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

1 September 2017

September is a great time for culture internationally, with many major exhibitions, festivals and events opening for the autumn season. The It’s Nice That team has picked out a few (which was tricky) – six in the UK and six around the world, that we hope will inspire and inform you, or at the very least get you away from your desks.


Photo © Edo Bertoglio; courtesy: Maripol
Artwork copyright the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Licensed by Artestar, New York

Basquiat: Boom for Real
21 Sep 2017—28 Jan 2018, Barbican Art Gallery, London

At the risk of sounding like — I don’t know — Jay-Z, we cannot wait for the first exhibition of American artist and 80s provocateur Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work in the UK ever at the Barbican.


Stephen Shore

States of America: Photography from the Civil Rights Movement to the Reagan Era
16 September – 26 November 2017, Nottingham Contemporary

Featuring work by Diane Arbus, Louis Draper, William Eggleston, Bruce Davidson, Mary Ellen Mark and Stephen Shore, this show displays a generation of experimental documentary photographers. It covers three decades that “shaped the polarised landscape of Trump’s America”.


Photo: Luke Hayes

Friend or Faux? Defining Authentic Design
12 September, Design Museum, London

“What do we mean by ‘authentic’? How we do define ‘artistic craftsmanship’?” Deyan Sudjic, director of Design Museum, is the host of the upcoming event that answers these questions. Joined by a panel of leading voices in the field of design, the group will explore the importance of design heritage and the changing perception of “authenticity” in today’s technology infused age. 

Earth Wind & Fire
7 September – 20 October, Griffin Gallery, London

Earth Wind & Fire is a current group show at Griffin Gallery, exploring the work of six indigenous contemporary Australian artists “that will explore the unchanged tradition of their practice over the past 80,000 years,” alongside seven contemporary artists. In combining two cultures, “will explore and reflect on the similarities of conceptual themes and craftsmanship such as home-made pigments, symbolism, abstraction, depictions of nature, and the celebration of culture; both ancient and modern. Earth Wind & Fire features Australian artists Kittey Malavrie and Jimmy Nerrimah and British artists, Sigrid Holmwood and John Greenwood. 

Gerald Scarfe: Stage and Screen
21 September – 21 January 2018, House of Illustration, London

Scarfe is well known for his regular cartoon work that lampoons politic figures, but this exhibition is a chance to see his work on production designs. The exhibition will include storyboards, costumes and props from Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Disney’s Hercules and the English National Ballet’s The Nutcracker. “Discover an imagination that is acerbic, explosive and unmistakable, both off and on the page,” says the gallery. 

Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival
20 September – 24 September, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland

Five days of moving image, cinematic and live performance works are shown around an Elizabethan town for this unusual festival. Hosted by incredible venues including an 18th Century ice house and a 1901 army gym, the programme features newly commissioned films by Charlotte Prodger and Margaret Salmon, a solo show by Hardeep Pandhal and events dedicated to Ali Khamraev and Peggy Ahwesh.

Trigger: Gender As a Tool and a Weapon
27 September 2017 – 21 January 18, The New Museum, New York

Trigger: Gender As a Tool and a Weapon opens at The New Museum investigating “gender’s place in contemporary art and culture at a moment of political upheaval and renewed culture wars”. Featuring an intergenerational group of artists exploring gender beyond the common binary in order to inspire more fluid and inclusive expressions of identity”. 

Cyper Corporeality
7 September – 8 October, Sanatorium Gallery, Vienna, Austria

As the first show in the new gallery space in Vienna’s Schleifmühlgasse, Sanatorium Gallery opens its doors to an exploration between technology and corporeality in the 21st century. Sabrina Steinek, the curator of the show, will identify the rapid advances in communication and information technology that are revolutionising everyday life.

Modigliani Unmasked
15 September 2017 – 4 February 2018, Jewish Museum, New York

Featuring many works being shown for the first time in the US, this exhibition of 150 drawings, paintings and sculpture by artist Amedeo Modigliani aims to “illuminate how [the artist’s] heritage as an Italian Sephardic Jew is pivotal to understanding his artistic output”. It considers the artist’s work shortly after he arrived in Paris in 1906 when anti-Semitism was rife.

Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical
Until 8 October, The Met Breuer, New York

We defy you to find someone who doesn’t love a bit of Italian postmodernism. If you’re in NY, go to this and window shop for the furniture of your dreams.


Louise Bourgeois: THE COUPLE, 2003.
Collection The Easton Foundation; Photo: Christopher Burke, © The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, NY

Louise Bourgeois: Twosome:
8 September 2017 – 20 January 2018, Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Tel Aviv Museum of Art is presenting the first comprehensive solo exhibition in Israel dedicated to French-American artist Louise Bourgeois, considered one of the most prominent and influential women in 20th Century art. The show focuses on relationships, featuring 50 works from monumental sculpture to small textile works and drawings.


Hector Hernandez: Bulca

Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
15 September – January 2018, venues across Southern California

An unprecedented collaboration between over 70 cultural bodies, led by Getty, this string of events will celebrate and explore Latin American and Latino art. It’ll feature 1,100 artists and stretch from LA to Palm Springs and San Diego. A truly unmissable and important event.

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