Photo London 2022: A Guide to the Best Photography Shows

London is never short of creative activity, but photography will 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 host its seventh fair with 106 galleries from 18 countries, several of which will dedicate their stands to supporting Ukraine.

To celebrate the past, present and future of photography, this year’s event includes a dynamic discovery section, spotlighting rising stars in the medium and beyond, an extensive program of talks and an exhibition by Nick Knight, this year’s Master of Photography.

Here we have collected our highlights, both during the weekend and beyond.

Overpressure London 2022
Tate Modern
May 13 – 15

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

Prize Deutsche Boerse Photography Foundation
Gallery of the photographers
Until June 12, 2022

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

Spanning both the personal and the political, 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 are a testament to the ability of contemporary photography to directly address the complexities of conflict and climate change.

Jeff Wall
White Cube Mason’s Yard
Until June 25, 2022;
Andreas Gursky
White Cube Bermondsey
until June 26, 2022

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

With Jeff Wall in his Mason’s Yard gallery and Andreas Gursky in Bermondsey, White Cube is all about pioneering the photography world. While Wall shows his recent ‘almost documentary’ images, new photographs by Gursky focus on global capitalism and the ‘essential communality’ of contemporary life.

Photo London Discovery Section
Somerset House
Until May 15th

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

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

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

Gareth McConnell, Dream Meadow XXI, 2021

Gareth McConnell’s Ongoing Series The brighter the flowers, the brighter the city draws on the photographer’s upbringing in Northern Ireland amid The Troubles. Showing at Seen Fifteen as part of the Peckham 24 festival, the series is a visual onslaught of bursting colors and floral hallucinations, torn between everything from funeral processions to raves.

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

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

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

‘Familiar and strange: photos from the collection’
Until November 6

Andy Sewell, untitled from the series Familiar and strange things pass2020. Purchase funded by Cecil Beaton Fund © Andy Sewell

Featuring works from the V&A collection, ‘Known and Strange’ explores photography’s ability to move from the familiar to the abstract, the ordinary to the otherworldly. The exhibition features impressive acquisitions by artists such as Paul Graham, Susan Meiselas, Dafna Talmor, Zanele Muholi and Tom Lovelace. Viewers are invited to challenge everyday assumptions and experience broader perspectives through both time and space.

Photo London talks
Somerset House
Until May 15th

Anastasia Samoylova, Concrete erosion2019, from the series flood zone© Anastasia Samoylova

In addition to the astonishing number of works on display, Photo London will also present an impressive line-up of lectures this year. Highlights include a discussion of Melanie Manchot’s performative practice; a conversation between artist Anastasia Samoylova and writer, curator, artist and educator David Campany; and the examination of questions such as whether Frank Horvat can be considered a feminist.

Dover Street Market

Dover Street Market celebrates Photo London in quintessentially stylish fashion, with a range of installations and product launches. Highlights include a campaign book by Cecilie Bahnsen of Takashi Homma,
a campaign book by Jil Sander of Chris Rhodes, T-shirts by Raf Simons in collaboration with David Sims and much more. I

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