1. Lee Krasner, Self-Portrait, c. 1928 © The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Courtesy the Jewish Museum, New York.jpg
1. Lee Krasner, Self-Portrait, c. 1928 © The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Courtesy the Jewish Museum, New York, part of Krasner's retrospective at the Barbican.

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Also look out for details of a valuation day where kids are welcome to try their hand at auctioneering.

Lee Krasner at the Barbican

US artist Lee Krasner (1908-84) was a pioneer of Abstract Expressionism and her 50-year career is chronicled through nearly 100 works at the Barbican’s show Living Colour. From early self-portraits to photographs of her department store window displays, as well as many of her large-scale, colour-filled canvases, the exhibition showcases many sides of her life and output – beyond her marriage to Jackson Pollock, which has long overshadowed her story.

“Krasner has not received the recognition that she deserves in Europe, making this an exciting opportunity for visitors here to experience the sheer impact of her work,” says Jane Alison, head of visual art at the Barbican.

This is the artist’s first European perspective for more than 50 years. The show runs until September 1.

Posy Simmonds at House of Illustration

Another retrospective of a female artist’s 50-year career takes place at the House of Illustration in King’s Cross until September 15. Posy Simmonds, a comic artist and graphic novelist, created the first-ever British graphic novel, True Love, as well as cartoon strips for The Guardian, and children’s books such as Fred. However, she is best known for Tamara Drewe and Gemma Bovary. HOI hosts various exhibitions, workshops and short courses year-round.

Chiswick summer festival

Start them young at Chiswick Auctions’ summer festival, where children can try their hand at being and auctioneer with the firm’s Matt Caddick and join specialist John Rogers for tips on how to be the perfect host at an afternoon tea party.

There is also a kids’ art workshop and Lego to play with – alongside a valuation for toys and Lego with Winnie McGee and Peter Winnicott.

The festival runs this Saturday and Sunday ahead of its sale next week (August 13-14), and is a chance for the adults to take a peak at what’s going under the hammer. Fashion, jewellery, antiques, furniture, paintings, books and carpets are all on offer.

Photographer’s Gallery

Photopoetry at Soho’s Photographer’s Gallery presents the work of Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1902-2002), who present his native Mexico and its people in expressive black-and-white photos. He was a member of the avant-garde scene – including Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo – and his work reflected the modern art of his fellow Mexicans. Offered in the gallery’s Print Sales section, the pictures are drawn from the 2008 book Photopoetry. The show runs until September 8.

Félix Vallotton

Two little-known artists who specialised in unnerving scenes are on show at the Royal Academy of Art this summer: Félix Vallotton and Helene Scjerfbeck. Much has been made of Schjerfbeck, whose paintings come fresh to the eyes of UK viewers full of abstraction and weight.

Spare a thought for Vallotton, however, whose show ends next month (Painterof Disquiet, until September 29). His ‘Hitchcockian’ paintings are full of the colours, shapes and moments that  suggest moments of disquiet (as per expressed in the title ). A contemporary of Bonnar and Vuillard, the Swiss artist is also a relative newcomer, but his taste for Japanese woodblock prints, dreamlike narratives and satire make for a compelling mix.