11 Of The Best Exhibitions Opening In London In July 2019

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11 Of The Best Exhibitions Opening In London In July 2019

We look ahead to London's art and exhibition openings in July 2019 and select the must-see shows.

Denim delight

Copyright Ian Berry

The ripples of water in swimming pools, the sunlight glinting off the surface. They're captured in different shades of blue, and even more impressive is that the works are all made from re-purposed denim. The material gives each work a worn texture that's even more impressive side on. With shelves full of records, a self-portrait and floral arrangements all made from the same material, this exhibition is a denim delight.

Ian Berry: Hotel California is at Catto Gallery, Hampstead. 1-28 July, free.

Everyone loves cartoons

Photo: Jim Stephenson. Courtesy Cartoon Museum.

The Cartoon Museum has always been one London's hidden gems; it used to be tucked away near The British Museum. It's now moved into a swanky new Fitzrovia home and we're looking forward to the quirky new layout, plus a chance to dive into new and familiar comics. Whether it's Watchmen or Roy of the Rovers that takes your fancy, this place has got you covered.

The Cartoon Museum, 63 Wells Street. Opens 1 July, £8.

Syrian death metal

Copyright IWM.

It was a truly sad moment when ancient statues of Buddha were destroyed by the Taliban and the city of Palmyra was looted by ISIS. Destruction of culture has a long history predating this and it's the topic of a free exhibition at Imperial War Museum — including recounting how museum treasures were evacuated from London during the second world war. Alongside there is another free exhibition on how music defines cultural identity — brace yourself for some Syrian death metal.

The Culture Under Attack season at IWM London. 5 July-5 January, free.

Art in the park

© 2017 Morgan Art Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

A colourful house and a giant penguin both made their home in Regent's Park last year as part of Frieze Sculpture. It's launched a couple of months before Frieze Week, giving us a chance to tour it in the sunshine. This year giant numbers, a massive totem and an oversized matchbox car are vying for our attention as we stroll through the park.

Frieze Sculpture 2019 at Regent's Park. 3 July-6 October, free.

Ceramic tears

Copyright Kinska.

Is it possible to have a crush on a gallery? If so, this would be one that I've fallen in love with — having given us the blingiest table I've ever seen, a colourful maze and a raspberry ripple rug, it's delivered many great exhibitions. Now artist Kinska turns the gallery into her fantastical realm. There are hundreds of ceramic teardrops suspended from the ceiling, all surrounding a wooden house and we are seriously up for disappearing down this rabbit hole.

Kinska: My Opera House at Now Gallery, Greenwich Peninsula. 4 July-16 September, free.

Pop some pills

Copyright Miss Bugs

We are a society obsessed with consuming everything: information on social media, the latest food trend and supplements for pretty much anything. Artist Miss Bugs has parodied this by creating brightly coloured popsicles filled with razor blades, pills and syringes. Finally, here's something that's definitely not fit for human consumption.

Miss Bugs: Do No Harm at Jealous East. 4-21 July, free.

Adultery and buggery

Copyright Wong Ping.

A cuckolded husband fantasises about buggering the policeman who is sleeping with his wife into such a deep depression that he eventually commits suicide by igniting his own farts. That's what happened the last time we watched a video by Wong Ping. He's now created a new commission for Camden Arts Centre and another dose of crudely animated sexually explicit exploits awaits.

Wong Ping: Heart Digger at Camden Arts Centre. 5 July-15 September, free.

Shhh... tell everyone

A close up of the Enigma machine. Image courtesy trustees of Science Museum.

Codebreaking and spycraft all happens in the shadows, but Science Museum is shining a light on it with an exhibition on codebreaking. From the simpler ciphers of the first world war to the latest innovations in cyber security, it's time to think twice about all we share on social media. Interactive displays allow visitors to have a go at breaking some ciphers, and find out if a career in GCHQ awaits.

Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber security at Science Museum. 10 July-23 February, free.

Sun's out

© 1993 Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson is fondly remembered for bringing a blazing sun into Tate Modern's Turbine Hall and placing ice blocks outside Tate Modern to draw attention the melting polar ice caps. Now he's got himself a full-blown show at Tate, and it's spot on timing as we're in a climate emergency and his work focuses on sustainability. His work plays with light, creating rainbows indoors and making us questions what we see with our eyes — it's amazing work.  

Olafur Eliasson: In real life at Tate Modern. 11 July-5 January, £18.

One small step for man

Copyright National Maritime Museum.

50 years after man first set foot on the moon, the National Maritime Museum dedicates an exhibition to our only natural satellite. Lunar samples and artworks are displayed side by side to see what the moon has meant to us and what we've learned from it. The future of our interaction with the moon is also charted out — will we ever colonise the moon and what will that colony look like?

The Moon at National Maritime Museum. 19 July - 5 January, £9.

Royal bling

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

It's been 200 years since Queen Victoria was born and it was she who was responsible for the opulence that is Buckingham Palace today. She made it sparkle, and this exhibition looks at how she did this and her life in the palace. Plus it's an excuse to see the resplendent State Rooms of Buckingham Palace. If you've never been before, prepare to be dazzled.

Queen Victoria's Palace at Buckingham Palace. 20 July-29 September, £25.

Art fairs, festivals and more

See the glorious light outdoors.

Paintings by Canaletto and Constable, albeit replicas, will be out in the open air as part of Bedford Square Festival (3-6 July); accompanied by a whole host of events including yoga in the square and the chance to have a go at painting yourself. Some events are ticketed. If a festival by the river is more your thing then Turning Tides Festival in Greenwich (5-7 & 12-14 July) has got you covered. Eat from London's longest picnic table, take in some public art or party hard at a day rave.

A view from a previous Other Art Fair.

If art is where the heart is then The Other Art Fair (4-7 July, £11) is the perfect place to find that masterpiece for your living room. Buy straight from the artists in this high quality fair that's having its first edition in King's Cross.

If you didn't manage to make it to Art Night, or even if you did, there's another chance for a bit of night time art-ing with Whitechapel Gallery's Nocturnal Creatures (20 July, mostly free). Spend a cultured Saturday night out in east London taking in sculpture, performances and live music.

Copyright Bongsu Park.

On the more ethereal side is the performance by Bongsu Park at the Coronet Theatre (3-6 July, £20) where dreams are publicly submitted and turned into an enchanting performance. Having been to her last performance, we can predict it will be mesmerising.

Last Updated 01 July 2019