Photo London 2022: A Guide to the Best Photo Shows

London is never short of creative activity, but photography is set to come to the fore in May with a double dose of activity during Photo London and London Gallery Weekend.

At Somerset House, Photo London (12 – 15 May 2022) will hold its seventh fair with 106 galleries from 18 countries, many of which will dedicate their stands to supporting Ukraine.

Celebrating the past, present and future of photography, this year’s event will feature a dynamic discovery section, spotlighting rising stars in the medium and beyond, an extensive lecture program and an exhibition by the master of this year’s photography, Nick Knight.

Here we’ve collected our highlights, both over the weekend and beyond.

Offprint London 2022
Tate Modern
May 13 – 15

Returning to Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall for its sixth edition, Offprint brings together international publishers for an almost overwhelming celebration of all that is independent, experimental and socially engaged in photography, architecture, design, the humanities and visual culture.

Deutsche Boerse Photography Foundation Award
The photographers gallery
Until June 12, 2022

Jo Ractliffe, Roadside stand on the way to Viana2007 from the series Occupied Land © Jo Ractliffe

Covering the personal and political realm, the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize will announce this year’s winner on May 12. Nominees Anastasia Samoylova, Jo Ractliffe, Deana Lawson and Gilles Peress testify to the ability of contemporary photography to tackle the complexities of conflict and climate change head-on.

Jeff Wall
white cube mason yard
Until June 25, 2022;
Andreas Gursky
Bermondsey White Cube
until June 26, 2022

Andreas Gursky, V&R II, 2022 (2009). © Andreas Gursky/DACS. Courtesy of White Cube

With Jeff Wall in his Mason’s Yard gallery and Andreas Gursky in Bermondsey, White Cube pulls out all the stops when it comes to pioneering the world of photography. As Wall shows his recent “quasi-documentary” images, new photographs by Gursky focus on global capitalism and the “essential commonalities” of contemporary life.

Photo London Discovery Section
Somerset House
Until May 15

Bowei Yang, Zhang and the other side of a butterfly. Courtesy of Hi-Noon

Photo London’s Discovery section is known for signifying what’s next for photography through the lens of emerging galleries. This year, curated by Tim Clark, it includes ‘Photography Breaking Boundaries’, featuring sculptural works and an NFT presentation; artist duo Walter & Zoniel’s rainbow camera; and works from the Hi-Noon Gallery.

‘Gareth McConnell, the brighter the flowers, the fiercer the city’
Seen fifteen
Until June 11

Gareth McConnell, Dream Meadow XXI, 2021

Gareth McConnell’s Ongoing Series The brighter the flowers, the fiercer the city is inspired by the photographer’s upbringing in Northern Ireland amid the Troubles. Presented at Seen Fifteen as part of the Peckham 24 festival, the series is a visual onslaught of dazzling color and floral hallucinations, oscillating between everything from funeral processions to raves.

‘Lee Miller: Nurses’
Fitzrovia Chapel
May 11 – June 5

Surgical gloves are sterilized and dried on racks, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, England, 1943, by Lee Miller

Photojournalist, surrealist, model, fashion photographer and war correspondent, Lee Miller is nothing short of an icon of the 20th century. A lesser-known, but no less notable facet of Miller’s career is her documentation of nursing in Europe during World War II, now on display at Fitzrovia Chapel, curated by Hannah Watson. With powerful connections to our current turbulent times, the images celebrate the essential work of nurses alongside moments of daily life and tragedy.

“Known and Strange: Photographs from the Collection”
Until November 6

Andy Sewell, Untitled from the Serie Known and Stranger Things Pass2020. Purchase financed by Cecil Beaton Fund © Andy Sewell

Featuring works from the V&A’s collection, “Known and Strange” explores photography’s ability to move from the familiar to the abstract, from the ordinary to the beyond. The exhibition includes impressive acquisitions by artists such as Paul Graham, Susan Meiselas, Dafna Talmor, Zanele Muholi and Tom Lovelace. Viewers are invited to question everyday assumptions and discover broader perspectives across both time and space.

Photo London talks
Somerset House
Until May 15

Anastasia Samoilova, Concrete erosion2019 series flood zone.© Anastasia Samoilova

In addition to the impressive number of works on display, this year’s Photo London will also feature an impressive list of talks. Highlights include a discussion of the performative practice of Melanie Manchot; a conversation between artist Anastasia Samoylova and writer, curator, artist and educator David Campany; and examining questions such as whether Frank Horvat could be considered a feminist.

Dover street market

Dover Street Market celebrates Photo London in typically elegant fashion, with a series of installations and product launches. Highlights include a Cecilie Bahnsen campaign book by Takashi Homma,
a Jil Sander campaign book by Chris Rhodes, t-shirts by Raf Simons in collaboration with David Sims, and much more. §

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