Known for her subtle yet striking canvases of softly pencil-drawn grids and pale colour washes, Agnes Martin's minimalist approach and belief in the emotive power of art made her one of the key figures in the abstraction movements of the 1950s and 1960s. The upcoming exhibition of her work at the Tate Modern will be the first retrospective of the American painter's work since her death in 2004, and aims to trace her career from her earliest experiments with media and form to the origin of the grid compositions that were to become her trademark. At the Tate Modern until 11th October.
AUDREY HEPBURN: PORTRAITS OF AN ICON
This year, the National Portrait Gallery's summer exhibition puts the focus back on one of the most recognisable faces of the twentieth century. Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon looks at the relationship between the screen and style icon, and the people who photographed her into one of the most enduring figures of modern pop culture. Indeed, Hepburn is perhaps one of the few icons who's influence has endured and transformed just as much in death as she did in life (much like Elvis and Marilyn), and there is no doubt that much of her lasting fame can be attributed to the portraits she left behind. With over seventy images taken by some of the best-known photographers of the past century, including Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton and Irving Penn, this exhibition charts her life and career, from the West End stage of her youth to the philanthropic work of her later years. At the National Portrait Gallery until 18th October.
CARSTEN HÖLLER: DECISION
Carsten Höller: Decision is the contemporary artist's largest (and perhaps his most bizarre) art installation yet. At the very start of this interactive exhibition, visitors must choose between two different entrances - a choice that will dictate how they will travel through Höller's world. As the journey continues, visitors are presented with more and more decisions, leading them through the situations and devices that Höller has designed to play with the senses and confuse the mind.
The exhibition culminates in the artist's Isometric Slides, which consists of a pair of giant slides twisting down from the roof of the Hayward Gallery to the floor - we really want to have a go. Be delighted and disorientated at the Southbank Centre until 6th September.
...and now for something a little more colourful. Each summer for the past fifteen years, the Serpentine Gallery has commissioned a different creative individual or team to design a temporary structure intended to push the boundaries of architectural experimentation. Created by little-known Spanish architects Selgas Cano, this summer's Serpentine Pavilion consists of a labyrinth built from lurid-hued plastic, with vivid colours and shapes weaving themselves together to form a sort of psychadelic cocoon. Joyfully mischievous and experimental, Selgas Cano's project aims to encourage visitors to experience architecture in an entirely new way. At the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens until 18th October.
Following on from its immensely popular run in London last year, Headlong's critically acclaimed production of 1984 is back on the stage of the Playhouse Theatre for twelve weeks this summer. Based on George Orwell's iconic (and increasingly relevant) story of surveillance and government control, this dramatic retelling puts a new spin on the Owellian classic by framing it within the context of the discovery of Winston's "diary" by modern historians. Disorientating and thought-provoking, Headlong's production is at the Playhouse Theatre until 5th September.
Tickets are selling fast as this sharply current production of The Audience comes to the end of its run at the Apollo Theatre. A dramatic imagining of the weekly meetings that have taken place between the Queen and the various Prime Ministers who have served over the course of her reign, this latest version of Peter Morgan's play has been updated to coincide with the recent general election. Starring Kristin Scott Thomas in the Olivier-Award winning role of Queen Elizabeth II, The Audience is at the Apollo Theatre until 25th July.
BUGSY MALONE THE MUSICAL
Like an explosion of pink splurge from a child-mobster's gun, the Lyric Hammersmith has opened its doors with a bang after a recent refurbishment lasting two years. Bugsy Malone, the classic musical in which kids play every role, is back in a stage adaptation that captures all the comedy, absurdity and brutality of the original. Telling the story of mobsrers operating in Prohibition-era Chicago, this hugely entertaining show will surely prove to be a popular choice among old and young alike. At the Lyric Hammersmith until 5th September.
SHEEKEY'S LOBSTER FESTIVAL
Beloved Soho fish and oyster bar, J.Sheekey, has teamed up with the National Lobster Hatchery to create a celebration of all things lobster; aptly named the J.Sheekey Lobster Festival. Running throughout July, the special menu focuses on the most delicious dishes containing (you guessed it) lobster. Take a seat on the restaurant's sunny terrace and enjoy some of Sheekey's imaginative, high-quality lobster dishes until the Festival comes to an end on 3rd August.
NEW OPENING: TRUSCOTT CELLAR
As it is the second venture from the couple who bought you one of the most popular pubs in London, the Truscott Arms, we've got high hopes for The Cellar, which is set to open in Hampstead this month. This time around, its all about the wine list, with an impressive collection of bottles from both well-known suppliers and small producers around the world. As for the culinary offering, it continues along the theme of British small plates and sharing dishes, all with a contemporary twist and created with the best seasonal produce around.
NEW OPENING: EGG BREAK
Also opening this month is a new offering from Soho House, who have teamed up with the Hoxton Hotel to bring you all things egg. Egg baps, bacon and egg, egg on toast, avocado and egg; you name it, put an egg on it, and it's probably on Egg Break's menu. Bonus; it's just around the corner from The Laslett, so chances are we'll be popping by to get our daily egg allowance very soon.
Photo credit: R-L
Carsten Höller, Bugsy Malone - Manuel Harlan Serpentine Pavillon - NAARO, Jsheekey, Agnes Martin, Egg Break.