July's Unmissable New Exhibitions In London

Looking for an inspiring exhibition? Dennis Hopper, World War I and Rudeboys all all make a show in London this summer.

From the Imperial War Museum reopening in July with a World War I exhibition, to a closer look at the heady sixties' life of Dennis Hopper, we take a look at London's top exhibitions this summer.

Remembering The Great War At The Imperial War Museum

The museum re-opens on 19 July, after major renovations, with the exhibition Truth And Memory: British Art Of The First World War. It’s an appropriate venue to mark the centenary of the outbreak, to remember the events and discover untold stories in its new First World War Galleries, which include recreated trenches and soldiers' poignant love letters. The exhibition is the largest retrospective of British art depicting the war, with works by British greats Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer and John Singer Sargent.

 

Celebrating Hopper's raffish life at the Royal Academy Of Arts

Dennis Hopper, The Lost Album exhibition
Hopper's pals in the sixties (©Dennis Hopper/Hopper Art Trust)

The exhibition Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album (from 26 June) sheds light on the hellraising Hollywood actor Hopper’s heady life. His black-and-white photographs, which he took during the 1960s, of his pals David Hockney, Andy Warhol and Jeff Goodman, among others, were discovered in a cupboard in his house following his death in 2010. Hopper had wanted to burn the photos when he was living in New Mexico, but his friend saved them. Hopper shoved them next to his Christmas ornaments, where they remained until after his death.

 

Enjoying Some Style At Somerset House

Rudeboy photo © Dean Shalkley
Today's Rudeboy style in London (©Dean Chalkley)

What do you get if you put together a sharp suit, thin tie, jaunty hat and plenty of swagger? A rudeboy, according to Return Of The Rudeboy (from 13 Jun). The subculture began in 1950s Kingston, Jamaica, and migrated to England in the 1960s. Here, fashion photographer Dean Chalkley has captured more than 60 modern-day rudeboys across London, exhibited alongside music chosen by the subjects themselves. Afterwards, visit the pop-up salon to get a haircut, rudeboy-style.

 

Getting Colourful At The National Gallery

Documenting the history of something as wide-ranging and fundamental as colour may seem impossible, but Making Colour (from 18 Jun) rises to the challenge. The exhibition spans 700 years between early Renaissance and Impressionism, and sheds light on tools that enabled artists to achieve their vision. The rooms are grouped by colour, and feature some of the gallery’s most precious works. If Paul Klee was correct in asserting that ‘colour is the place where our brain and the universe meet’, then this exhibition promises to be an unmissable date.

Looking Into The Future At Barbican Centre

Dance Central 3, 2012, at Barbican Centre
(© Harmonix Music Systems)

Not the gallery but in spaces scattered across this arts venue, Digital Revolution: An Immersive Exhibition of Art, Design, Film, Music And Videogames (from 3 July) highlights how the key role that technology plays in every aspect of our lives. Interact with specially commissioned work by Will.i.am, Paul Frankling, the Oscar-winning special effects supervisor on Inception, and ponder the future of technology, from artificial intelligence to 3D printing.

 

Discovering The World At National Maritime Museum

The exhibition Ships, Clocks And Stars (from 11 Jul) shows off unique inventive instruments and solutions that scientists constructed in an effort to write their name into history, including Isaac Newton and Galileo. In an age where we can read any map within seconds, it’s hard to imagine a time where life-changing rewards were offered for whoever could solve the mystery of the longtitude at sea.