As the year comes to a close, take those few holiday days that you’ve got left and head to some of the best art and design events going on in December. We bring you the events and exhibitions happening in New York, London, Paris, Rotterdam, and Curitiba.
This month sees the contemporary and those that celebrate the late, as festivals and new work mix with retrospectives and talks on artists dealing with the themes of technology, fashion as politics and youth rebellion.
London International Animation Festival (LIAF)
Until 8 December 2019
Various cinemas in London
Returning for its 16th year, the festival screens over 250 of the best recent, historical and retrospective animated shorts and feature films from around the world. This year’s guests include Swedish director Niki Lindroth von Bahr, who is behind multi-award-winning stop motion film The Burden, and Hungarian filmmaker Flora Anna Buda, director of Entropia. There will also be an opening night gala celebrating women in animation with the Female Figures To Boldly Go… programme, focusing on women making science fiction inspired shorts. The festival’s hub is the Barbican, while other screenings and events take place at The Rio, Horse Hospital, Close-Up and UEL.
1 December 2019 – 12 April 2020
Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam
Curated by Lou Stoppard, this exhibition explores the role of a fashion garment as a socio-political carrier. Popularised by Champion in the 30s, the hoodie started off as a practical solution for workmen; now, the exhibition posits, it is “arguably western fashion’s last truly political garment”. The show brings together work by artists and photographers David Hammons, Campbell Addy, Devan Shimoyama, Sasha Huber, John Edmonds, Lucy Orta, Exactitudes and Thorsten Brinkmann, as well as designers such as Rick Owens, Off-White, Vetements, and Vexed Generation. The show is designed by Studio LA and will be accompanied by a digital magazine featuring specially commissioned essays, interviews and visuals.
Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019
6 December 2019 – 23 February 2020
South London Gallery, London
Bloomberg New Contemporaries returns to the South London Gallery with an exhibition of works by 45 emerging artists, selected from over 1,500 applications to the annual open call. The show marks the 70th anniversary of New Contemporaries, which since 1949 has played a vital part in the story of contemporary British art, reflecting and responding to developments in artistic practice, and supporting artists.
Love, Ren Hang
6 December 2019 – 29 February 2020
C/O Berlin, Berlin
Ren Hang’s analogue photographs use a playful, humorous visual language to relate the feelings, desires, fears, and loneliness of a young generation in China. His works stand as symbols of the youth’s rebellion against the conventions of a restrictive communist regime in which nudity and sexual freedom are subject to government censure and control even up to the present day. C/O Berlin will be showing the exhibition Love, Ren Hang for the first time in Germany. It is a comprehensive retrospective including over 150 works by the late photographer.
The Brazilian Biennial of Graphic Design
Until 16 December 2019
Oscar Niemeyer Museum, Curitiba
Celebrating 30 years since its founding, the Association of Graphic Designers (ADG Brazil) presents the 13th edition of The Brazilian Biennial of Graphic Design. This year held at the Oscar Niemeyer Museum in the city of Curitiba, the prize and resulting exhibition has been judged by all all-Brazilian jury and focuses on the theme of “the crowd”, exploring the ideas of diversity, plurality and national representation within Brazilian visual culture.
Artist’s Talk: Zach Blas on Nam June Paik
3 December 2019
Tate Modern, London
Join artist, filmmaker and writer Zach Blas for an evening talk on Nam June Paik’s exhibition, currently on at the Tate Modern. Focusing on Paik’s famous TV Garden 1974-7, the artist will talk about how Paik’s conception of technology relates to his own practice that revolves around queerness, politics and technology. Currently a lecturer at Goldsmiths College’s department of visual culture, he was tapped in 2014 by Hito Steyerl as Artreview’s Futuregreat.
Quentin Blake: Anthology of Readers
Until 21 December 2019
Shapero Rare Books, London
Quentin Blake, the famed illustrator behind Roald Dahl’s beloved works is having an exhibition at London’s Shapero Rare Books. Titled Anthology of Readers, the exhibition showcases 60 pen, ink and watercolour drawings. Described as “Britain’s greatest living illustrator” by Bernard Shapero, Blake’s latest exhibition is an affectionate caricature of people who love books.
Peter Halley: Heterotopia II
Until 20 December 2019
Greene Naftali, NY
A star of the 80s Neo-Geo movement, Peter Halley has been turning out his signature fluorescent, cyberpunk abstractions ever since. Here, he’s installed his paintings within colour-coordinated environments. Through a range of media – painting, architectural installation, digital prints, and critical writing – Peter Halley’s work has illuminated the structures of social space and communication that shape our experience of contemporary life. For his second solo exhibition at Greene Naftali, Halley presents Heterotopia II, the latest in a series of large-scale installations exploring the relationship between painting and architectural space. Halley has created a multi-coloured, labyrinthine structure in the ground floor gallery housing eight new shaped canvas paintings, titled after imaginary planets from Isaac Asimov’s science-fictional universe.
Nan Goldin: Sirens
Until 11 January 2020
Marian Goodman Gallery, London
As Nan Goldin’s first solo since 2002, this major exhibition presents an impressive range of historical works by the artist – which includes three new films. Memory Lost (2019) sees a digital slideshow of a life lived through the lens of a drug addiction; Sirens (2019) is shown in the same space and is exclusively made from found video footage; and The Other Side (1994-2019), a slideshow originally created in 1994, is exhibited alongside the photographic series of the same name.
Der Zyklus: Formenverwandler
3 December 2019
Full Node, Berlin
Curated by Sam Hart and Harm van den Dorpel, this exhibition brings together a selection of works that deal with the notion of time and immutability. Various software clocks will be displayed on computers and projections. The works in the show look to reflect time and change as subjective terms by suggesting alternative representation and visualisation of what we have taken for granted.
- Nazif Lopulissa rethinks the shapes and forms of the children’s playground
- Egg is an animation about attempting – and failing – to take control of something you are afraid of
- Why creatives should take the election advantage
- Adrienne Law on making something digital feel physical
- Kyuho Kim imagines the shapes of words in his inventive design practice
- Stomping boots and pouting lips, Taylor Silk’s woven women are icons of female sexuality
- “We want to challenge and disturb the audience”: meet graphic design studio Alliage
- Matt Willey leaves The New York Times Magazine and joins Pentagram
- Ikki Kobayashi’s new series investigates the tension between shapes and negative space
- “Perfectly beautiful things don’t attract me”: Heesun Seo on her nontraditional practice
- The Pantone Colour of the Year 2020 makes a statement about peace and communication
- Moleskine’s digital notebook and a visual inventory of Earth win Apple's Apps of the Year