And just like that, February is over, which means the team here at It’s Nice That has once again curated the must-see exhibitions happening over the coming month. With shows opening in late February and throughout March to accompany the start of the spring season and – fingers crossed – the end of winter’s chill, it’s time to impress your friends and family with how cultured and in-the-know you are.
Whether you like art, photography or film, live in London, Paris, New York or Beijing, you’ll find something to force you out of the confines of your home and celebrate the return of partial sunshine!
Only Human: Photographs by Martin Parr
7 March – 27 May
National Portrait Gallery, London
This upcoming exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery brings together photographs by Britain’s most accomplished and renowned photographer, Martin Parr. Focusing on the topic of people, as Martin Parr often does in his work, the exhibition will showcase his portraits of humans from around the world. It will also include previously unseen photos by Parr that capture the social atmosphere in Britain in the aftermath of the EU referendum.
Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2019
8 March – 2 June 2019
The Photographers’ Gallery, London
This year’s exhibition to accompany the Deutsche Börse prize features highly political projects from Laia Abril, Susan Meiselas, Arwed Messmer and Mark Ruwedel. Nominated for her publication On Abortion, Abril’s work is an investigation of the history of women’s reproductive rights; Meiselas exhibits her on-the-ground reportage from Kurdistan; Arwed Messmer offers alternative perspectives on far-left political group the Red Army Faction (often known as the Baader-Meinhof Group); while Mark Ruwedel’s work explores how political and historical events are visible on the North American landscape as well as experimental printing processes.
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
28 February – 9 April
Galerie Kreo, Paris
A new show by Parisian artist-brother duo, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, known for their design work that spans tables, chairs, homeware, textiles, ceramics and art objects, showcases two of their drawing series. Both of the collections on display see form, composition and colour change from canvas to canvas, with the pieces presented as a whole in block colouring format. Made on a daily basis, the drawings are “suspended moments, expressing great fluidity and frank simplicity” and demonstrate the pair’s mastery of space.
Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s
29 March – Summer 2019
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
This spring at the Whitney, the museum’s curators have dived into its collections to present a line-up of paintings from the 1960s and early 1970s “that inventively use bold, saturated, and even hallucinatory colour to activate perception,” explains the gallery. Considering the fact that at this time many artists picked up using acrylic paint and its advantages for depicting a “wider range of hues”, the exhibition “demonstrates how painting retained an urgency for artists who wanted to see anew”.
Civilization: The Way We Live Now
9 March – 19 May 2019
UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing
Including more than 250 works by over 120 photographers, Civilization: The Way We Live Now offers a complex and sprawling vision of contemporary life. The exhibited images, produced in the past 25 years, will showcase the rapid changes brought about by globalisation, and draw attention both to the increasing amount of complexity and conflict, and to the unprecedented degree of interdependence that characterises how we live today. The exhibition will also present the development of photography as a medium, and its proficiency in documenting such widespread changes.
Ellsworth Kelly: Windows
27 February – 27 May 2019
Centre Pompidou, Paris
An exhibition dedicated to one of the most influential abstract artists of the 20th and 21st Century, Ellsworth Kelly, Windows is a collation of six of his works made during his time in Paris. Arriving in France initially as a soldier and later as an artist in the 40s, the New York-born painter, sculptor and printmaker underwent a significant change in artistry during this period. Having grown tired of figurative painting, Kelly began to experiment in more abstract styles, eventually drifting into sculpture – at which point he abandoned traditional painting altogether. Inspired by his penchant for architecture, he began making wood and canvas installations of windows he spotted around Paris. Challenging the window’s inherent associations of transparency, he instead encouraged the viewer to consider their opacity too. What followed was “an essential episode in the consideration of the meaning of abstract art, its particular form of representation and the new relationship it supposes with its viewer.”
Liz Nielsen: The Arrival
1 – 10 March 2019
Black Box Projects, London
New York-based artist Liz Nielsen’s artistic photography works come to London this March for her very first UK solo show. Her works, which use layers of multi-coloured film to create a patterned abstract landscape, are usually made in her home of Brooklyn but The Arrival debuts a new collection of work made in California. Due to the change in setting, it’s said Liz “drew inspiration from watching the same view change with the light, thus creating almost a completely new image”.
Van Gogh and Britain
27 March – 11 August 2019
Tate Britain, London
This major retrospective, opening at London’s Tate Britain will bring together 45 works by Vincent van Gogh to reveal both how he was inspired by Britain and how he inspired British artists including Francis Bacon, David Bomberg, and the young Camden Town painters. The exhibition will include some of his most famous work, including Shoes, Starry Night on the Rhône, and L’Arlésienne and is the largest showcase of van Gogh’s paintings in the UK for nearly a decade.
The XXII International Exhibition of the Milan Triennal
1 March – 1 September 2019
Triennale Milano, Milan
Under the theme “Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival”, the 22nd Triennale di Milano brings together a global network of creatives to exhibit design and architecture projects inspired by the uneasy relationship between humans and the environment. This year’s exhibition has been curated by Paola Antonelli, who has commissioned new projects from Accurat, Formafantasma, Neri Oxman and Sigil Collective. Projects on display will include an “animal orchestra” (a collaboration between United Visual Artists and musician Bernie Krause), an investigation into the emotional capacity of plants by neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso and Google’s Brain Whale Song project, which uses AI to track the movement of humpback whales via their distinctive songs.
Louis-Cyprien Rials, with Ramon Film Productions: On the Wakaliga Roadside
February 20 – May 12
Palais de Tokyo, Paris
French video and photography artist, Louis-Cyprien Rials, presents a film made in collaboration with Ugandan-based Ramon Film Productions. The latter, working from a studio in the ghettos of Kampala, has been producing low-budget films inspired by Chinese kung fu movies and wild American blockbusters for over 10 years. Working alongside Rials, the studio has made an adaptation of renowned Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon.
About the Author
Daniel joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in February 2019 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. He graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Journalism in 2015. He is also co-founder and editor of SWIM, an annual art and photography publication.