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London: this season's must see exhibitions


Basquiat, Jasper Johns, Thomas Ruff, Modigliani... Hettie Judah picks 10 exhibitions we'd love to see over the next few months.

Rachel Whiteread


Over her 30-year career, Whiteread has cast the interiors of objects ranging from buildings to hot water bottles in plaster, resin, rubber, concrete and metal. This mid-career survey includes unseen sculptures, sketches, and documentation of her monumental House (1993/94), controversially destroyed only months after it was installed in East London.

Tate Britain, 12 September – 4 February

Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Room 101), 2003

BASQUIAT: Boom for Real


Despite his enduring popularity, this is, shockingly, the first major UK exhibition dedicated to Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960­—1988). Over 100 works by the star of Manhattan’s post-punk underground art scene have been gathered from collections around the world. 


Barbican Art Gallery, 21 September  ­– 28 January

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Self Portrait, 1984, Private collection.

Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth 


Looking beyond the flags and targets, a thematically arranged landmark show of work by the influential and pioneering 87-year-old American artist.  


Royal Academy of Arts, 23 September  - 10 December

Jasper Johns, Flag, 1958. Encaustic on canvas. 105.1 x 154.9 cm. Private collection © Jasper Johns / VAGA, New York / DACS, London 2017. Photo: Jamie Stukenberg © The Wildenstein Plattner Institute, 2017

Thomas Ruff 


Major retrospective focusing on series by the German photographer, taking in his earlier unpopulated interiors; enlarged, passport-style portraits and space shots, as well as more recent projects questioning the role of photography in news reportage.


The Whitechapel Gallery, 27 September 2017—21 January

THOMAS RUFF ma.r.s. 2011 C-Print 100 3/8 x 72 7/8 inches 255 x 185 cm © 2012 Thomas Ruff/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona, courtesy Gagosian Gallery

Haroon Mirza


The exhibition most likely to resemble a dystopian nightclub: Mirza’s medium is electricity, often manifesting itself through sound and light. For this high profile commission Mirza had collaborated with a group of artists on an immersive show featuring performance, video, and spatial installations.


Zabludowicz Collection, 28 September – 17 December

Haroon Mirza 1999-11-11-9, 2017, Tim Bowditch, courtesy the artist and Zabludowicz Collection

Catherine Opie: Portraits and Landscapes 


The great California-based photographer known for her intimate images of subcultural groups and deserted cityscapes here presents portraits of creative figures including artists David Hockney and Isaac Julien.


Thomas Dane Gallery, 3 October - 18 November.

Catherine Opie, Michele, 2017 © Catherine Opie, Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles and Thomas Dane Gallery, London

Everything at Once


London’s original hip, independent gallery celebrates its 50th anniversary with a massive off-site show featuring work by artists from its stable, among them Marina Abramović, Susan Hiller, Anish Kapoor, Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg, and Rodney Graham.


Lisson Gallery x The Vinyl Factory, 180 The Strand, October – December

Ryan Gander, What a force for good you run (Dramaturgical framework for structure and stability) 2017 © Courtesy Lisson Gallery

Gilbert & George


Celebrating half a century of work together, the ‘living sculptures’ present a new series BEARD PICTURES in which beards and barbed wire are both presented as protective defence mechanisms.


White Cube Bermondsey, 22 November – January





The largest UK exhibition presented to date of Modigliani’s work shows the Italian-born artists sculpture and painting in the context of his contemporaries.


Tate Modern, 22 November  – 2 April



Monika Sosnowska


New works exploring the territory between architecture and sculpture, for which Sosnowska constructs and then twists and collapses forms inspired by built structures from the ‘failed utopia’ of mid century Poland.


Hauser & Wirth, 13 December – 10 February


Modigliani, Reclining Nude, 1919
Installation view, ‘Monika Sosnowska’, Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, 2017 © Monika Sosnowska Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Mario de Lopez