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Volcano Extravaganza; Kembra Pfahler; Walter Wlodarczyk
“Work” by Kembra Pfahler; photography by Walter WlodarczykCourtesy Kembra Pfahler, Walter Wlodarczyk and Volcano Extravaganza

The most exciting group shows to see this summer

Chunky pop sculptures, disturbing dystopias and cosmic disco – whet your palate with this selection of the season’s best exhibitions

Summer is traditionally the time when galleries get to experiment with group shows – try out young names, new themes, shove a bunch of artists together and see what works. These ten are some of the best around the globe – apart from Doug Aitken’s awesome Station to Station residency at the Barbican which is so good (and free) you can just keep going back. In all these shows, the more really is the merrier. 


Tobias of Chewdays has curated a group show upstairs at PACE’s London space which is a brilliant injection of energy into the gallery. The space is transformed with a yellow grid-like wood construction, turning a white cube into something much more energetic to hold artworks including a sound sculpture from Sergei Tcherepnin and new pieces from Tobias Madison and Philomene Pirecki. 

Until August 8, Pace London, 6 Burlington Gardens, London,


Ibid’s space near Oxford Circus is a beautiful Victorian conversion, and this overwhelming exhibition of drawings shows it off in the best possible light. The walls are rammed full of 120 works in salon hangs inspired by Borges’ idea of a library. And what a list of artists – everyone from Paul Thek to Archigram, Louise Despont to Wolfgang Tillmans, Cyprien Gaillard to René Magritte. If you don’t want to go here, you haven’t got eyes.

Until August 22, 27 Margaret Street, London,


Frutta is a gallery in Rome that often pops up at art fairs with a bunch of fresh names that you can’t help but love. This three-person group show looks the same – bringing together Fay Nicolson’s graphic abstract hangings, Jacopo Miliani’s conceptual objects and Jackson Sprague’s chunky pop sculptures.

PV July 9-7pm, runs until September 5, Frutta, Via Giovanni Pascoli 21, Rome,


East London space Project / Number London has invited critic Chris McCormack to take over their space for this delightfully titled group show on friendship. The show, featuring artists such as Charlotte Prodger and HOMOCULT, coincides with a publication of out-of-print writings edited by McCormack with work by Chris Kraus and Josephine Pryde among many others.

July 10-7pm - Aug 10, 10 Cazenove Road, London,


Lisson’s summer group show focuses on collaboration and method with a show of ten artists crossing everything from film to performance an painting, often with a dose of tech thrown in for good measure. With London young guns George Henry Longly, the brilliant Cally Spooner and collective Am Nuden Da all featuring, this is a hot new direction for an established space.

July 17–September 5, Lisson Gallery, Bell Street, London,


It is surprising that Andrea Rosen is giving her main NYC space this summer to the kind of flipped internet-infused names as Parker Ito that raise eyebrows. However this three person show with Timur Si-Qin and Hayden Dunham does feel very of this moment. If you want to get a taste of the materials, installations and haphazard approach to pop surface that is hot at the moment, this is a good way to go.

Until Aug 14, 525 West 24th Street, NYC,


If abstract materialism is your thing, this is a must-see show. This very established NYC space is bringing together a group of artists from multiple generations looking at depth and relief. Go see Kadar Brock’s contemporary process paintings and erasures hang alongside 1970s work from Heinz Mack and Otto Piene.

Until July 31, Sperone Westwater, 257 Bowery, New York,


Downtown space Kansas is getting its guns out for this show on the sinewy, strong and brutal. Muscular, curated by John McAllister, has a refreshing number of female artists on show, including Gina Beavers, Nicole Cherubini, Josephine Halvorson and Nora Riggs among others. A place to discover new talent.

Until July 25, Kansas, 59 Franklin St, New York,


Who are we? This show questions the subject under the influence of capital, social and technological pressures. Inspired by JG Ballard’s novel Super-Cannes (and let’s be honest any show inspired by Ballard is on to a good thing), the exhibition is a sometimes-disturbing vision of the future created through the work of artists like Carissa Rodriguez, Josh Kline and Olivia Erlanger.

July 16–September 4, Pilar Corrias, 54 Eastcastle St, London,


If you’re feeling adventurous and like making a journey, the Fiorucci Art Trust’s annual summer art bonzana on the black-sand island of Stromboli is unmissable. This year’s fifth edition includes work by artists such as Turner Prize winner Goshka Macuga, the ever-brilliant Raphael Hefti, Kenneth Anger, Thomas Zipp, Adriano Costa and some Vinyl Factory-curated cosmic disco.

Various dates, July 17–27, 10 Sloane Rd, London,