The best exhibitions this week in London, from Nan Goldin to Hannah Starkey (May 23 to 30)

Hannah Starkey, Untitled, November 2023 (© Hannah Starkey, courtesy Maureen Paley, London)
Hannah Starkey, Untitled, November 2023 (© Hannah Starkey, courtesy Maureen Paley, London)

With access to hundreds of museums and galleries a tube ride away, we Londoners are spoilt for choice when it comes to a fun day out. But sometimes the capital’s embarrassment of riches means it’s tricky to pick where to go.

Do you disappear into the National Gallery for an afternoon, pop by some of the independent galleries in Marylebone, explore East London’s exciting offerings, or wander around the Tate?

Look no further every week: here’s our pick of five extraordinary exhibitions to see in London right now.

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin, Installation view, 2024 (© Nan Goldin, Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd, Courtesy Gagosian)
Nan Goldin, Installation view, 2024 (© Nan Goldin, Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd, Courtesy Gagosian)

Pioneering photographer and activist Nan Goldin is celebrated for her intimate and provocative depictions of American subcultures, and has become best known for shining a light on the effects of the HIV/AIDS crisis and the opioid epidemic.

Here, see a series of her early black and white photographs, taken between 1972 to 1974. Her work can also be seen at the V&A in the new Fragile Beauty exhibition and at Gagosian’s Charing Cross Road branch from May 30.

Gagosian Burlington Arcade, to June 22; gagosian.com

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The natural world has special soothing powers. So spend a glorious afternoon looking at entries for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year, being transported around the world, seeing some of its most fascinating and remarkable creatures.

Natural History Museum, to June 30; nhm.ac.uk

Andrew Pierre Hart: Bio-Data Flows and Other Rhythms – A Local Story

Installation View: Andrew Pierre Hart: Bio-Data Flows and Other Rhythms – A Local Story (Courtesy Whitechapel Gallery. Photo: Above Ground Studio)
Installation View: Andrew Pierre Hart: Bio-Data Flows and Other Rhythms – A Local Story (Courtesy Whitechapel Gallery. Photo: Above Ground Studio)

London-based music producer and interdisciplinary artist Andrew Pierre Hart has created a series of oil paintings, a soundscape, a film and a sculpture, inspired by, and responding to, Whitechapel and its place as a home for diasporic and migrant communities.

Whitechapel Gallery, to July 7; whitechapelgallery.org

Hannah Starkey

Hannah Starkey, Untitled, January 2023 (© Hannah Starkey, courtesy Maureen Paley, London)
Hannah Starkey, Untitled, January 2023 (© Hannah Starkey, courtesy Maureen Paley, London)

Hannah Starkey often uses staged settings and actors to achieve her large-scale photos, each shot lushly cinematic. Thought-provoking, full of rich colours and often featuring women, the images work as a meditation on the female experience and on women’s representation in contemporary culture. Here, see more of her illuminating works.

Maureen Paley, May 24 to July 14; maureenpaley.com

Cedric Christie: Oblivious to Your Own Career

Installation view, Cedric Christie (Rocket Gallery)
Installation view, Cedric Christie (Rocket Gallery)

London-based artist Cedric Christie’s training as a welder is evident in his minimalist sculptures made of industrial materials, covered in car paint. In this survey exhibition, he continues his exploration of the “aesthetic of reduction”.

Rocket Gallery, to September 21; rocketgallery.com