Your summer of culture: 5 must-see shows

Soak up some culture this summer! From bold, blockbusting exhibitions to a contemporary look at the world around us, here are my 5 must-see shows to see in London in the coming months.


What: Summer exhibition at the RA – a staple in your art calendar and held every year since 1769, the Summer Exhibition returns after a hiatus because of covid, and it’s come back bolder, fizz popping with colour and bubbling with all-round impressive works from amateur and professional artists’ alike.

Where: The Royal Academy of Arts, London

When: Until 21 August

How much: £20-22


Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait at the Clinic, 1909. KODE Bergen Art Museum, The Rasmus Meyer Collection

What: Edvard Munch. Masterpieces from Bergen – Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see 18 paintings from the Bergen collection, in the UK for the first time. Unable to see it in person? View them in exquisite detail with the Courtauld’s virtual tour.

Where: The Courtauld Gallery, London

When: Until 4 September

How much: £18


What: Back to Earth – “the exhibition invites artistic responses to the climate emergency, bringing together different kinds of research, materials and approaches from around the planet to offer insights into artists’ concerns, ideas and hopes for the future”.

Where: Serpentine North Gallery, London

When: Until 18 September

How much: Free


Lina Iris Viktor, Eleventh, 2018. Copyright the artist

What: In the Black Fantastic – question your knowledge of the world through the eyse of 11 contemporary artists as they reimagine and recontexturalise myth, science fiction, spiritual traditions and the legacy of Afrofuturism.

Where: The Hayward Gallery, London

When: Until 18 September

How much: £13.50


What: In the Air – explore our relationship with the air around us, going back billions of years to the fossilised bacteria that first introduced oxygen into the world to charting the impact of pollution as well as the healing properties of fresh air.

Where: The Wellcome Collection, London

When: Until 16 October

How much: Free

Banner image: Kathleen Ryan – Bad Lemon (Josh). Courtesy of the artist and Josh Lilley

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