Top 5 Photography Exhibitions to see this summer…

Continuing with our regular updates on photography exhibitions not to miss out on in London this summer…

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon

The National Portrait Gallery is hosting an exhibition that illustrates the life of actress and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993). From her early years as a chorus girl in London’s West End through to her philanthropic work in later life, Portraits of an Icon will celebrate one of the world’s most photographed and recognisable stars.

The exhibition features a selection of more than seventy images that define Hepburn’s iconography, including classic and rarely seen prints from leading twentieth-century photographers such as Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Terry O’Neill, Norman Parkinson and Irving Penn. Alongside these, an array of vintage magazine covers, film stills, and extraordinary archival material will complete her captivating story.

Audrey Hepburn

National Portrait Gallery
Tickets needed: £9/10
Open until 18th October 2015
npg.org.uk

Simon Roberts: National Property

Flowers Gallery are presenting a new series of photographs by Simon Roberts. Building on his previous major bodies of work: We English (2009); The Election Project (2010); and Pierdom (2013); Roberts has turned his attention to heritage sites across England, exploring themes of identity, memory and nationhood through our everyday interactions with the landscape.

“In most of my photographs we witness the somewhat mundane ways in which we interact with the landscape – walking the dog, diving into a river, cycling along a tow-path – interacting with the landscape perhaps with no sense of the historic significance of the place we’re passing through or using. I’m also looking for subliminal signals in the landscape, capturing a sense of tension just under the surface of the photograph – the police car in Kielder Water, the jockeying for position to take a picture at Flatford Mill, the managed pathways at Stonehenge, the gas delivery van ‘spoiling’ the view of Sheringham Park.” – Simon Roberts

© Simon Roberts, Trough House Bridge, Eskdale, Cumbria, 2014

© Simon Roberts, Trough House Bridge, Eskdale, Cumbria, 2014

Flowers Gallery
Cork Street
Monday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Free entry
Exhibition continues until 8 August 2015
flowersgallery.com

Beneath the Surface

This is a fantastic exhibition of rarely-displayed and unseen works from the Victoria and Albert Museum‘s preeminent collection of photographs. The show was commissioned by Photo London and opened concurrently with the inaugural Photo London fair.

Featuring over 200 works, the exhibition reflects the Embankment Galleries’ riverfront location in one of London’s most ancient quarters, focussing on images of water, the topography of the city and the people within it. Depictions of water – implying depths beneath the surface – provide a metaphor for the richness of the V&A’s collection, the exhibition also includes photographs of the museum itself. Selected from a collection that dates back to 1852, Beneath the Surface comprises unseen or rarely-displayed photographs chosen by Martin Barnes, the museum’s Senior Curator of Photographs.

© Victoria and Albert Museum collection

© Victoria and Albert Museum collection

Somerset House
Embankment Galleries, South Wing
Open daily, 10am – 6pm
Ticketed: £6/£5 concessions
Exhibition continues until 24 August 2015
somersethouse.org.uk

We Want More: Image-Making and Music in the 21st Century

We Want More at The Photographers’ Gallery explores the role photography and image-production plays in defining music culture today. Spurred by the advent of digital technologies, both industries have seen a significant change to the channels and processes for ownership and distribution. The traditional frameworks that once upheld a distance between photographers, fans, stars and their labels have collapsed to allow for new routes and territories in which music photography is produced, shared and consumed.

This exhibition offers a subjective viewpoint on this vast arena and is presented across two floors, dedicated in turn to musicians and their fan bases. It includes works commissioned commercially as well as personal projects initiated by the photographers themselves and a selection of creative collaborations whose aim is to unpick the genre of Music Photography, which has become increasingly more difficult to define.

From the series STOB EHT, 2012 © Daniel Wilton

From the series STOB EHT, 2012 © Daniel Wilton

The Photographers’ Gallery
Ramilles St, London
Mon – Sat 10.00 – 18.00, Thu 10.00 – 20.00, Sun 11.30 – 18.00
Free entry
Exhibition continues until 20 September 2015
thephotographersgallery.org.uk

Tomoko Yoneda: Beyond Memory

Curated by Paul Wombell, this exhibition at Grimaldi Gavin brings together a selection of Tomoko Yoneda’s photographs of landscapes and interiors. Images which might seem on first glance beautiful locations without any historical importance, upon reflection we realise that these photographs depict something more complex and troubling. Upon reading the captions we learn that the histories of these locations undermine the alluring nature of the scene before us. Every building and every landscape has been marked in some way by destructive forces.

Only after extensive research and investigation does Yoneda pick her subjects. The sea, the forest, flowers or derelict buildings have been chosen to illuminate historical conflicts from the late nineteenth century to the present. The artist has asked these nonhuman forms to ‘speak’ to us about the past. The historical range of the exhibition covers the First and Second World Wars, the Second Sino-Japanese War through to the aftermath of the Cold War. The geographical range of the exhibition extends from northern Europe, to Brazil onwards to Bangladesh, and from Japan to China by way of Taiwan.

© Tomoko Yoneda

© Tomoko Yoneda

Grimaldi Gavin
27 Albemarle Street
Monday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Exhibition continues until 7 August 2015
grimaldigavin.com