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Regulars / Diary

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

Summer is officially in full swing, and we’re enjoying the long evenings and our fair share of ice creams here at It’s Nice That. It’s not just the sun that’s getting us excited for July, however, as there are a host of art shows and exhibitions taking place around the UK and the rest of the world. From Michael Jackson’s impact on the art world, to an investigation on how Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighbourhood has changed over the last 20 years, check out the It’s Nice That team’s top picks for July below.

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Michael Jackson: On the Wall
28 June — 21 October 2018
National Portrait Gallery, London

Michael Jackson is one of the most significant cultural figures to come out of the 20th Century. To coincide with his 60th birthday, the National Portrait Gallery is launching a summer exhibition that explores his influence on leading names in contemporary art. Since Andy Warhol first used his image in 1982, Jackson has become the most depicted cultural figure in visual art. Curated by gallery director Dr Nicholas Cullinan, the exhibition will bring together the works of over forty artists, including new works made especially for the show.

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In Kreuzberg, the Music Plays – 20 Years of the Kreuzberger Chronik
23 June — 26 August 2018
Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum, Berlin

This summer, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum turns its attention on Kreuzberg’s music scene and investigates how the east Berlin neighbourhood has changed over the past twenty years. It does so by honing in on the area’s local magazine Kreuzberger Chronik, established in 1998, which has covered the likes of Wolfgang Krolow, Michael Hughes, and Holger Groß. Through magazine spreads, archival documents and contextual information, the exhibition traces the magazine from the first to the 200th issue and, in turn, shines a light on one of Berlin’s most altered neighbourhoods.

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Phil Collins: Ceremony
22 June — 20 September 2018
Baltic, Gateshead

Engels lived in Manchester for 20 years and based much of his theory on what he saw in the industrial city. Inspired by the German philosopher’s widespread influence, award-winning artist Phil Collins orchestrated for a dismantled Engels statue to travel across Europe, starting in a Ukrainian village and ending in Manchester. Over the course of the sculpture’s journey, Collins investigated Engels’ legacy through the lens of local activists and communities across Europe. His findings are now on display in Baltic’s new exhibition Ceremony, which Collins describes as “the search for a statue of Engels and its journey back home, the everyday stories of people from Manchester, and a homecoming party to inaugurate the statue, with Russia’s 1917 revolution as a pivotal moment in the process”. The exhibition is accompanied by a film that interlaces Manchester, Communism and Post-War Europe.

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Frieze Sculpture Park
5 July — 8 October 2018
Regent’s Park, London

Frieze’s summer display in the English Gardens of Regent’s Park brings together 25 works from international, contemporary artists. Selected by Clare Lilley (director of programme, Yorkshire Sculpture Park), these works “explore contemporary sculpture’s material and technical dexterity, together with its social role and reflection on the human condition and our environment”, she explains. Artists include John Baldessari, Tracey Emin, Richard Woods and Hugo Wilson.

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Samuel Gratacap: Les Invisibles
15 June — 9 September 2018
Foam, Amsterdam

For over a decade, French photographer Samuel Gratacap has been collecting the stories of the migrants he encounters in Tunisia, Libya and Italy; mapping their journey through Africa and Europe, from border crossings, to waiting rooms and prisons. Samuel Gratacap: Les Invisibles displays these photographs alongside video and audio.

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Yves Klein: Contemporary Art Exhibition
18 July — 7 October 2018
Blenheim Palace

Boasting in excess of 50 artworks, Blenheim Palace claims that this solo show will be the “most comprehensive exhibition of Yves Klein in the UK to date”. Artworks will span painting, sculpture and large-scale installation, surveying Klein’s impact on Conceptual Art, Minimalism and performance art.

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Cleon Peterson: Blood & Soil
8 July — 5 August 2018
Over the Influence, Los Angeles

This exhibition will see Cleon Peterson showcase a new body of work that intends to reconcile our history with present-day violence. Drawing on his signature palette of red, white and black, Peterson’s exhibition will feature acrylic-on-canvas paintings, small bronze sculptures, and one large-scale sculpture. An infamous painter of the anxiety and violence of contemporary society, Peterson describes his new work as “a grey world where law breakers and law enforcers are one and the same”.

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Kelly Anna: She Stole the Show
12 July — 4 November 2018
The Book Club, London

Kelly Anna is taking over the Book Club in London’s Shoreditch in an exhibition that celebrates women’s inner champions, as part of their Summer of Sport season. Using colour, bold graphics, witty slogans and powerful figures, Kelly will explore the dichotomy between constant pressure, self-doubt and inner strength. Kelly Anna has made a name for herself as an artist working for various brands and publications, including Nike.

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Disney: The Art of Storytelling
17 July — 4 November 2018
La Caixa Foundation, Madrid

Exploring the artistry behind animations including Mickey Mouse, Pinocchio and The Jungle Book, this exhibition features drawings, watercolours, digital prints and storyboards, as well as fragments of production notes offering insight into the studio’s process for adapting classic stories into cartoons with a universal and ageless appeal.

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Scoop: A Wonderful Ice Cream World
3 July — 30 September 2018
British Museum of Food, London

Scoop: A Wonderful Ice Cream World is the inaugural exhibition at the British Museum of Food and brings together a year of ice cream-based research by multi-sensory and experiential designers, Bompas & Parr. Its opening coincides with the 300th anniversary of Mary Eales’ Receipts (1718) – the first English publication to feature ice cream – and showcases the world’s largest collection of ice cream paraphernalia, from vintage objects and equipment to advertising, artworks and music. Other highlights include fantasy ice cream drawing classes and the world’s first Hundreds and Thousands fountain.