October Diary: where to go and what to see

2 October 2017

October, the month where the air gets crisper, the leaves fall from the trees and we celebrate the end of the month with a pagan festival involving pumpkins and Haribo. As the nights draw in and winter’s cold embrace grows stronger, we have taken the time to find the best goings-on around the world to warm your creative minds.

Ann Veronica Janssens
White Cube, London
Until 12 November

After the mass popularity of yellowbluepink at the Wellcome Collection as part of its States of Mind exhibition, Bermondsey White Cube is hosting the first solo show of on Janssens’ work in the UK. The exhibition will feature one recent sculpture and installation that explore “spatiotemporal experience and the limits of perception.”

Art and China after 1989: Theatre of the World
Guggenheim, New York
October 6 2017 – January 7 2018

The Upper East Side’s Soloman R. Guggenheim Museum is set to open the controversial show Art and China after 1989: Theatre of the World on 6 October. The exhibition will document the time period between Beijing’s Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 and the 2008 financial crises which saw China rise to a global superpower but also saw an explosion of growth in its contemporary art scene. The exhibition is the most comprehensive of its kind to date and includes the work of more than 70 artists and art collectives from China.  

Monochrome: Painting in Black and White
National Gallery, London, UK 

30 October 2017 – 18 February 2018

The National Gallery celebrates the tradition of painting in black and white spanning a period of 700 years from its beginnings in the Middle Ages through the Renaissance and into the 21st Century. Displaying for more 50 works painted on glass, vellum, ceramic, silk, wood and canvas the show includes work from old masters such as Rembrandt and van Eyck, as well as more contemporary artists including Bridget Riley and Olafur Eliasson. 

Items: Is Fashion Modern?_
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
1 October 2017 – January 28 2018

MoMA’s latest show explores the past, present and future of 111 items of clothing and accessories that have had a strong impact on the world in the 20th and 21st Centuries and continue to have influence today. Curated by Paola Antonelli, pieces include the Little Black dress, the pearl necklace, and Levi’s 501s. Designers, engineers and manufacturers have been invited to respond to some of these items with pioneering materials, approaches and techniques in order to extend the conversation toward the near-future. The show aims to consider the many relationships between fashion and functionality, culture, aesthetics, politics, labour, identity, economy and technology.

Giles Duley: I Can Only Tell You What My Eyes See
Truman Brewery, London
4-15 October

A series of 100 images by photographer Giles Duley that document the ongoing refugee crisis will be on display this month. From the horror of boats arriving in Lesvos, to stark portraits of people stood against white backgrounds, Duley tells the stories of refugees with the empathy his work is noted for. Far more than an exhibition, the event marks the launch of the charity Legacy of War Foundation and there will be a supper club and artists, writers and musicians in residence as well as a soundscape Ghosts of Idomeni produced by Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack.

Jenny Holzer: Softer
Blenheim Palace, Oxford
Until 31 December

One of the world’s most intriguing and exciting artists brings her text driven work to Blenheim Palace, the imposing country house that was the birthplace of Winston Churchill. Using technology, stonework, light projections, a virtual reality mobile app developed by Holition, and her celebrated LED light installations, Holzer engages with the historical precedents that have cemented Blenheim Palace’s enduring legacy, and offers descriptions of life during wartime, recounting real experiences of soldiers and civilians.

Zeitz Mocaa
Cape Town, South Africa
Opening month

At the tail end of the September the first museum dedicated to African Art opened in Cape Town. The Thomas Heatherwick-designed building is a conversion of a former grain silo that was once the tallest building on the continent. The opening month sees tours, talks, screenings and more in celebration of the museum’s completion.


Yayoi Kusama: I who have arrive in the universe © Yayoi Kusama

Creation is a Solitary Pursuit, Love is What Brings You Closer to Art
Yayoi Kunama Museum, Tokyo
1 October 2017 – 25 February 2018

In August we shared the news that artist Yayoi Kusama was to open her own museum in Shinjuku, Tokyo and this month sees the first exhibition open in the space. The inaugural show features 16 works from Yayoi’s My Eternal Soul series, a series titled Love Forever, and a collection of black and white drawings that formed the precursor to her latest work. In addition an installation piece created by Yayoi especially for the museum’s opening will be on display, along with a new pumpkin.

Ace Hotel Shoreditch, London
4 and 6 October

During Frieze, Leanne Elliott Young’s #CommunePresents will be taking over Ace Hotel Shoreditch for two nights of performance. On the 4th October, illustrator Dominic Myatt, filmmaker James Cooper and poet James Massiah will be taking over the space, while two days later, the floor will belong to the women: designer Caitlin Price and choreographer Holly Blakey. Expect chaos.

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