Britain, and London especially, is home to some of the world’s best art galleries, most of which are in buildings that are works of art in their own right. From the classic (Van Gogh) to the contemporary (Yayoi Kusama), there’s plenty to see and do in June.
Starry Nights (Van Gogh Alive) / Kensington Gardens
4th June until 26th September 2022
Fall into the inimitable fantasy of Vincent Van Gogh at Kensington Gardens in this extraordinary multi-city exhibition. The Dutch artist’s dazzling painted worlds adorn the walls. Walk through a mirrored room of sunflowers, and be bewitched under a starry canvas in this unforgettable experience.
Mayfair Art Weekend and Mayfair Sculpture Trail
Art weekend: 24th – 26th / Sculpture trail: 20th June – 31st July
Mayfair Art Weekend is an opportunity for art enthusiasts to immerse themselves in London’s vibrant hub of creativity and craftsmanship, and to engage with the internationally diverse offering of free exhibitions and art events. This ninth edition includes art galleries, auction houses, artist studios and The Royal Academy of Arts as well as regular favourites such as Hauser & Wirth, The Mayor Gallery and Mazzoleni amongst some participating galleries including Carl Kostyál on Savile Row.
Kusama-rama: Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro
4th June – 31st July
The infinity rooms at Tate Modern may be sold out but here’s a chance to see work by Yayoi Kusama for free (and without having to wait months for your slot). Expect trademark bronze pumpkins, painted soft sculptures and dots aplenty. The queen of polka dots’ work is exhibited alongside the figurative paintings of Chantal Joffe at the same gallery.
Fred Perry: A British Icon / Design Museum
10th – 19th June
This summer, in collaboration with Fred Perry, the Design Museum presents Fred Perry: A British Icon – an exhibition celebrating the stories of the eponymous brand, the global communities who wear it, and the tennis champion who inspired it all. The exhibition invites punters to follow the story of the brand’s sporting founder and its importance to subcultures through a new installation of original objects, design process and specially commissioned films.
Prize photography: Deutsche Borse Prize / The Photographers’ Gallery
25th June – 26th September
Covering themes of conflict, urban housing, technology and identity, this year’s line up for the coveted Deutsche Borse Photography Prize 2021 is as diverse as ever. Among the thought-provoking photographers is Cao Fei — auteur of surreal, darkly humorous dystopian fictions — and Zineb Sedira, who combines the personal with the globally political.
Small world: Gaia at Painted Hall
NOW until 1st July
How do you improve on the stunning interior of Greenwich’s Painted Hall? By hanging a huge, spinning model of Earth from the ceiling, that’s how. Luke Jerram’s scale replica of our ‘blue marble’ simulates the mind-blowing effect astronauts encounter when seeing Earth from space.
London Design Biennale / Somerset House
NOW until 27th June
Designers from across the globe converge on London to show off the latest designs that allow us to live simpler, more sustainable lives. Covering global and highly topical issues, participating designers address the need for more public housing, our over-reliance on fossil fuels, and how we come back stronger after the pandemic. Outside, Es Devlin brings us closer to nature with a forest filling Somerset House’s courtyard.
And a last chance to see…
Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Natural History Museum
Closes Sunday 5th June
The Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is back for the 57th time, with an eye-opening display of highly commended entries. This year, the 100 photographs, chosen from 50,000 entries by some of the world’s best wildlife photographers, reflect the planet’s increasing threat from climate change and are displayed alongside commentary providing greater insight from the museum’s scientists. See a lynx prowling past the open door of an abandoned farm building in Spain, an aerial shot of a technicolour lake in the Geamana Valley that was created by a toxic spillage, and more pictures that shine a light on the problems nature faces today.