January diary: this month’s must-see events and exhibitions

4 January 2018
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6 minute read

Aaaaand we’re back! It’s a new year, a fresh start, and time for a manifesto of ambitions and ideas for the months ahead. Luckily there are tons of new exhibitions and events open in January to feed those creative braincells, and better still, to help bring some enjoyment to the five long weeks of what can be a lacklustre month. Here, the editorial team at It’s Nice That has picked its 11 top creative events to visit in Jan – six in the UK and five elsewhere in the world.

Jon Snow: Colour is my Brand
Until 25 February 2018
Design Museum, London

Jon Snow: Colour is my Brand has been on since November, but somehow fell beneath our radar. In this small exhibition, Jon’s ties are all brought together in all their silken majesty. As it turns out, Jon Snow’s renowned tie collection is not the work of a knowing stylist, but instead the product of a fascination the broadcaster has had with fabrics since visiting Uganda as a teen. Fabulous. 

Niall McDiarmid: Town to Town
31 January 2018 – 12 May 2018
Martin Parr Foundation, Bristol

The second exhibition to take place at Martin Parr’s recently opened gallery and library space will display the work of street photographer, Niall McDiarmid. Titled Town to Town, the show displays the photographer’s travels from Scotland to Cornwall where he took 2000 portraits across 200 towns in seven years. Each photographed in Niall’s distinct style, “dressed in bold colours and patterns and shot against correspondingly colourful backgrounds,” the exhibition displays the photographer’s aim to “show Britain as a diverse and multicultural society at a time of huge change,” he tells the gallery. A must see in terms of work and an opportunity to nose around the new gallery too. 

Andreas Gursky
25 January 2018 – 22 April 2018
Hayward Gallery, London

The Hayward Gallery is reopening following a two-year refurbishment, hosting the first major retrospective of photographer Andreas Gursky in a UK institution. The artist is known for his large-scale, spectacular pictures that depict emblematic sites and scenes of the global economy and contemporary life. Ralph Rugoff, Hayward Gallery director and recently appointed artistic director of the 2019 Venice Biennale, says that Andreas is a “true innovator engaged in thinking about and picturing the times in which we live in… the perfect artist for launching the 50th anniversary year of the Hayward.”


Haig Aivazian, Hastayim Yasiyorum (Face), 2016
Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut & Hamburg

From Ear to Ear to Eye
Until 4 March 2018
Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham

From Ear to Ear to Eye is the largest UK survey, to date, of the Arab world. It explores sound, music and listening in myriad forms to trace the acoustic lives of various cities. A highlight of the show features a mock-up of a shooting range with a series of spectrograms by artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan. A real-life courtroom drama plays out on a screen – the case of two Israeli soldiers who killed two Palestinian teenagers using live ammunition, not rubber bullets as they had claimed. Filling the space is a constant hum of different frequencies, interrupted occasionally by the sound of shots being fired.

Bridget Riley: Recent Paintings 2014–2017
19 January – 10 March 2018
David Zwirner Gallery, 24 Grafton Street, London

Spanning three floors, this latest solo exhibition will showcase the iconic British artist’s recent works. On display will be wall paintings and works on canvas, as well as a group of related studies on two themes: works in black and white, and the disc.


Women With Vision preview
Photo: Simon Galloway

Women With Vision
Until 11 March 2018
Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

Women With Vision is a celebration of women who helped set up and shape the RWA. Alison Bevan, the RWA’s director, explains that the gallery “had women amongst its founder members, and women have been at the hear of our organisation ever since”. Combining painting, sculpture and collage, the exhibition shines light on both figurative and abstract art through various mediums.

Keith Haring: Canopy
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Until 2 June 2018

If you haven’t had the chance to visit it yet, a new year’s resolution could be to take a trip to Amsterdam to look at Keith Haring’s Canopy which has returned to the Stedelijk Museum. Originally made in 1986 when the artist had his first solo exhibition at the gallery, the spray painted velum (which took just one day) filters light through Keith Haring’s work into the hallway of the gallery. The restoration of the delicate piece took four months and measures 12 × 20 metres. 

Ukiyo-e of the Late Edo and Meiji Periods
5 January – 25 February 2018
Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan

January will mark 150 years since Meiji Emperor officially declared the restoration of imperial rule in Japan, marking the end of the Tokugawa shogunate and the beginning of Japan’s modernisation rush. The Meiji Restoration of 1868 eventually came to impact all of society, initiating Westernisation in all fields from military organisation to fine art. Ukiyo-e of the Late Edo and Meiji Periods is an exhibition exploring the revolution’s impact on ukiyo-e prints, a genre that both embraced and parodied the new Japan that was to emerge from the of civil war.

Roots of “The Dinner Party”: History in the Making
Until 4 March 2018
Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA

Roots of “The Dinner Party”: History in the Making takes a deep dive into Judy Chicago’s career-defining installation The Dinner Party. It’s a first: the art work, a dining table laid for 39 mythical and historical women and honouring 999 others has, hitherto, never been explored in such depth.


Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock
Courtesy of Sundance Institute; photo by Cody Lucich

Sundance Film Festival
18 January – 28 January 2018
Park City, Utah

Sundance Film Festival is back this year and boasts a wide range of films, documentaries, VR experiences and panel talks. In 2016, the festival was the largest independent film festival of the United States and has in previous years helped launch films such as The Blair Witch Project and Get Out. Robert Redford, the founder of Sundance Institute, said ‘this year’s festival is full of artfully-told stories that provoke thought, drive empathy and allow the audience to connect, in deeply personal ways, to the universal human experience.’  


Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Motifs abstraits (masques), 1917
Courtesy Stiftung Arp e.V., Rolandswerth/Berlin and Wolfgang Morell

Dada Africa, Non-Western Sources and Influences
Until 19 February 2018
Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris

The subversive art movement of Dada first emerged in Zurich in the early 1900s, before spreading to Berlin, Paris and New York. Its artists rejected the traditional values of civilisation, while appropriating the cultural and artistic forms of non-western cultures such as Africa, Oceania and America. This show explores the exchange of ideas between African, American Indian and Asian works alongside those of the Dadaists – Hanna Höch, Jean Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Marcel Janco, Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Raoul Haussmann, Man Ray and Picabia, among others.

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