit. Due to it's remote location it's unlikely we'll ever make it but we can have a small taste of it on the walls of private members club Lights of Soho with this selection of striking photographs. Until 10 September.
Eloise Hawser: Lives on Wire at ICA
An exploration of cinema in this impenetrable display that left no impact on us. This wasn't helped by a subtle change in lighting within a gallery space where sunlight streams through the windows and dulls the effect. Until 6 September.
Shirley Baker: Women, Children and Loitering Men at The Photographers' Gallery
Social documentary photographs looking at inner city Manchester and Salford, where working class communities were torn apart in the name of urban renewal. In contrast to the harrowing photography of Nick Hedges, Baker chose to present these families and individuals in a more observational light — viewing them as people going about daily life, rather than victims. Until 20 September. For more at this gallery see We Want More and our interview with the curator.
Fantasy of Representation at Beers London
A diverse selection of representational painters including well known artists such as Francis Bacon and Gary Hume, plus some talented contemporary artists. The show is dominated by the work of the curator Andrew Salgado, as his painting is the stand-out piece here. Until 19 September.
The London Open 2015 at The Whitechapel Gallery
This triennial exhibition is designed to pick out the best of London's artists from the emerging to the established. This edition is highly conceptual and visitors will often find the works hard to grasp as very little explanatory text is provided for an exhibition where it is desperately needed. This is a far weaker showing than the 2012 show. Until 6 September.
Filippo Minelli at Beetles + Huxley
These bursts of coloured smoke are playful and dramatic interventions on the surrounding natural landscapes. Smoke is usually associated with destruction but here it takes on a more serene and elegant role; plus it reminded us of the excellent work of Berndnaut Smilde. Until 5 September.
Alexander Calder: Primary Motions at Dominique Levy
If you can't wait for the Tate exhibition later this year, here's an exhibition to whet the appetite. A series of smaller works are here too, but it's the trademark large work that inspires with its off balance delicacy. Until 1 September.
Nicholas Mangan: Ancient Lights at Chisenhale Gallery
The Aztecs, NASA and solar power are all brought together in this exhibition consisting of a hypnotic video of a spinning coin powered by solar panels. However, the message about linking solar cycles with revolutionary activity is lost and thus it's ultimately a disappointing show. Until 30 August.
David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring at Annely Juda Fine Art
After his previous ghastly exhibition, Hockney returns to his strengths with a series of iPad drawings. It gave us flashbacks of his brilliant Royal Academy show and is another portal into his magical forest scenes. Until 28 August.