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

1 June 2018
Reading Time
5 minute read

Whether you’re hitting up grad shows or making the most of longer days taking in one of the plethora of inspiring new shows opening for summer, June is the perfect time to broaden your cultural peripherals. From the V&A’s blockbuster Frida Kahlo show to a design summer school in Galway, there’s truly something for everyone. The It’s Nice That editorial team has picked out ten, five in the UK and five around the world, to help you choose.

Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing and Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds
22 June – 2 September 2018
The Barbican, London

Opening towards the end of June, this show brings together two photographers, presenting the first UK retrospective of American documentary photographer Dorothea Lange and the first major UK solo show (in a public gallery) of British contemporary photographer Vanessa Winship.

Best known for her work during the Great Depression of the 1930s, Politics of Seeing will celebrate Lange’s formidable and world-renowned work from her early studio portraiture and iconic Migrant Mother to the post-Pearl Harbour internment of Japanese-Americans. And Time Folds echoes some of the same themes in our modern landscape in a series of over 150 deeply intimate portraits. Winship’s work explores the fragile nature of our landscape and society and how memory leaves its mark on our collective and individual histories.

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up
16 June – 4 November
V&A, London

The V&A’s new show Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up promises to be one of this summer’s blockbusters. Admire the lewks of everyone’s famous feminist icon through her personal artefacts and clothing, all of which were stashed away for half a century following her death.

Carol Bove
David Zwirner Gallery, London
8 June – 4 August 2018

In sculpture artist Carol Bove’s third exhibition at David Zwirner in London her work can be found all over the two floors of the gallery. Full of intricacies to discover, Carol’s works are composed of various types of steel described by the artist as “collage sculptures”. Rather than be presented in original metallic form, the artist’s sculptures are applied with “luminous colour” in parts and transform “steel – more commonly associated with inflexibility and heft – into something that appears malleable and lightweight, like clay, fabric, or crinkled paper,” says the gallery.

Secret 7” 2018
8 June – 23 June 
The Jetty, Greenwich Peninsula, London

Secret 7” is back with yet another exciting two-week exhibition that promises famous contributors and panoramic views of the Thames. For those that don’t know, Secret 7” is an annual exhibition of bespoke record sleeve covers. Secret 7” selects seven well known tracks, presses each onto 7” records 100 times and invites creatives to design the cover art. Each record is then exhibited for two weeks before going on sale, but buyers won’t know the sleeve creators until after they’ve paid. Anish Kapoor, Paul Smith, Jeremy Deller, Es Devlin, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Ragnar Kjartansson, Jean Jullien, Rob Ryan, Malcolm Garrett, Morag Myerscough and Paul Simonon are already confirmed as contributors this year, and that’s just a few.


Khalik Allah: Black Mother

Sheffield Doc/Fest
7–12 June
Sheffield, UK

The UK’s leading documentary festival returns for its 25th year, screening 150 international projects from shorts to features and series, as well as a programmes of virtual reality and new media projects. Actor Vicky McClure is speaking about her new series My Dementia Choir; Gaika is premiering his live score responding to Khalik Allah’s Black Mother; and the opening night will include a screening of Sean McAllister’s A Northern Soul, one of six films nominated for the festival’s annual award.

Singapore Art Book Fair
29 June – 1 July 2018
NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore

Started in 2013, Singapore Art Book Fair is an annual event specialising in contemporary art books and zines. The event is free and open to the public and, as well as featuring a range of printed ephemera, also hosts a series of art-related activities. This year, the event is aimed at presenting work which is not just “aesthetically pleasing” but that provokes some sense of critical thinking or discourse, encouraging "a growth and maturity in the audience’s cultural palette, while maintaining its relevancy”.


Tokyo Rumando

Photo Basel
12-17 June 2018
Basel, Switzerland

It’s Art Basel time again (although when is it ever not Art Basel?) and now there’s also Photo Basel, which is Switzerland’s only international art fair dedicated to photography-based art. Global galleries meet collectors, buyers, or just photography enthusiasts, at Volkshaus Basel, a mere stumble (700 metres in fact) away from the main Art Basel fairground.

Design West Summer School
23 June – 6 July
Letterfrack, Galway, Ireland

For two weeks this summer, Design West will be hosting a workshop that will enable participants to work with international designers from Europe’s most celebrated studios. The summer school is located in the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way and promises state-of-the-art facilities like robotics and digital manufacturing, CNC technology and laser equipment. The workshop allows students to gain valuable professional insights and is an opportunity for participants to separate themselves from their hectic everyday lives.


Jeff Koons: Play-Doh

Plato in L.A, Contemporary Artists’ Visions
The Getty, Los Angeles
18 April — 3 September, 2018

A stellar line up of iconic artists are housed in The Getty in Los Angeles this summer to consider if their works respond to the ideologies of Greek philosopher Plato. Paul Chan, Jeff Koons, Mike Kelley, Rachel Harrison and… Michelangelo’s work have all been curated together as their work responds to Plato’s “contribution to philosophy – from defining the ideal to understanding the human condition – while fostering the ultimate Platonic experience: contemplation,” says the gallery. This is your chance to contemplate the meaning of life while looking at Jeff Koons’ Play-Doh – a dream!


John Madere: Sagmeister & Walsh

Sagmeister & Walsh: A Retrospective
6 June – 27 October
Design Museum, Holon, Israel

For its summer exhibition, Design Museum Holon is celebrating the work of renowned and controversial design duo Sagmeister & Walsh in a comprehensive retrospective. Curated by Maya Dvash, it will show past and new works, 2D and spatial pieces, videos, objects and “social experiments” aiming to convey the design studio’s “daring creativity and playfulness”. Its self-initiated projects about happiness, beauty and emotion will be explored, as well as commercial work, with finished pieces and behind-the-scenes development material on display.

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