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Photography Exhibitions London 2019

Following on from 2018, photography exhibitions London 2019 have a tough act to follow. That said, though, 2019 looks very promising. As well as the usual annual favourites such as Photo London and Photomonth, like in 2018, there is some fantastic choice. Cindy Sherman and Diane Arbus feature in major exhibitions. It is not just about international photographers though. There are important retrospectives from British photographers Martin Parr and Sir Don McCullin as well as new work from Jem Southam. There are displays of documentary and conceptual photography together with photojournalism and war photography. Not forgetting landscape photography nor anthropological work; the range of work to see in 2019 is huge.

Diane Arbus work comes to the Hayward Gallery in May but that’s not before Martin Parr’s Only Human show at the National Portrait Gallery. As well as the Martin Parr exhibition, later in the year, you can see Cindy Sherman at the National Portrait Galley. There are two Sir Don McCullin exhibitions; at Tate Britain and Hamiltons Gallery. February sees the reopening of Huxley-Parlour gallery with a show by British landscape photographer Jem Southam. Read on for details on each of these exhibitions further down.

We include details such as dates, admission costs and links for booking tickets. Also take a look at the regularly updated London Photography Galleries list as well. That list compliments this post on London Photography Exhibitions. It contains information such as opening times and maps for the London photography exhibitions. Also see our latest list of current Photography Exhibitions in London.


Photography Exhibitions London 2019

1. Diane Arbus: In the Beginning

Diane Arbus was introduced in the 1967 New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) exhibition New Documents. The curator, John Szarkowski, explained how Arbus belonged to a new generation of photographers. Arbus together with Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand “redirected the technique and aesthetic of documentary photography“. In contrast to earlier work, in particular from the likes of Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange, the focus was on their own personal experience. Her style was to represent her subjects in their natural environment. Arbus tended to focus on outsiders such as transgender people, strippers and other marginalised people in her work. Diane Arbus featured in last year’s Barbican photography exhibition in London: Another Kind of Life.

Diane Arbus: In the Beginning looks at the first seven years of her career (from 1956 to 1962). This is the first solo UK exhibition of Diane Arbus work in twelve years. More than 100 photographs feature. Many of the works are being shown for the first time ever in Europe.

The Hayward Gallery follows up on its reopening Andreas Gursky exhibition last year with this Diane Arbus show. The Brutalist Hayward Gallery is close to Waterloo Tube Station and on the South Bank. It’s a short walk from the Strand so you might consider combining the gallery visit with a Theatreland trip.

  Supporter Standard: £18.50 (including £1.50 donation and £3.00 online transaction fee). Tickets:  
  Hayward Gallery, Southbank. Map:  
  Wednesday, 13th February – Monday, 6th May.
  More information: Southbank Centre.
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2. Cindy Sherman

National Portrait Gallery, London photography exhibitions December 2018, Photography Exhibitions in London 2019
National Portrait Gallery, London

Cindy Sherman is probably one of the most influential figures in contemporary art. In particular, the American photographer is known for her conceptual portraits. She was making ‘selfies’ long before the term existed. Probably her most famous series is ‘Untitled Film Stills‘. Cindy Sherman challenges social stereotypes, dressing up in wigs together with vintage clothing, and putting herself in front of the camera. The series comprises 69 black and white images made between 1977 and 1980. Photograph Number 48 from the series features in the list of 20 Most Expensive Photos Sold at Auction. Cindy Sherman work appears no fewer than six times in that list. The most expensive being ‘Untitled 96 1981’, in third place. The chromogenic colour print was sold for $3.9 million by Christie’s in 2011.

The National Portrait Gallery offers a major retrospective of the Cindy Sherman work. Untitled Film Stills as well as more recent work will feature in the show. Some work is being shown in public for the very first time. In total more than 150 works coming from international public and private collection will be on show.

The National Portrait Gallery is on St. Martin’s Place. It is near to Leicester Square tube station. Charing Cross station is also just a short walk.

  Adult with donation (including 2019 Online Transaction Fee): £21.85 Tickets:  
  National Portrait Gallery, Westminster. Map:  
  Thursday, 27th June – Sunday, 15th September.
  More information: National Portrait Gallery.
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3. Photo London 2019

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Somerset House, London

Surprisingly, Photo London is already in its fifth year. Photo London 2019 promises to be just as exciting, if not more, than last year’s edition. Photo London is the UK’s only major art fair specialising in photography. Following on from last year’s exciting edition, hopes are high for Photo London 2019.

The public programme will soon be announced, in February. Photo London 2018 featured as many as 100 galleries from 18 different countries. Let’s see if Photo London can once more exceed the high expectations created by previous editions. Although we are still waiting for more details, we already know that winning entries from The Portrait of Humanity Award will be on show this year. That is a new award resulting from a collaboration between Magnum Photos and the British Journal of Photography.

Photo London is held annually at Somerset House. Somerset House is on the Strand, by Waterloo Bridge and just a couple of minutes walk from Covent Garden. You might consider slipping out to Covent Garden or across the river to the South Bank for a quick lunch before rushing back to take in the rest of the show.

Photo London 2017

  One Day Pass: £27. Tickets:  
  Somerset House, Strand. Map:  
  Wednesday, 16th May – Saturday, 19th May.
  More information: Photo London.
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4. Only Human: Photographs by Martin Parr

Martin Parr, chronicler of our age is probably one of the nation’s best-loved and most important photographers. Last year saw Martin Parr displays at Tate Modern, Rocket Gallery and The National Maritime Museum as well as a solo show at Huxley Parlour. Clearly a sign of just how in demand his work is right now. In particular, Martin Parr is well known for critically examining elements of modern life in his intimate, satirical and anthropological photography. He captures the British in quiet villages, at fairs and churches, in supermarkets, in their homes and holiday at the Great British seaside as well as abroad. A nuanced commentator on the British class system, Martin Parr is best known for his sharp eye and cheeky sense of humour.

Only Human: Martin Parr is a major new exhibition by Britain’s most widely celebrated photographer. The focus of the show, quite simply, is Martin Parr’s favourite subject: People. His lenses let us explore the current British social climate in the wake of ongoing political processes.

The National Portrait Gallery is on St. Martin’s Place. Located between Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square, there are several transport options.  Leicester Square, as well as Charing Cross, station is just a short walk.  The Photographers’ Gallery is not too much of a long walk either – try to arrive there before midday to get free entry.

Adult with donation (including 2019 Online Transaction Fee): £21.85. Tickets:  
  National Portrait Gallery, Westminster. Map:  
  Thursday, 7th March – Monday, 27th May.
  More information: National Portrait Gallery.
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5. Don McCullin: Proximity

Sir Don McCullin, arguably Great Britain’s most renowned photojournalist, had a whole exhibition dedicated to his work at Photo London 2016. 2019 will see a major retrospective at Tate Britain (read on for further details below). To coincide with that show, Hamiltons will celebrate Sir Don McCullin’s lifetime achievement by exhibiting rare and unseen vintage prints dating back to the 1950s. Sir Don documented many major conflicts of the 20th and 21st century in Africa and the Middle East as well as Vietnam. His lifetime contribution to photojournalism continues today.

Hamiltons Gallery is in Mayfair, close to Grosvenor Square and only a short walk from Green Park tube station. For a quick sushi pit stop while walking back to Green Park, Nobu is on Berkeley Street.

  No admission fee.
  Hamiltons, Mayfair. Map:  
  Wednesday, 30th January – Thursday, 26th April
  More information: Hamiltons.
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6. Jem Southam: The Long White Cloud

Jem Southam is a British photographer renowned for his series of colour landscape photographs beginning in the 1970s. He is possibly the most important British landscape photographer working today. While his work is patiently produced over many months or even years, his trademark is the patient observation of a single location over these quite long time periods.

Huxley Parlour present an exhibition of new work by Jem Southam. Although he is better known for a focus on South West of England, this body of work was produced over a six-week journey around New Zealand. Despite the shorter timescale than we are used to, transience and a continued obsession with the subtleties of colour persist. Jem Southam: The Long White Cloud documents New Zealand’s lakes and rivers as well as its dramatic waterfalls.

Jem Southam introduces ‘The Long White Cloud’, at Huxley-Parlour Gallery

Huxley Parlour reopens in February after expanding both its exhibition space and its cultural approach. The new gallery exhibition space will allow the presentation of modern painting and sculpture at the same time as photography.

Huxley-Parlour is just off Piccadilly. Close to Fortnum & Mason both the Royal Academy of Arts and Piccadilly underground stations are only a short walk. Regent’s Street together with the Photographers’ gallery are slightly further though also walkable.

  No admission fee.
  Huxley-Parlour, Mayfair. Map:  
  Wednesday, 13th February – Saturday, 9th March.
  More information: Huxley-Parlour.
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7. Roger Fenton’s Photographs of the Crimea

Roger Fenton was a pioneer of early photography.  His work has featured in recent photography exhibitions in London, such as the Salt and Silver: Early Photography at Tate Britain a few years back.  With tensions between Ukraine and Russia remaining on a knife edge it seems poignant to take a fresh look at his images from the Crimea.  In fact this is the first exhibition to focus on Sir Roger Fenton’s 1855 photographs from the Crimean War.  Capturing the futility of war, he created the genre of War Photography.  Furthermore, he helped raise awareness of the conditions faced by those fighting the war, on the ground.

The Royal Collection Trust presents a selection from the 50 photographed which Sir Roger was commissioned to produce. The display is at the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace. Both Victoria and Green Park London underground stations are within walking from the palace.

  Adult: £12. Tickets:  
  The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. Map:  
  Until Sunday, 28th April.
  More information: Royal Collection Trust.
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8. Don McCullin

British veteran photographer Sir Don McCullin is one of history’s great war photographers. During his career he worked for The Observer, Sunday Telegraph and The Sunday Times newspapers but was always remained his own man. “I always gave the art department a very tight edit, and they never asked for more… . They trusted me”, he revealed last year, in an interview for BJP.

Sir Don McCullin’s work has been much celebrated in recent years. As well as his exhibition at Photo London 2016, he featured in Conflict, Time, Photography as Tate Modern in the previous year. There is also a Sir Don McCullin exhibition at Hamiltons Gallery in Mayfair timed to coincide with this retrospective.

Tate Britain presents over 250 photographs by Sir Don McCullin. Each and every image on display is printed by the photographer himself, in his very own darkroom. This comparatively rare opportunity to see a comprehensive selection of work from Sir Don’s career.

  Admission including £3 donation (advanced ticket, no booking fee, free eticket delivery): £19.00. Tickets:  
  Tate Britain, Pimlico. Map:  
  Tuesday, 5th February – Monday, 6th May.
  More information: Tate.
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9. Photomonth 2019

Photomonth is an international photography festival with exhibitions centred around East London. Like Photo London, Photomonth is held annually, though Photomonth lasts longer and takes place in October and November. The festival aims to reach the widest possible audience, while demonstrating the diversity of contemporary photography. We eagerly await the dropping of the Photomonth 2019 programme.

  No admission fee. Tickets:  
  Hamiltons, Mayfair. Map:  
  Wednesday, 30th January – Thursday, 26th April
  More information: Photomonth.
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10. Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2019

The annual Deutshe Börse Photography Foundation Prize returns to the Photographers’ Gallery in March. The Soho gallery will feature from the four shortlisted artists. This year the shorlist features Laia Abril and Susan Meiselas as well as Arwed Messmer and Mark Ruwedel.

The Photographers’ Gallery is by Liberty of London, not far from either The Photographers’ Gallery is by Liberty of London, not far from either Oxford Street or Regent Street. The gallery has a great café as well as a print shop.

  Free admission before 12.00 every day.
  The Photographers’ Gallery, Soho. Map:  
  Friday, 8th March – Sunday, 2nd June
  More information: The Photographers’ Gallery.
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Photography Exhibitions London 2019

That’s out list of ten Photography Exhibitions in London 2019. As well as this annual list, look out for our weekly lists of current Photography Exhibitions in London!

We post regularly on London Photography Exhibitions and a wide range of topics from travel to healthy living. Of course, we feature jfFrank photos in each post. Have a look through our galleries and other posts to find out more about us and our work. You can always find the latest posts here, for example. The site features photo galleries on four themes, namely: Memories, Moments, Escapes & Places.

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