It’s an exciting time in the creative world, as institutions around the world continue to reopen their doors, bringing back blockbusters and small independent shows alike. It means there’s no better time to return to your favourite local haunt or try somewhere new entirely.
As always, to see in the beginning of the new month, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most exciting events and exhibitions taking place throughout September. With painting, drawing, photography and some installation too, there’s sure to be something you’re interested in.
Gary Hume and Duchamp & Sons select from the Hiscox collection
Whitechapel Gallery, London
25 August 2020 – 3 January 2021
British painter Gary Hume is the latest to take his pick from the Hiscox art collection, in a series of exhibitions dedicated to showing rarely seen artworks. For this show and its follow-up curated by Berlin-based Venezuelan artist Sol Calero, works by Nan Goldin, David Hockney, Joan Miró and Eduardo Paolozzi will be on public view for the first time. They are selected from the insurance firm Hiscox’s 1000-piece collection of modern and contemporary art compiled over 50 years. Simultaneously to Hume’s show, Whitechapel Gallery’s Youth Forum Duchamp & Sons has also curated their own show of pieces from the collection, curated virtually, and exploring what it means to curate from our laptops and screens.
George Hardie: Voir et faire voi (Noticing things and getting things noticed)
Le Bel Ordinaire, Pau, France
26 August – 12 September 2020
Illustration and graphic design legend George Hardie is celebrated in-depth in his first retrospective in France, featuring 217 works and objects curated by Brighton grads Claire Colnot and Amish Shah. Hardie is known best for creating the artwork for Led Zeppelin’s 1969 self-titled debut album and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) and Wish You Were Here (1975). Hardie also taught at the University of Brighton for over 30 years, where the curators were once his students. In this visual feast of a show they explore Hardie’s incredible work through 13 comprehensive sections “that allow you to discover its great variety, thoroughness and jokes thanks to an abundant graphic vocabulary” say the curators. You can also explore the show virtually here.
Tales from the Colony Room: Art and Bohemia
15 September – 20 December 2020
The Colony Room, formerly located at 41 Dean Street, Soho in London, was founded in 1948 by Muriel Belcher. It quickly became a haven for artists, poets, radicals and free thinkers. Tales from the Colony Room: Art and Bohemia is a group exhibition featuring more than 70 artists, each associated with the legendary Soho club, including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach and Tracey Emin, as well photographers John Deakin, Bruce Bernard and Daniel Farson. The exhibition takes place over two floors, with the ground floor dedicated to photographs of the pub’s famed visitors. The rest of the show features work created by those who frequented the bar, including a sculpture especially made by Sarah Lucas, who worked behind the bar for a while, as too did Damien Hirst.
There, Here, Nowhere: Dwelling At The Edge Of The World
The Koppel Project, London
18 September – 6 October 2020
There, Here, Nowhere: Dwelling At The Edge Of The World is a group exhibition exploring the notion of diasporic identity and the cultural production by African Diaspora artists in the West. The show seeks to explore the relationship between space and identity and how this creates the sense of “two-ness” – the feeling of being both African and Western. In the context of the BLM movement, the exhibition is also a visual narrative of lived Black experiences through members of the African Diaspora living in predominantly white areas. Exhibiting artists include Ekene Maduka (Canada), Austin Uzor (USA), Tobi Alexandra Falade (UK) and Chukwudububem Ukaigwe (Canada).
Nxt Museum, Amsterdam
29 August 2020 – 29 February 2021
Located the north of Amsterdam, Nxt Museum is a new museum and the first in the Netherlands dedicated to new media art. Its inaugural exhibition titled Shifting Proximities presents eight large-scale, multi-sensory art installations, each created in collaboration with local and international artists, designers, technologists, scientists and musicians. The show examines how human experience and interaction are affected by social and technological change. Visitors are invited to engage and interact physically, emotionally and intellectually with the art — from experiencing the formation of a black hole, to learning how plants communicate with each other, and subjecting themselves to the flaws of facial recognition algorithms.
Pictoplasma in Isolation
18 and 19 September 2020
Since 2004, Pictoplasma has been welcoming more than 250 speakers to its annual conference in Berlin to share their ideation processes and methodologies in working with character design. For the first time, and for obvious reasons, this year’s physical Pictoplasma originally scheduled for May had to be cancelled. In turn, this year will see the first Pictoplasma in Isolation a free two-day live stream broadcast. The event features more than 40 artist talks by and conversations with illustrators, animation filmmakers, visual artists, and designers, as well as performance artists, activists and academics.
Edmund de Waal: Library of Exile
The British Museum, London
27 August – TBC
A “space to sit and read and be”, Library of Exile is an installation by British artist and writer, Edmund de Waal, featuring more than 2,000 books in translation, written by exiled authors. The work debuted at the Venice Bienalle in 2019 to critical acclaim the library forms a record of repression while celebrating the response of the displaced. The collection can also be explored through an online catalogue where new titles can be suggested.
Toyin Ojih Odutola: A Countervailing Theory
The Barbican, London
11 August 2020 – 24 January 2021
Featuring an immersive soundscape by artist Peter Adjaye, Nigerian American artist Toyin Ojih Odutola’s first-ever UK show explores an imagined ancient myth. Toyin is best known for her use of drawing materials, including pastel and charcoal, she proposes speculative fictions, inviting the viewer to enter her vision of an uncannily familiar yet fantastical world. Drawing on an eclectic range of references, from ancient history to popular culture to contemporary politics, Toyin encourages the viewer to piece together the fragments of the stories that she presents.
Alec Soth: I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating
11 September – 6 December 2020
After a major retrospective in 2015, renowned photographer Alec Soth undertook a period of seclusion and introspection, during which he did not travel and barely photographed. His most recent project, I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating, is the result of this personal search, and marks a departure from his earlier work.
Just Pictures. Curated by Antwaun Sargent
Projects+gallery, Saint Louis
September 10 – November 21, 2020
Just Pictures is a group show curated by critic and author of the 2019 book The New Black Vanguard, Antwaun Sargent. It explores a new forefront of genre-bending photographers who work frenetically between the spaces of fine art, fashion photography, and the history of the medium. The featured artists include Arielle Bobb-Willis, Yagazie Emezi, Joshua Kissi, Mous Lamrabat, Renell Medrano, Ruth Ossai, Justin Solomon, and Joshua Woods. Together, they construct a contemporary experience of self-presentation and a new perspective on documentation in photography: one in which distinctions are blurred and expression is fluid.