For London Gallery Weekend 2023, the mood is hardcore

With London Gallery Weekend 2023 almost upon us (2 – 4 June), here’s our list of must-see art exhibitions

Darja Bajagic Ex Axes (Selection) 2023, part of 'Hardcore' at Sadie Coles HQ London gallery weekend 2023
Darja Bajagic Ex Axes (Selection) 2023, part of 'Hardcore' at Sadie Coles HQ
(Image credit: Robert Chase Heishman)

London Gallery Weekend 2023 will soon be in full swing, and despite our best intentions, tackling 125 galleries over two days feels like an ambitious undertaking. Luckily, we've whittled things down to our ten favourite shows on view during the festivities, which will also include a public performance programme (featuring selected artists Nicole Bachmann, Li Hei Di, and Minh-Lan Tran), so you have a guide during London’s art mega-fest.  

Jacqueline Humphries
Modern Art, Bury Street and Helmet Row
3 June – 22 July

Jacqueline Humphries JH6491, 2022

Jacqueline Humphries, JH6491, 2022

(Image credit: Jacqueline Humphries/ Modern Art)

Stencils, fluorescent paint and black light; Jacqueline Humphries’ new ‘pre vandalised’ paintings see gridded surfaces tell enigmatic takes of defacement, abstract psychologies and the constructs of our online existences.

Narumi Nekpenekpen: ‘where you fit in my palm’
Soft Opening
2 June – 29 July 2023

Narumi Nekpenekpen

Narumi Nekpenekpen, gallops soaked in reverb, 2023, Porcelain and glaze

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist and Soft Opening, London Photography Theo Christelis)

LA-based Narumi Nekpenekpen's curious ceramic creatures caption a panoply of emotion, their exaggerated, warped features peeking out from a frenzied fusion of colour, form and texture. Through these intriguing sculptures, Nekpenekpen freezes facets of her own emotion and memories in porcelain and glaze, to captivating effect.

Jane Dickson: ‘Fist of Fury’
Alison Jacques
Until 24 June

'Jane Dickson: Fist of Fury', 2023, exhibition view, Alison Jacques, London

'Jane Dickson: Fist of Fury', 2023, exhibition view, Alison Jacques, London

(Image credit: Courtesy: Alison Jacques, London © Jane Dickson; photo: Michael Brzezinski⁠)

Her first solo exhibition in London in more than 20 years, 'Fist of Fury' features both historical and new and recent paintings from her acclaimed ‘Times Square’ series. Signage from cinemas, adult entertainment establishments, hotels, and liquor stores place viewers firmly in the heart of the action – in gloomy streets punctuated by potent neon advertisements.

Jean-Luc Mylayne: ‘Mirror’
Andro Wekua: ‘There’
Sprüth Magers
Until 29 July

Jean-Luc Mylayne A 7, Novembre 2006 - Mars 2007 C-print

Jean-Luc Mylayne A 7, Novembre 2006 - Mars 2007 C-print

(Image credit: © Jean-Luc Mylayne Courtesy Sprüth Magers)

Two solo shows at Sprüth Magers offer London Gallery Weekend visitors two very different moods. Jean-Luc Mylayne’s ‘Mirror’ sees birds photographed in their natural habitats, underpinned by philosophical questions about fragility of our shared ecosystems and the brevity of life on earth. Andro Wekua’s 'There' features the artist's new multilayered paintings composed of fragments of recollections that straddle abstraction and figuration.

Chris Ofili: ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’
Victoria Miro
2 June – 29 July

Chris Ofili, The Pink Waterfall (detail), 2019–2023 Oil and charcoal on linen

Chris Ofili, The Pink Waterfall (detail), 2019–2023 Oil and charcoal on linen

(Image credit: © Chris Ofili Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro)

The result of six years’ work, Chris Ofili’s new show, as its title suggests, takes sin as its muse, meditating on the complex experience of sinfulness in its many guises. Each painting embodies not one sin, but a range of transgressive behaviours, making for a dreamlike, eerie reflection on humanity’s relationship with right, wrong, and the mucky in-between.

Gary Simmons: ‘This Must be The Place’
Hauser & Wirth
Until 29 July

Installation view, ‘Gary Simmons. This Must Be the Place’ at Hauser & Wirth London until 29 July 2023

Installation view, ‘Gary Simmons. This Must Be the Place’ at Hauser & Wirth London until 29 July 2023

(Image credit: © Gary Simmons. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Alex Delfanne)

In 'This Must Be the Place’, Gary Simmons explores the process of cultural erasure and the traces it leaves behind. Featuring a series of paintings and his first large sculptural works, the show comes ahead of Simmons’ first survey ‘Public Enemy’, opening at MCA Chicago in June 2023 and centres on historical racist tropes in culture; ‘I don't want them to be forgotten for their menace’, he told us in a recent interview.

Isamu Noguchi: ‘This Earth, This Passage’
White Cube, Mason’s Yard
Until 1 July

samu Noguchi'This Earth, This Passage', White Cube Mason's Yard

Isamu Noguchi, 'This Earth, This Passage', White Cube Mason's Yard

(Image credit: © The Noguchi Museum / ARS. Photo © White Cube (Ollie Hammick))

‘This Earth, This Passage’ centres on Isamu Noguchi’s engagement with material and performance. Over three decades, he created 20 stage sets for the choreographer Martha Graham (1894 – 1991). The exhibition includes a key example of their collaboration; a sculptural scenography which served as the setting for Graham’s Dark Meadow (1946). Other works delve into Noguchi’s boundaryless practice, and his sculptural relationship with the human body.

Maisie Cousins: ‘Walking Back to Happiness’
TJ Boulting
Until 17 June

Walking Back To Happiness 2023

Walking Back To Happiness, 2023

(Image credit: Maisie Cousins)

The beautiful, bonkers AI world of Maisie Cousins was talk of the tent at Photo London this year. Her solo show at TJ Boulting combines her signature visceral photography with a new venture in AI and installation. The latter is based on family videos (destroyed when she misplaced them at art school) of Cousins visiting Blobbyland theme park with her granddad as a young girl. Here, she reconstructs the memories via AI – they’re freaky, nostalgic, and one of the most original uses of AI photography we’ve seen so far.

Sadie Coles HQ
Until 5 August 2023

Joan Semmel, For Foot Fetishists, 1977

Joan Semmel, For Foot Fetishists, 1977

(Image credit: Copyright: 2023 Joan Semmel/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York)

Featuring the work of 18 artists, the provocative exhibition ‘Hardcore’ is a bold, explicit exploration of carnal desires, intimacy and sex. Curated by Sadie Coles and John O’Doherty, the show shatters the status quo and explores how, amid the noise of cancel culture, discussions around complex and more nuanced sexuality have been quietened. Featured artists include Darja Bajagić, Monica Bonvicini, Elaine Cameron-Weir, Tayeba Begum Lipi, Carolee Schneemann, Cindy Sherman and Andra Ursuţa.

‘To Bend the Ear of the Outer World’
Until 25 August

Frank Bowling

Frank Bowling, Passtheball, 2022

(Image credit: Frank Bowling. All rights reserved/ Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ DACS, London, 2023. Photo: Anna Arca)

‘To Bend the Ear of the Outer World: Conversations on contemporary abstract painting’ is an exhibition of new and recent works by more than 40 artists from the Americas, United Kingdom, and Germany, spanning both of Gagosian’s Mayfair spaces for the first time. Organised by guest curator Gary Garrels, the show delves into the significance of abstract painting today, including work by Katharina Grosse, Frank Bowling, Julie Mehretu and Oscar Murillo.

London Gallery Weekend 2023 runs from 2 – 4 June. For more information about participating galleries and performances, visit

Harriet Lloyd-Smith was the Arts Editor of Wallpaper*, responsible for the art pages across digital and print, including profiles, exhibition reviews, and contemporary art collaborations. She started at Wallpaper* in 2017 and has written for leading contemporary art publications, auction houses and arts charities, and lectured on review writing and art journalism. When she’s not writing about art, she’s making her own.