10 Must-See Shows during London Gallery Weekend 2023


Bella Bonner-Evans

Victoria Cantons, installation view of “What Birds Plunge Through Is Not The Intimate Space,” 2023. © Guts Gallery. Photo by Eva Herzog. Courtesy of Guts Gallery.

Returning for its third edition, London Gallery Weekend is once again set to take place across the capital from June 2nd through 4th. To mark the occasion, galleries citywide will present unmissable shows by their leading artists and remain open throughout the weekend to welcome art enthusiasts, budding collectors, and interested members of the public, in a large-scale celebration of London’s vibrant and ever-growing art scene.

The world’s largest gallery-led event of its kind, this year’s edition features over 120 participating galleries—including 13 new additions—and an expanded performance program, developed in collaboration with public art commissioning body UP Projects. Artist-led performances will be unveiled by Li Hei Di, Minh Lan Tran, and Nicole Bachmann, while galleries will seek to draw in crowds with special public events including curator tours, drinks receptions, and workshops.

This year’s London Gallery Weekend features a mix of established and fledgling spaces to discover: On Friday, all eyes are on Central London’s numerous blue-chips alongside newly opened spaces such as Gathering; Saturday spotlights South London spaces, including the well-known Hannah Barry Gallery alongside newcomers such as GROVE; and Sunday looks to the East End, with stalwart of the scene Victoria Miro and exciting emerging galleries like Guts Gallery and Rose Easton.

Here’s a selection of 10 unmissable shows during London Gallery Weekend 2023.

Hannah Barry Gallery

June 3–Sep. 9

George Rouy, Fear of my Own Oblivion, 2022. © Hannah Barry Gallery. Photo by Deniz Guzel. Courtesy of the artist and Hannah Barry Gallery.

George Rouy, The Core of Human Condition, 2022. © Hannah Barry Gallery. Photo by Deniz Guzel. Courtesy of the artist and Hannah Barry Gallery.

Three years on from his last U.K. solo show, a monumental exhibition of George Rouy’s work entitled “BODY SUIT” is set to open at Hannah Barry Gallery. The show will feature a new series of large-scale paintings that speak to essential and eternally vexing subjects of human experience—desire, alienation, freedom, and crisis.

As an artist at the forefront of a new generation of internationally renowned figurative painters, George Rouy is uniquely positioned to articulate the mess and madness of identity and individuality in the 21st century. The markedly contemporary portraits featured in “BODY SUIT” mirror the chaos of life in a capitalistic, technologically driven, and increasingly inhospitable world. The figures blur, bend, and disguise themselves, bodies in motion that excavate the complexities of tumultuous inner experience against a backdrop of unrelenting societal transformation.

Sasha Gordon, “The Flesh Disappears, But Continues To Ache”

Stephen Friedman Gallery

June 1–July 22

Sasha Gordon, Trimmings, 2023. © Sasha Gordon. Photo by Jean Vong. Courtesy of the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London and Matthew Brown Gallery, Los Angeles.

Sasha Gordon is the name on everyone’s lips: The young artist graduated from Rhode Island School of Design just three years ago, and has since presented solo shows with Jeffrey Deitch in New York and Matthew Brown Gallery in Los Angeles. She is also currently working towards her first institutional solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, opening later this year.

For London Gallery Weekend, Stephen Friedman will open Gordon’s first-ever European solo show, “The Flesh Disappears, But Continues To Ache.” The exhibition features a sardonic and surreal new series of paintings in which Gordon reimagines herself in a myriad of strange embodiments. In each work, the artist transposes her characteristics onto other beings—some animal, others botanical, and others even geological—in an attempt to dissect the complexity of her identity as a young queer Asian American woman.

A standout work from the exhibition, Trimmings (2023), features a rendering of the artist naked in a garden creating a model of herself in topiary. Recalling classical depictions of Aphrodite, complete with contrapposto pose and hands delicately placed to conserve her modesty, the painting juxtaposes the artist’s real self with a self-constructed and romanticized topiary version. The piece reflects the central themes of the show: the pressure of idealized female beauty and the reconstruction of identity and image as a continuous act of self-preservation.

Chris Ofili, “The Seven Deadly Sins”

Victoria Miro

June 2–July 29

Chris Ofili, detail of The Pink Waterfall, 2019–23. © Chris Ofili. Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro.

Victoria Miro is set to open a major solo exhibition of new works by Chris Ofili, entitled “The Seven Deadly Sins.” Having risen to prominence in the 1990s and famed for richly orchestrated paintings employing unlikely materials such as elephant dung, the artist went on to win the Turner Prize in 1998 and represent Britain at the 50th Venice Biennale.

His new body of work, created over the past six years, offers an expansive meditation on sin and the experience of sinfulness. Drawing on paradisiacal, otherworldly, and cosmic themes, Ofili’s canvases evoke surreal worlds populated by fantastical creatures. Rather than examining each sin in turn, Ofili creates an alternative realm where opposing forces, transgressive behaviors, and imagined acts coexist. Each piece becomes a glimpse into a world of unbridled excess, desire, and self-will, extending Ofili’s interest in blurring boundaries between perceived dichotomies, such as the sacred and profane, and the personal and political.

Accompanying the exhibition is a new publication including work by seven writers invited by Ofili to explore the exhibition’s theme. Including poetry and narrative, the book features words by Hilton Als, Inua Ellams, Marlon James, Anthony Joseph, Ayanna Lloyd Banwo, Attillah Springer, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.


May 11–June 17

Soojin Kang, installation view of “To Be You, Whoever You Are,” at Gathering, 2023. Photo by Grey Hutton. Courtesy of the artist and Gathering.

Known for her monumental and enveloping textile works, Korean artist Soojin Kang turns her attention to the figure for her first solo exhibition at newly opened gallery Gathering. Menacing, haunting, and almost shrine-like, the installation spanning two floors transforms the gallery into a charged space of silent contemplation.

Entering the ground floor feels like stepping into a graveyard: The empty and industrial gallery space is punctuated by disembodied limbs and faceless torsos perched ominously upon white plinths. Created with hand-dyed linen, jute, and silk, and formed through a lengthy process of ritualistic action—weaving, knotting, winding, and unwinding—Kang’s limb-like forms read as fragments of age-old statuary.

Soojin Kang, “To Be You, Whoever You Are,” Gathering


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In the gallery’s basement, Kang’s vision is fully realized in a collection of larger-than-life figures with steel bones and fabric skin. They are imposing in scale, yet their vulnerability is clear: Behind the fabric, the fragility of their structure is revealed. From fear emerges recognition and empathy; they, like us, are creatures of impermanence and incompletion.

The exhibition pushes textile far beyond its perceived limitations and refuses the historic designation of weaving as a subordinate art form. Through the creation of deeply evocative sculptures, Kang liberates the medium and works within and against its historical associations with femininity.

TJ Boulting

May 10–June 17

Maisie Cousins, Bouncy Ball, 2021. © Maisie Cousins. Courtesy of the artist and TJ Boulting, London.

Taking its title from a song by 1960s British pop star Helen Shapiro, Maisie Cousins’s solo exhibition “Walking Back To Happiness” feels like a weird and wild trip down memory lane. Cousins currently lives in St Leonards-on-Sea with her young daughter, and drew inspiration for the exhibition from her present experiences of motherhood and a sense of nostalgic longing to relive her own childhood.

In places, the exhibition almost reads as a collaboration between mother and child, featuring close-up images of fries, ketchup, and tacky plastic toys strewn over shag-pile living room carpets. Elsewhere, a new partnership is born between the artist and technology. Spurred by the loss of tapes documenting trips to the theme park Blobbyland with her grandfather, Cousins attempted to recreate the experience in AI. The resultant pieces capture the unique camp and ineffable absurdity of the United Kingdom’s amusement parks. Bathed in nostalgia and creating new narratives from long-lost memories, the works on show feel oddly relatable to anyone who grew up in Britain.

Alongside the photographic series, characters initially conceived of in AI have been brought to life as sculptures: A headless blue lobster and a smiley cartoon celery stand nonsensically in the gallery space. In the background, karaoke versions of “Walking Back to Happiness” play on repeat. The line “Funny, but it’s true…” perhaps typifies the exhibition’s ability to blur the distinction between the real and the imagined.

Amanda Moström, “itsanosofadog *It’s an arse of a dog”

Rose Easton

May 4–June 10

Amanda Moström, Bless You, 2023. Photo by Theo Christelis. Courtesy of the artist and Rose Easton, London.

Amanda Moström, Encore Again; Once More, 2023. Photo by Theo Christelis. Courtesy of the artist and Rose Easton, London.

Known for concept-driven and immersive exhibitions, Rose Easton is a young gallery housed inconspicuously in a graffiti-covered building in Bethnal Green. Its current exhibition, a solo show by Amanda Moström, is a mind-bendingly complex and compelling exercise in personal storytelling.

Themes of nostalgia, memory, mental illness, and the path to healing reverberate between the works on view and the exhibition’s accompanying publication—a fragment of a revealing interview with the artist. Through a deliberately austere selection of works, a multi-layered image of the artist’s past and present psychological experience comes into view.

Amanda Moström, Encore, 4-9-91 4., 2023. Photo by Theo Christelis. Courtesy of the artist and Rose Easton, London.

Amanda Moström, Prosit, 2023. Photo by Theo Christelis. Courtesy of the artist and Rose Easton, London

Standout works include two keyhole-shaped photos encased in alpaca hair sourced from the farm where Moström recently lived. Inside the fur frames are stills from a video sent to the artist by a friend, showing a mother dog teaching her litter of puppies to be calm. The video was passed on as part of an exchange of techniques to manage mental illness, a theme at the heart of this unique and powerful exhibition.

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery

May 5–June 4

Qualeasha Wood, installation view of “TL;DR” at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, 2023. © Qualeasha Wood. Courtesy of the artist, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, and Gallery Kendra Jayne Patrick.

Both pointed and poignant, New York–based artist Qualeasha Wood’s solo exhibition at Pippy Houldsworth continues the artist’s exploration into racial, gender, and sexual identities as they relate to the Black femme body. For her debut solo show in London, Wood adopts the language of technology to provoke questions surrounding vulnerability and safety while rejecting the fetishization of Black women in both real and online spaces.

The Jacquard weave tapestries are the standout pieces of the show. They incorporate images of the artist dressed in white as an ironically deployed symbol of purity, behind a cluster of error messages reminiscent of computer interfaces of the 1990s. Combining religious connotations, such as a double self-portrait posed as a pietà, with symbols of modernity and technological advancement, the artist imagines a new visual lexicon for exploring inherited trauma and racialized experience.

Qualeasha Wood, installation view of All Around Me, 2023, in “TL;DR” at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, 2023. © Qualeasha Wood. Courtesy of the artist, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, and Gallery Kendra Jayne Patrick.

Tufting works, meanwhile, see Wood exploring Black girlhood, adopting a naïve aesthetic to deliberately recall the cartoon animations she consumed as a child. These pieces seek to highlight the implicit associations between these cartoons and racial stereotyping, associations that were lost on her as a child. By spotlighting inadvertently experienced instances of anti-Black prejudice, Wood invites the viewer to question their complacency in diffuse or systematic systems of racial oppression.

Richard Saltoun Gallery

May 30–July 15

Florence Peake, Factual Actual II, 2020. © Courtesy of the artist and Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome.

To coincide with the artist’s major solo exhibition at Southwark Park Galleries, Richard Saltoun Gallery presents “Enactment,” an exhibition of works by Florence Peake. The pieces on view build on the artist’s performance Factual Actual at the National Gallery in 2021, a piece predicated on the collapse of the canon of the classical white Western painting tradition. The exhibition thus exists as a by-product of live movement, redefining the confines of what a performance can be and reinventing the original piece through its archival legacy.

As a queer multidisciplinary artist, much of Peake’s work is rooted in the body. She explores queerness not only as an identity, but as an ontological approach and a strategy for markmaking, often deploying bodily movement directly in the construction of painting. Charged with a political, intimate, and sensual atmosphere, her work across multiple disciplines represents a joyful meditation on our flesh-bound world, while reimagining and reframing artmaking.

“Bite the Hand”


June 2–July 8

Noelia Towers, Look What the Cat Dragged In, 2023. Courtesy of the artist, GROVE, and De Boer Gallery.

Malte Zenses, Campbell als Saturn, 2022. Courtesy of GROVE and Sperling Munich.

With the press release taking the form of an ironic open letter from the gallery’s director, Jacob Barnes, to the art world, it follows that this exhibition at GROVE would be both elusive and subversive.

The exhibition seeks to draw attention to the ideas of duality and duplicity, with irony and sarcasm at play in the works of nine exciting emerging international artists, such as Filippo Cegani, Noelia Towers, and Malte Zenses. Both a critique of the art world’s many contradictions and an admission of GROVE’s role in upholding them, the exhibition takes aim at the very systems that make it possible to host such a show, as well as the collectors, gallerists, and visitors likely to attend. With the potential to undermine and offend the very world within which it operates, this exhibition is clearly a risk GROVE is willing to take—aptly titling the exhibition “Bite the Hand.”

Guts Gallery

May 12–June 4

Having graduated with an MA from the Slade School of Fine Art just two years ago, Victoria Cantons has achieved rapid success with previous solo shows at both Guts Gallery and another London gallery, Flowers, just last month. In a similar rise in fortunes, Guts has quickly become London’s go-to destination for the best in emerging art, having taken up a permanent space in Clapton in 2022.

In this noteworthy pairing, Victoria Cantons’s solo show at Guts presents a distinct new direction in her practice. Meditating extensively on the space between things as a charged realm, necessary for a person or object’s individual form to be realized, these paintings feature vast swathes of off-white wash populated by sporadic moments of intense and gestural paintwork.

Victoria Cantons, “What Birds Plunge Through Is Not The Intimate Space,” Guts Gallery


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Exploring themes of desire, loss, and time, the works on view draw considerably from the extensive literary and artistic influences that have informed Cantons’s practice since its inception. Lines from poems by a vast array of both ancient and modern writers, such as singer Leonard Cohen, novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, and playwright William Shakespeare, are scrawled across paintings in the artist’s distinctive hand. Reading as both gestural marks and considered words of affirmation, the featured text allows the viewer a deeper insight into the art and literary works that have played a key role in Cantons’s self-actualization as an artist.


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