Here are the must-see events and exhibitions this February

The year is fully underway and everyone has recovered from Christmas, so it’s time for the fun to begin again. Here is some inspiration for things to see and do this month regardless of your tastes, encompassing everything from Bill Brandt to Britney.

4 February 2020


Now that Dryanuary, Tryanuary, Veganuary and the countless other variations of January are over, it’s finally normal service resumed.

This means exhibitions a-plenty as the sprawling runs of the big winter shows come to an end, to be replaced by something new, and by the looks of it, very exciting.

London in particular has some brilliant shows in the coming month, including an ode to the kimono, Steve Mcqueen’s highly-anticipated exhibition at the Tate Modern, and an in-depth examination of masculinity.


Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen
Tate Modern, London
13 February – 11 May 2020

Coinciding with his hugely popular Year 3 project at the Tate Britain (on until May), this is Steve McQueen’s first UK survey in 20 years. Expectedly for the polymath Oscar and Turner Prize winner, the show features a mixture of disciplines spanning film, photography and sculpture, including 14 major works and his earliest film shot on a Super 8 camera, titled Exodus. Exploring two decades of work, the exhibition aims to reveal how his pioneering approaches to filmmaking have expanded the ways in which artists, as a whole, work with the medium.


Peter Doig

Peter Doig
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
26 February – 14 June 2020

Displaying 30 years of Peter Doig’s dreamlike compositions, with loans from public and private collections worldwide, this show is sure to be a beauty. It’s also the artist’s first in-depth survey in Asia. His paintings explore themes of memory and the Modernist canon, as well as contemporary themes, employing images from vintage adverts and films. The show will split into three sections, following the Edinburgh-born artist through his stays in London, Trinidad and Canada, and the work he produced during each stint.


Wolfgang Tillmans

Wolfgang Tillmans: Today Is The First Day
WIELS, Brussels
01 February – 24 March 2020

This will be Wolfgang Tillmans’ first large scale solo exhibition in Belgium. His socially and politically-fuelled pieces continue to reflect the world we live in, and this exhibition will display much of his work over the last three decades, as well as new photography, sound, video and spatial constellations.


Image via V&A: “Kaidan” (staircase), hanging scroll, by Kobayakawa Kiyoshi, 1935, Japan. © Levenson Collection

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk
The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
29 February – 21 June 2020

This exhibition will present the kimono as a dynamic and constantly evolving icon of fashion, revealing the sartorial, aesthetic and social significance of the garment from the 1660s to the present day, both in Japan and the rest of the world.


Still from Hito Steryerl: How Not to be Seen. A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File

Harun Farocki and Hito Steyerl: Life Captured Still
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London
6 February – 4 April 2020

The first major UK exhibition of Harun Farocki's work in over a decade, Life Captured Still will explore the natural and multidimensional convergences his practice shares with the provocative work of influential artist and writer Hito Steyerl. Presented together for the first time, the exhibition will highlight the thematic similarities and contextual differences that resonate across both artists’ works, particularly in the media of documentary film and new media art.


Sunil Gupta

Barbican, London
20 February – 17 May 2020

Work from over fifty artists, photographers and filmmakers help to examine masculinity in this extremely timely exhibition. This collection, on display at London's Barbican, showcases pieces spanning the last sixty years in an attempt to understand how photography and film have helped to shape contemporary ideas of masculinity.


Daniel Boyd

Daniel Boyd: Video Works
Carriageworks, Sydney
8 January – 1 March 2020

The Sydney-based artist Daniel Boyd presents an abstracted journey through impermanent life on earth in this major exhibition. Exhibiting three video installations, the Kudjala/Gangalu artist maps the walls of the gallery with an infinite cosmos of colour and composition. Presenting the viewer with an otherworldly and contemplative experience, Video Works is a chance to view ourselves from a bigger perspective.


Photograph by Michael Juliano

The Zone: Britney Spears
Location TBA
January 31 – April 26 2020

It's Britney bitch! This immersive fan experience gives viewers the chance to celebrate the iconic career of Britney Spears for a limited time only. Venture through ten interactive rooms in the LA venue, following Britney’s trailblazing career from school girl, to air hostess, to circus tamer. Do you want a piece of Britney? Will she be a slave 4 u?


Bill Brandt

Bill Brandt / Henry Moore
The Hepworth, Wakefield
7 February – 31 May 2020

Photographer Bill Brandt and Sculptor Henry Moore met whilst creating images of civilians finding refuge in the London Underground during the Blitz. This exhibition combines both heavyweights, and in turn their artistic mediums. Moore’s famous reclining figures will be on show along with a number of Brandt’s best known images.

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