The Best Exhibitions To See This Weekend

Got no plans this weekend and need something to do? You can’t go wrong with a trip to one of London’s best galleries or museums. Here are all the best exhibitions on this weekend. 

London is filled with great galleries and museums, with iconic institutions like the Science Museum, the V&A, Tate Modern, and the Royal Academy all calling the city home. That means on any given weekend, you’re spoiled for choice with interactive exhibitions, art installations, photography exhibitions and more all happening in the city. 

If you like immersive exhibitions, there are some massive ones on this weekend – one is an Infinity Room from Yayoi Kusama at the Tate Modern, there’s one that’s all about inflatable art, and then there’s a bunch of famous artworks to get lost in at Frameless, the city’s first digital art gallery, and all of them are perfect selfie opportunities too. There are also a load of free exhibitions on in London that are perfect for the weekend. With no need to book tickets, you can decide to drop in last minute – very handy for when your plans get cancelled or the forecast is showing wall-to-wall rain

Whether you’re looking for exhibitions today, exhibitions this weekend or you want to stay on top of all upcoming art exhibitions, we’ve got you covered.

The V&A Is Hosting a Free Exhibition on Taylor Swift

27th July - 8th September 2024
Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London

A little while ago, London’s Victoria & Albert Museum made headlines when a job ad went live on their website looking for ‘Superfan Advisors’ to be on hand for all things Taylor Swift. Now, they’ve announced that they’ll be opening a new exhibition – Taylor Swift | Songbook Trail – showcasing outfits worn by the 14-time Grammy Award-winning artist. The trail will feature costumes and accessories on loan from Taylor’s own personal archive which retrace the iconic singer’s career (or, her Eras). Expect to see customised cowboy boots from way back in 2007 alongside pieces from some of her most recent music videos. The Songbook Trail will explore Taylor’s legacy further through instruments, awards, storyboards and previously unseen archival items.

The Jealous Summer Exhibition Is Back

18th July - 31st August 2024
53 Curtain Road, London

After a three-year hiatus, the Jealous Summer Exhibition is back at the Shoreditch gallery, which is being transformed int holiday destination. Work from the likes of Stanley Donwood, Ines Fernandez de Cordova, Danny Augustine, Adam Bridgland, Magda Archer, Bench Allen, Delphine Lebourgeois, Jane Dinmore, William Kingett, and Alma Singer will be on display, and all the pieces are framed so you take home any purchases straight away.

The Design Museum Is Hosting an Exhibition All About Barbie

5th July 2024 - 25th February 2025
224, 238 Kensington High Street, Kensington, London W8 6AG

After the cultural phenomenon that was the Barbie movie – a release that had the whole world talking – the Design Museum is hosting a major retrospective on everyone’s favourite doll. Three years in the making, the exhibition will retrace nearly seven decades of history to tell the story of the iconic brand, with a particular focus on its design, in celebration of its 65th birthday. The show is being presented in collaboration with Mattel Inc. which has granted the Museum special access to extensive Barbie archives, meaning that there’ll be a lot of rare and unique items on display. These will appear alongside other key loans and acquisitions, all of which will come together to explore the story of Barbie, as well as fashion, architecture, furniture and vehicle design. A rare first edition Barbie from 1959 will feature among the dolls on display, as well as a one-of-a-kind Talking Barbie prototype and the best-selling Totally Hair Barbie

This Exhibition Is the Largest Showcase of the UK's Hobbies

18th July - 20th October 2024
14-32 High Street, Croydon CR0 1YA

Artangel and Hetain Patel are presenting the largest showcase of the UK’s hobbies with the Come As You Really Are exhibition at the Grants Building in Croydon. Over 1500 responses to a public callout for information about people’s hobbies form the basis of the show, which explores how people express themselves through the activities they enjoy. Hobbies like Lego, Warhammer and knitting will be featured alongside pastimes like football shirt collecting, doll customisation and 19th century banjo making, with thousands of pieces from people across the country on display. Hetain Patel will also be exhibiting three Spider Man costumes and two modified cars he’s made, as well as a film that reflects the passion people put into their hobbies.

Check Out Yayoi Kusama's Tallest Bronze Pumpkin Sculpture

9th July - 3rd November 2024
Kensington Gardens, London

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has exhibited her work in London many times, including her signature polka dot-covered sculptures and immersive mirror rooms. And now she’s back with a brand new piece, Pumpkin, which’ll be standing by the Round Pond in Kensington Gardens this summer. The installation also marks Kusama’s return to Serpentine since her debut British retrospective back in 2000. At 6 metres tall and 5.5 metres in diameter, this is her tallest bronze pumpkin sculpture to date, so you’ll be able to see it in the park easily. Kusama has been featuring pumpkins in her work since 1946 as the vegetable was a fixture of her childhood; her family cultivated pumpkin seeds and had fields of the squash around their home.

See Some of Most Iconic Resistance Images at This Peter Kennard Exhibition

23rd July 2024 - 19th January 2025
Whitechapel Gallery, Whitechapel High Street, London

Whitechapel Gallery is putting on one of the most extensive displays of Peter Kennard’s work with the Archive of Dissent exhibition. Pieces from across the artist’s five-decade career, including some of the most iconic resistance and anti-war imagery ever produced, are on display in the galleries within the former Whitechapel Library space. The exhibition is presented as an active and evolving archive, with printed material displayed on walls, placards, on lecterns and in vitrines, as well as showcasing Kennard’s imagery, it dives into his process of making the photomontages that have become his signature.

The V&A Is Hosting an Exhibition That Explores the Career of Naomi Campbell

22nd June 2024 - 6th April 2025
Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL

Naomi Campbell has had an unrivalled career that’s spanned almost four decades and now the V&A is honouring that with an entire exhibition dedicated to the supermodel. The show, titled NAOMI In Fashion, has been produced in collaboration with Campbell and will focus on foregrounding her voice and perspective. Campbell has granted the V&A access to her extensive collection of haute couture and leading ready-to-wear ensembles. These will be displayed alongside loans from designer archives as well as objects from the V&A’s own collection. In total, there’ll be around 100 looks from the likes of Alexander McQueen, Azzedine Alaïa, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Gianni and Donatella Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Karl Lagerfeld, Kenneth Ize, Valentino, Virgil Abloh, Vivienne Westwood, Yves Saint Laurent and many others. The exhibition will also feature a fashion photography installation curated by Edward Enninful OBE and recognise Campbell’s mentors who inspired her to fight social injustice, champion diversity and support emerging creatives.

Step Inside Anthony McCall's Sculptures of Light at Tate Modern

27th June 2024 - 27th April 2025
Bankside, London SE1 9TG

Tate Modern is hosting an exhibition on Anthony McCall where you’ll be able to step inside his immersive light sculptures. McCall is known for his work that blurs the boundaries between film, sculpture and performance, and the Solid Light exhibition gives you a chance to experience his light installations. Beams of light are projected through a thin mist, which shift and move as people pass through the space, creating new perspectives for the viewer.

Rheim Alkadhi's Work Is Being Shown in the UK for the First Time at the ICA

11th June - 8th September 2024
The Mall, St. James's, London WC2N 5DU

The ICA is hosting Templates for Liberation, making it Rheim Alkadhi’s first exhibition in the UK. The show explores the consequences of war and colonialism in present-day Iraq and the surrounding region through sculptures made from tarpaulins of cross-border industrial vehicles, representing the environmental and sociopolitical violence the country experienced. The exhibition also includes a reading room filled with archival documents that reference colonial borders, resource extraction and ethnic categorisation, alongside counter-histories of rebel individuals and groups pushing back against colonial narratives.

The Barbican Is Hosting a Major Exhibition on Francis Alÿs 

27th June - 1st September 2024
Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London

The Barbican is hosting Ricochets, the largest exhibition on Francis Alÿs in the UK in almost 15 years. Alÿs has spent two decades travelling around the world to capture children at play, including leapfrog in Iraq and jump rope in Hong Kong, for his series ‘Children’s Games’, and this immersive show will celebrate the universality of play. As well as displaying the film installation, the first time it’s been presented in the UK, the exhibition will feature a new set of animated films depicting hand games.

The Zanele Muholi Exhibition is Back at Tate Modern

6th June 2024 – 26th January 2025
Tate Modern, Bankside, London

After the pandemic forced this exhibition on visual activist Zanele Muholi – the first major one in the UK – to close early, Tate Modern is staging it once again. The non-binary photographer has been documenting the lives of the Black LGBTQ+ communities in South Africa for twenty years, capturing their love, empowerment and strength alongside the trauma they have often endured. The exhibition includes over 260 of Muholi’s photographs from across their career, including the self-portrait series Somnyama Ngonyama that explores themes of labour, sexual politics and racism. Works featured in the original 2020-2021 exhibition have been joined by new pieces produced by Muholi since then.

The Summer Exhibition Returns to the Royal Academy

18th June - 18th August 2024
Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, London

The RA Summer Exhibition is one of the highlights of the city’s artistic calendar – it’s been held every year since 1769 – and this year’s edition looks set to be another cracker. Sculptor Ann Christopher is co-ordinating this year’s show, which includes works in every possible medium from established artists, Royal Academicians and emerging talent. 

Dive Into a World of Birds at the Natural History Museum

24th May 2024 - 5th January 2025
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London

With Birds: Brilliant and Bizarre, the Natural History Museum is presenting an in-depth look into the long history and, often quite odd, character of the feathery vertebrates. The multi-sensory exhibition will have you fully immersed in the bird world – whether through touching a prehistoric egg or braving a whiff of stinky seabird eggs – as it was hundreds of millions of years ago, as it is today and how it’s projected to be decades from now.

Explore the Modernist Movement in Ukraine at the Royal Academy

29th June - 13th October 2024
Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, London

The Royal Academy is showcasing modernist art made in Ukraine between 1900 and the 1930s with the In the Eye of the Storm exhibition. Though empires were falling and the world was at war, art and creativity flourished in Ukraine during this period with artists like Kazymyr Malevych, Sonia Delaunay, Alexandra Exter and El Lissitzky producing bold works. The show highlights the range of styles and cultural identities being reflected in Ukraine, with 65 pieces (making it the most comprehensive exhibition on modern art in Ukraine held in the UK) across painting, sketches, collage and theatre design on display.

David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away) Is Back at Lightroom

17th June - Sun 6th October 2024
12 Lewis Cubitt Walk, London N1C 4DY

After opening new immersive art gallery Lightroom in King’s Cross, with David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away), the British artist is bringing his exhibition back to the venue. The show brings together 60 years of the artist’s work in a cycle of six themed chapters, alongside a specially composed score by Nico Muhly and commentary by Hockney himself. The experience will see the likes of ‘Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)’, ‘A Bigger Grand Canyon’ and other iconic pieces shape a theatrical exploration of Hockney’s career, from the 60s to the present day; LA to Yorkshire to Normandy.

180 Studios Is Hosting the Largest Ever Exhibition of Art and Sound

23rd May - 28th September 2024
180 Strand, London WC2R 1EA

Immerse yourself in a world of sound at The Vinyl Factory – Reverb, a multimedia exhibition exploring the intersection of sound and art that’s the largest of its kind. The show at 180 Studios features pieces from over 100 artists and musicians across music, film, visual art and performance, including Es Devlin, Julianknxx, Virgil Abloh, Cecilia Bengolea, Jeremy Deller, William Kentridge, Jenn Nkiru, Hito Steyerl, and Gabriel Moses. Devon Turnbull has created a space to listen to unheard vinyl with ‘Hi-Fi Listening Room Dream No.1’, and ‘Amplified’ by Theaster Gates stands as a sonic installation by day and turns into a performance space by night, where shows will be recorded and pressed direct-to-disc. 100 vinyl records released by The Vinyl Factory, from the likes of Marina Abramovic, Nan Goldin, Grace Jones, Mica Levi, Yussef Dayes, Es Devlin, Fred Again, Thom Yorke, Roxy Music, Massive Attack, Pet Shop Boys, Daft Punk, The xx, and Kojey Radical, will also be on display.

David Bailey & Mary McCartney's Photographs Are on Display at Claridge's

Until 19th July 2024
Brook St, London W1K 4HR

Claridge’s ArtSpace, the gallery annexed to the Mayfair hotel, is hosting its first photography exhibition with Double Exposure: David Bailey & Mary McCartney. The show features work from two iconic photographers and brings them into dialogue for the first time. Spanning from the 1960s to the present day, a range of photographs and celebrity portraits from both Bailey and McCartney are on display, showcasing both their individual styles and shared visual language.

Explore 500 Years of Black British Music at the British Library

Until 26th August 2024
96 Euston Rd., London NW1 2DB

The British Library is documenting the musical journey of African and Caribbean people in Britain over the past 500 years with the Beyond the Bassline: 500 Years of Black British Music exhibition. The show features over 200 exhibits, many of which are being publicly displayed for the first time, including handwritten accounts from 1512 featuring materials for the wedding outfit of John Blanke, the earliest recorded musician of African descent in Britain; Jamal Edwards’ video camera used to shoot SB.TV videos; jazz musician Coleridge Goode’s 1958 diary; a custom made jacket for Skunk Anansie vocalist Skin; Stormzy’s signed Glasto 2019 set list; and Dennis Bovell’s 1970s Fender Stratocaster. There are also soundscapes, films and artworks that reflect the history of Black communities in Wales, protest music and resistance in Leeds, Rastafari culture, the DIY spirit of Black British music and the Black radical imagination.

Elton John's Photography Collection Is Being Displayed at the V&A

18th May 2024 – 5th January 2025
Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

Sir Elton John is obviously best known for being a musician but he’s also a keen collector of photography and he’s showcasing just some of the works he owns with husband David Furnish. The V&A is hosting the Fragile Beauty: Photographs from the Sir Elton John and David Furnish Collection exhibition, featuring over 300 prints from more than 140 photographers, many of which will be going on public display for the first time. The show covers the 1950s to the present day and feature images from the Civil Rights movement, AIDS activism and September 11th, as well portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Miles Davies and Chet Baker, with works from the likes of Horst. P Horst, Irving Penn, Herb Ritts, Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman, William Eggleston, Diane Arbus, Sally Mann, Zanele Muholi, Ai Weiwei, Carrie Mae Weems and more.


Dive Into the Last Decades of Michelangelo at the British Museum

2nd May – 28th July 2024
Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG

The British Museum is delving into the last three decades of Michelangelo’s life and career with a major new exhibition. Michelangelo: the last decades will examine how his art and faith evolved as he aged, how he redefined the iconography of religious art, and showcase works produced right up to his death at age 88 in 1564. The two-metre high ‘Epifania’, one of the largest Renaissance works on paper, will be on display for the first time since it underwent conservation work in 2018, and it is joined by his biographer Ascanio Condivi’s painting made from the drawing, bringing the two pieces together for the first time in over four centuries. A collection of drawings, including preparatory ones for the ‘Last Judgment’, not seen for nearly twenty years will also be on show alongside letters and poems written by the artist.

Check Out the Inaugural Exhibition at the Museum of Homelessness

24th May - 30th November 2024
Manor House Lodge, Seven Sisters Road, London

The Museum of Homelessness has officially moved into its new space in Finsbury Park and is launching its inaugural show, How to Survive the Apocalypse: Wisdoms from our Community. The immersive exhibition will be open every Friday and Saturday until the end of November and will draw upon the Museum’s experience of fighting at the front lines against issues such as record levels of homelessness, widening inequality, Brexit, a climate emergency, a pandemic, and a series of ongoing social and political crises. Vistors are told to expect and unconventional museum tour, in a conversational atmosphere, that’ll include performance, poetry, object handling and more.

Yinka Shonibare Is Exploring the Legacy of Imperialism at the Serpentine

12th April - 1st September 2024
Serpentine Gallery, London

British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare has a major solo show – his first in London for over 20 years – on at Serpentine South Gallery. Suspended States explores the legacy of imperialism, the ecological impact of colonisation and the relationship of power to refuge by reimagining Western iconography. The show includes installations like ‘Decolonised Structures’, statues of colonial figures painted with Dutch wax print patterns; ‘Sanctuary City’, made of miniature buildings that represent places of refuge for the persecuted; and ‘The War Library’, where 5000 books covered in Dutch wax print represent conflicts and peace treaties.

An Immersive LEGO Exhibition Is Here

Until 31st August 2024
The Boiler House, 152 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU

The Art of The Brick, appropriately opening on Brick Lane, will feature more than 90 LEGO sculptures – that amounts to over a million bricks – that reinterpret some of the most recognisable artworks on the planet, including Michelangelo’s ‘David’, Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’, Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’, Gustav Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’ and Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’. The exhibition is the work of artist Nathan Sawaya, who is also displaying some of his original pieces in the show, like a giant version of his ‘Yellow’ sculpture and ‘Perniciem’, which showcases endangered species in their natural environments. The works will be accompanied by 3D video mapping and a musical score, and there’ll also be a play and build area where you’ll be able to make your own LEGO creations.

Check Out the World's Largest Collection of Bansky Works from 1998 - 2008

11th April 2024 - January 2025
100 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0JG

The Art of Banksy first landed in London in the spring of 2021 after touring the world, popping up in cities from Melbourne to Miami, and following another international jaunt, it returned to the capital in 2023. After closing at the start of this year, the exhibition is on its way back for a third run, this time opening in a new space in Soho. The show is not authorised by the artist and therefore not curated in collaboration with him (not really Banksy’s style is it?) so all the pieces on show are loans from private collectors. In fact, the exhibition will display the world’s largest collection of official Banksy works from 1997 – 2008. This time around, over 150 pieces will be on show, including the iconic ‘Girl and Balloon’ ‘Flower Thrower’ and ‘Rude Copper’ as well as artworks from Dismaland, ones that reference the war in Ukraine and some going on public display for the first time.

Explore the Legacy of Tropical Modernism at the V&A

2nd March – 22nd September 2024
Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London

The V&A is hosting a major architectural exhibition highlighting the style of Tropical Modernism by architects Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry from their work in the 1940s. The style, which focused on practicality over beauty in a hot and dry climate, developed in West Africa and came to symbolise a postcolonial future in countries like Ghana and India after they gained independence. The exhibition dives into the origins of Tropical Modernism along with its connection to colonisation, and how it spread representing progressiveness in a country.

See How Food Can Express Heritage at SPACE Ilford

9th March – 12th October 2024
10 Oakfield Rd, Ilford IG1 1ZJ

Photographer Kenneth Lam is hosting his first solo exhibition A seat at our table at SPACE Ilford, inviting audiences to explore the dishes and memories of their own cultural identities. Taking inspiration from classical still life and the the stories of Redbridge residents, Lam explores the table as a symbol of home and the way food can express heritage and be used as a common language between cultures.

Polly Braden Is Documenting the Result of Ukrainian Displacement

15th March - 1st September 2024
Foundling Museum, Brunswick Square, London

Around six million Ukrainians are now displaced as a result of the Russian invasion of the country on 24th February 2024. Photographer Polly Braden has been documenting the lives of some of the women and children who have now been scattered across Europe and you can see her work at the Foundling Museum. Leaving Ukraine showcases the journeys that these women have had to undertake, the care they still have to provide for their families, the impact that the war has had on their lives and the way it is shaping their futures through photos, film and aural testimonies.

Explore the History of the Barking Abbey Community at the Women's Museum

9th March - 21st December 2024
Women's Museum, Barking Wharf Square, Barking

Female artists Meera Shakti Osborne, Lesley Asare, and Sarina Mantle are featured in An Idea of a Life exhibit at the Women’s Museum. The exhibit showcases the history of communities led by the Abbess and nuns from c.666AD to the early 16th Century near Barking Abbey and will show their everyday history. It will also include objects excavated from the area that demonstrated how women were connected to significant historic places.

Dive Into Croydon's Musical Heritage at This Exhibition

8th February - 8th September 2024
Museum of Croydon, Katharine Street, Croydon

To celebrate Croydon’s time as the London Borough of Culture, the Museum of Croydon is hosting the Rewind: This is Croydon’s Music exhibition. Croydon has a rich musical heritage, with dubstep icons Skream and Benga hailing from the area, as do The Damned’s Captain Sensible, Desmond Dekker, Kirsty MacColl and Nadia Rose. The show will explore this musical diversity with objects, photographs, stories and more relating to record stores, music shops and venues in the borough and the artists and producers who created and performed music in Croydon.

Journey to the Moon with Tom Hanks

Until 13th October 2024
12 Lewis Cubitt Walk, London N1C 4DY

Immersive gallery Lightroom is following David Hockney with Tom Hanks. The Moonwalkers: A Journey With Tom Hanks, which tells the story of humankind’s exploration of the moon, is being narrated by the Oscar-winning actor, with an original score by Anne Nikitin. Hanks, who is a big space fan (pretty fitting that he starred in Apollo 13 then) has co-written the script with BAFTA-nominated writer-director Christopher Riley. As well as footage from the previous Apollo missions, the experience will feature interviews with Hanks and astronauts on the Artemis programme, which is preparing for the return of crewed surface missions to the moon. And all of that is gonna be projected using Lightroom’s cutting-edge tech.

Step Inside the World of Accidentally Wes Anderson

Until 28th July 2024
85 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, London SW7 3LD

Accidentally Wes Anderson is coming back to London IRL with an exhibition featuring over 200 photos of buildings and landscapes from around the world that look as though they could be backdrops in a Wes Anderson flick. The show will be spread out across seven themed rooms, including ‘Classic Facades’ ‘Transport’, ‘Maritime’ and ‘Hotels/Motels’, each filled with photographs that evoke Wes Anderson’s distinct style in different ways, whether through Art Nouveau exteriors, pastel hues, vintage modes of transportation or an abundance of symmetry. The second to last room – ‘The London Room’ – will centre around Accidentally Wes Anderson photos of the city and guests will be able to submit their own photos for the chance to be featured.

The London Transport Museum is Showcasing the History of Poster Art and Design

20th October 2023 - 2025
London Transport Museum, London

The London Transport Museum is opening its Global Poster Gallery, its first permanent gallery dedicated to the history of poster art and design, with the How to Make a Poster exhibition. The inaugural display will explore poster commissioning and creativity in the pre-digital age, with more than 110 pieces on show. The Underground’s first ever pictorial poster, John Hassall’s 1908 work ‘No need to ask a p’liceman’ by John Hassall alongside posters by designers and artists like Edward McKnight Kauffer, Man Ray, Hans Unger, Abram Games, Tom Eckersley, Paul Catherall, and Dora M Batty. The various techniques used in poster production will also be showcased in the exhibition as well as the way the posters were displayed and the reception they received from both London travellers and the art world.

Step Inside a Botanical Garden With The Butterfly Trail at Outernet

Until summer 2024
Outernet London, Charing Cross Rd, London

Hold a butterfly on the tip of your finger at this immersive botanical garden at Outernet London. Created in collaboration with Pixel Artworks, The Butterfly Trail is the world’s first mixed reality experience and it’s running on Outernet’s four-storey high, 16k wraparound screen. Using cutting-edge exhibition tech, The Butterfly Trail will take you through explorer Professor Peter Pelgrin’s Botanical workshop and inside his Glass House where you can interact with the space, release AR butterflies and trigger real-time animations using your smartphone.

Soak Up Vincent Van Gogh's Masterpieces From All Angles

Until 31st August 2024
Commercial Street, London E1 6LZ

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience has been a hit in the States and in Europe and now it has come to Spitalfields. The exhibition sees more than 300 of Van Gogh’s works projected across a floor-to-ceiling two-storey space so you’ll be able to soak up the art from all angles. There’s also a drawing studio and a VR experience that takes you through a day in the life of the artist and explores the inspiration behind some of his most iconic paintings.