5 Open-Air Art Exhibitions To Explore This Summer

The last place you want to spend a hot day is inside a stuffy museum, but that doesn’t mean you have to let your love of culture fall by the wayside this summer. Lots of galleries have moved their exhibitions outside, including a show of luminous glass sculptures at Kew Gardens and neon-light installations by the Gherkin. There’s never been a better way to soak up some sun and culture all at once…

1. The Serpentine Pavilion

Serpentine Pavilion 2019 Designed by Junya Ishigami, Serpentine Gallery, London (21 June – 6 October 2019), © Junya Ishigami + Associates, Photography © 2019 Iwan Baan

First up, head over to Kensington Gardens in Hyde Park to explore the latest Serpentine Pavilion. This year, the annual architectural commission has been designed by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami and features a tiled canopy that appears to emerge organically from the lawn surrounding the gallery. It’s all about playing with perspectives of the built environment versus the natural landscape. Sounds like the perfect cultural accompaniment to a picnic in the park if you ask us…

The Serpentine Pavilion is showing from 21st June to 6th October, 2019 at the Serpentine Gallery.

2. Sculpture In The City

The Garden Of Floating Words 2019 Designed By Elisa Artesero, Sculpture In The City, London.

For the 9th edition of Sculpture In The City, over 15 internationally renowned artists have once again collaborated with local businesses to breathe life into the urban landscape of London’s insurance district. Wind your way through the City’s iconic architecture using the online guide and get your fix of installation art that plays with light, scale, sculpture and surrealism.

Sculpture In The City runs from 27th June 2019 to April 2020, in the City of London.

3. Chihuly: Reflections On Nature

Dale Chihuly. Cattails and Copper Birch Reeds (detail), 2015. RBG Kew, installed 2019.

If you’re a lover of flora and foliage, this one’s for you! As one of the pioneers of the post-World War II studio craft movement, Dale Chihuly has been credited with revolutionising traditional perceptions of glass as a material in art. In this exhibition, he revolutionises perceptions of the typical gallery space, too: expect to find incandescent glass-blown creations nestled amongst the blooming flowerbeds of Kew Gardens. While you’re there, why not stop for a cocktail at The Botanical bar?

‘Chihuly: Reflections On Nature’ runs from 13th April to 27th October, 2019 at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

4. Frieze Sculpture 

Lars Fisk, Tudor Ball, 2019, Marlborough, Frieze Sculpture 2019. Photo by Stephen White. Courtesy of Stephen White/Frieze.

Frieze fair to fine art is what the Met Gala is to fashion: a very big deal. In advance of the highly-anticipated event in October, Regent’s Park has been transformed into a museum without walls stocked with the work of over 20 creatives. We’re talking anything from a full-sized replica of a 1973 toy car by Brazilian artist Vik Muniz to a giant sleeping sculpture by the notorious Tracey Emin. Definitely check it out…

Frieze Sculpture runs from 3rd July to 6th October, 2019 in the English Gardens of Regents Park.

5. Dulwich Pavilion

The Colour Palace 2019 Designed by Yinka Ilori x Princegore, Dulwich Picture Gallery.

As part of the London Festival of Architecture, East London-born Yinka Ilori has collaborated with the young architects at Pricegore architecture practice to bring a splash of vibrancy to the grounds of Dulwich Picture Gallery. The Colour Palace is bold fusion of colour, culture and craftsmanship which references the traditional African textiles of Lagos as well as the bustling markets of Peckham. Don’t miss out on the many events that will be held there this summer: neon-life drawing, supper clubs, yoga…Where do we sign up?

Dulwich Pavilion: The Colour Palace is showing from 31st May to 22nd September at Dulwich Picture Gallery.