London’s Latest Must-See Photography Exhibitions

London Photography exhibitions

There are some thought-provoking and informative photography exhibitions on show in London at the moment. Ranging from the Barbican’s Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins which explores subjects on the edge of society to the four artists shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018 at the Photographers’ gallery. Also just opened is the Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography which shows together Oscar Rejlander (1813–75), Lewis Carroll (1832–98), Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79) and Lady Clementina Hawarden (1822-65). Here is a selection of what’s on offer.

Another Kind of life Barbican Art Gallery
Casa Susanna, Another Kind of Life, Barbican Art Gallery

Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins
Barbican Art Gallery
28 February 2018 – 27 May 2018

This fascinating exhibition at the Barbican touches on themes of gender and sexuality, drugs and addiction, youth culture and minorities of all kinds. It features the work of 20 photographers from the 1950s to the present day.
Another Kind of Life follows the lives of individuals and communities operating on the fringes of society from America to India, Chile to Nigeria. The exhibition reflects a more diverse, complex view of the world, as captured and recorded by photographers. Driven by personal and political motivations, many of the photographers sought to provide an authentic representation of the disenfranchised communities with whom they spent months, years or even decades with, often conspiring with them to construct their own identity through the camera lens.
Featuring a cast of transsexuals, cross-dressers, prostitutes, hustlers, bikers, eccentrics, circus performers, street urchins, tearaways, gang members, back-street peddlers and survivalists, the works present the outsider as an agent of change. From street photography to portraiture, vernacular albums to documentary reportage, the show includes the Casa Susanna Collection, Paz Errazruiz, Pieter Hugo, Mary Ellen Mark and Dayanita Singh, Larry Clark and Diane Arbus.

Victorian Giants National Portrait Gallery
Victorian Giants National Portrait Gallery

Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography
National Portrait Gallery
01 March 2018 – 20 May 2018

This major new exhibition brings together, for the first time, the works of four of the most celebrated figures in art photography, Lewis Carroll (1832–98), Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79), Oscar Rejlander (1813–75) and Clementina Hawarden (1822-65). These four artists would come to embody the very best in photography of the Victorian era. Their experimental approach to picture-making and radical attitudes towards photography have informed artistic practice ever since.

Andreas Gursky, Hayward Gallery
Andreas Gursky, Hayward Gallery

Andreas Gursky
Hayward Gallery
25 Jan ’18-22 Apr ’18

Andreas Gursky marks the beginning of the Hayward Gallery’s 50th anniversary year and is the first exhibition to take place in the gallery following its two-year refurbishment. Gursky, known for his large-scale, often spectacular pictures that portray emblematic sites and scenes of the global economy and contemporary life, is widely regarded as one of the most significant photographers of our time. Edward Lucie-Smith in his review speaks of how much they owe
to the tradition of Modernist abstraction.

Under Cover, The Photographers' Gallery
Under Cover, The Photographers’ Gallery

Under Cover: A Secret History Of Cross – Dressers
The Photographers’ Gallery
23 February 2018 – 03 June 2018

Drawn from the extensive personal archives of filmmaker and photography collector Sébastien Lifshitz, this exhibition of amateur ‘found’ photographs from Europe and the US explores gender non-conformity and cross-dressing. Dating from 1880 onwards, the photos are mostly of unnamed and unknown figures – having been mainly collected from flea markets, garage sales, junk shops and ebay – and as such offer an unauthorised view into the worlds of individuals and groups choosing to defy gender conventions.

Deutsche Borse The Photographers' Gallery
Mathieu Asselin Heather Bowserholds a photograph of her father, Morris Bowser, Ohio, 2012 © Mathieu Asselin,

Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018
The Photographers’ Gallery
23 February 2018 – 03 June 2018

The four artists shortlisted for this year’s Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018 are Mathieu Asselin, Rafal Milach, Batia Suter and Luke Willis Thompson. Although wide-ranging in style and approach, all of the shortlisted projects reflect a shared concern with the production and manipulation of knowledge and systems of representation through visual formats.

Coming soon

Shape of Light, Tate Modern
Shape of Light, Tate Modern

Shape of Light 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art
Tate Modern
02 May 2018 – 14 October 2018

An exhibition looking at how photographers responded and contributed to the invention of abstract art.The birth of abstract art and the invention of photography were both defining moments in modern visual culture, but these two stories are often told separately. Shape of Light is the first major exhibition to explore the relationship between the two, spanning the century from the 1910s to the present day. It brings to life the innovation and originality of photographers over this period, and shows how they responded and contributed to the development of abstraction. Key vintage prints are brought together from pioneers like Paul Strand, László Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray, as well as lesser-known experimental works and those of contemporary artists such as Barbara Kasten and Thomas Ruff. Their work is shown alongside abstract paintings, sculptures and installations by major figures in abstract art, from Georges Braque and Jackson Pollock to Carl Andre and Bridget Riley.

2018 Sony World Photography Awards
® Nick Dolding, United Kingdom, Entry, Open competition, Portraiture , 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

2018 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House
20 April 2018 to 06 May 2018

This April, contemporary photography returns to Somerset House with the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition.

Featuring inspirational works by more than 600 artists, the exhibition will showcase winning and shortlisted works from the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s most diverse photography competition. Curated by Mike Trow – ex-Picture Editor of British Vogue – the images are specially selected from a record-breaking number of submissions. The 2018 Awards will cover a wide variety of genres, from architecture to landscape, street photography to wildlife, portraiture to travel.

The exhibition will also include an exclusive selection of unique works by a renowned international artist who will win the celebrated Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award.

Photo London Somerset House
Photo London Somerset House

Photo London 2018
Somerset House
17-20 May 2018

Photo London was created to give London an international photography event befitting the city’s status as a global cultural capital. Now in its third edition, Photo London has established itself as a world-class photography fair and as a catalyst for London’s dynamic photography community.
Along with the selection of the world’s leading galleries showing at the Fair, Photo London presents the Discovery section for the most exciting emerging galleries and artists; there is an original Public Programme bringing together special exhibitions, installations, a Talks Programme


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