You might have heard the buzz surrounding these exhibitions, plus we’ve picked a few you may like — if you’re undecided about whether or not to see them, here’s our guide to which are worth it. All but two are free to visit.
Under by Martina Amati at Ambika P3
The dangerous sport of free diving gets a documentary and three other films that provide a remarkable insight into this extreme sport. It's fascinating, and we loved the trippy video where divers act like tightrope artists 'walking' along their guide wires underwater. It will take over an hour to watch all the videos, but it's worth it. Free, until 11 October.
The temptations of Pierre Molinier at Richard Saltoun
Lots of genitalia, breasts and buttocks in this photography exhibition that doesn't hold back. The photos dominate this show but the few paintings and drawings on display are more engaging as they show his dark imagination unleashed, while the photography feels more like a daring sideshow. Free, until 2 October.
Malachi Farrell: Duck and Cover at The Crypt Gallery
Surreal and energetic works as washing machine tubes dance and a wheelchair combined with crutches becomes a machine gun turret that churns out coins. The linkages to politics and war don't stand up to much scrutiny, but it's easy to ignore these and enjoy the kinetic sculptures. Free, until 3 October.
The Big Blue at Ordovas
This exhibition explores the vast influence of the sea on art. Viewers may be drawn in by Damien Hirst's shark but the real gems are the ominous storm clouds rolling over the sea by Courbet and a deliciously dark Francis Bacon of a figure in the sea. Free, until 12 December.
Barjeel Art Foundation Collection at Gallery 7, Whitechapel Gallery
The best programme at Whitechapel Gallery is the series of exhibitions which borrow works from foreign collections to display to a London audience. The latest is the Barjeel Art Foundation based in UAE. This show is a collection of Middle Eastern paintings tracing the history of Arabic art — it's a mixture of traditional styles with often dark subject matters. Free, until 6 December.
Dominic Harris: Moments of Reflection at Phos Art + Design
Playful interactive art that responds to visitor movements to create mini-explosions and particle trails. Technology and art combine to create a hypnotic and soothing effect. Free, until 31 October.
Bridget Riley: Learning from Seurat at The Courtauld Gallery
The link between Riley's trademark striped works and Seurat's pointillism isn't obvious. However, this small display does a great job of showing how Riley's work evolved from a pointillist style to her later, more recognisable works. It may not be worth the ticket price just to see this, but any visitors to the excellent permanent collection should make sure they catch it. £7 for adults, until 17 January.
Palladian Design: The good, the bad and the unexpected at RIBA
A must visit for architecture fans as we explore the wide ranging influence of the architect Palladio and his legacy from the ornate St. Martin's in the Fields, to the simpler lines of modern architecture. It's jam packed with information, though a few more models would have been helpful. Free, until 9 January.
Joanna Kirk at Blain|Southern
Layers of pastel are used to great effect, creating fantastical worlds that, while flat, appear to have tremendous depth. It's rare to see artists today employing the medium of pastel, and makes for a refreshing change. Free, until 3 October.
Prem Sahib: Side On at ICA
Two jackets sandwiched between panes of glass, sculptures made from bathroom tiles and a stained white shirt are all works relating to the intimacy of the gay clubbing scene. There are lots of ideas here and Sahib has progressed since we saw his work at his graduate show, but it feels like a step on the path of his evolution as an artist. £1, until 15 November.