The best of November’s events from all over the world to put in your diary right now

4 November 2019

As we see the clocks move back, it’s definitely time to start spending more time indoors, and what better way to do that than going to some of the most exciting art and design events that are opening this month from all over the world. We bring you the best events and exhibitions happening in New York, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Gateshead, Dublin, Manchester and Lishui.

This month sees a nice mix of the old and the new, dealing with topics from the military industrial complex to the fast-paced lives that we lead today, so make sure you jot down these dates!


Jamal Penjweny, from the series Saddam is Here. Image via MoMA

Theater of Operations The Gulf Wars 1991–2011
MoMA PS1, New York, USA
3 November 2019 – 1 March 2020

This large-scale group exhibition will examine the legacies of American-led military engagement in Iraq. While brief, the 1991 Gulf War marked the start of a lengthy period of military involvement in the country that led to more than a decade of sanctions and the 2003 Iraq War. Through more than 250 works, the exhibition explores the effects of these wars on artists based in Iraq and its diasporas, as well as responses to the war from artists in the West, revealing how this period was defined by unsettling intersections of spectacular violence, xenophobia, oil dependency, and new imperialisms.


Judy Chicago: Purple Atmosphere. Image via Baltic

Judy Chicago
Baltic, Gateshead, UK
16 November 2019 – 19 April 2020

In the artist’s 80th birthday year, Baltic presents the first major UK survey of pioneering feminist artist, author and educator Judy Chicago. The exhibition spans her 50-year career, exploring the artist’s work from the perspective of the human condition, connecting birth and death with the emotional journeys experienced by the artist whilst highlighting Chicago’s ongoing concern with the devastating effects of climate change on the natural world.


Demo Festival

Design in Motion Festival
Amsterdam Central Station, Amsterdam, Netherlands
7 November 2019

With a 24-hour event screening the best motion graphics work from established designers and upcoming talents, the central station will turn into a showcase for motion design in all its glory. The event, co-curated by Studio Dumbar’s Liza Enebeis, Koos Breen and Xavier Monney, will provide 80 screens across the station’s platforms to bring a break from commercial messages and let commuters immerse themselves in the art of motion graphics. There’s also an hour of content curated by yours truly.


Paula Scher

Design Manchester
Various locations in Manchester, UK
11 – 24 November 2019

Design Manchester this year features an exhibition of poster designs by Pentagram New York partner Paula Scher, celebrating her self-professed obsession with work for the public realm. Scher is also speaking at the DM19 Conference, themed Smart Thinking, Thinking Smart, at The Bridgewater Hall on 22 November, alongside performance artist Cosey Fanni Tutti, graphic designer Hansje van Halem, Heatherwick Studio’s Neil Hubbard, and Clive Russell and Charlie Waterhouse from Extinction Rebellion.


Max Pinckers: Margins of Excess. Image via Format

Sleight of Hand
Lishui Museum, Lishui, China
8 – 12 November 2019

As part of the Lishui International Photography Festival in China, this exhibition is Format’s first collaboration at the festival. Featuring works that examine belief, control and misdirection, the exhibition includes works by Jan Stradtmann, Regine Petersen, John Angerson, as well as Margins of Excess, an exhibition within the exhibition by Max Pinckers that looks at new approaches of understanding underlying narratives in the “post-truth” era.


Tatsuo Miyajima. Image via Somerset House

Somerset House, London, UK
Until 23 February 2020

This multi-disciplinary exhibition aims to get viewers to step outside their busy routines to engage, reflect and reset. The exhibition includes works by ten artists from Somerset House Studios and some of the most exciting digital artists today like Harun Farocki, Lawrence Lek and Erica Scourti. With immersive storytelling experiences, machine-generated choirs and 3D scanning technologies, the multi-sensory exhibition contains five themed zones and over 50 works that will provoke and entertain viewers, prompting them to reflect on the “always on” culture that we have today.


magCulture Live

magCulture Live
Conway Hall, London
7 November 2019

This Thursday editorial fans will congregate at Conway Hall in London for magCulture Live, an all day event where audiences will hear from some of publishing’s most inventive creatives working today.

Spanning the practices of five core themes – art direction, illustration, journalism, photography and typography – the line-up of speakers are each vast in subject matter and point of view. Joining from New York will be The New York Times Magazine art director Matt Wiley and New York Magazine’s photo director, Jody Quon. Closer to home, Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff from gal-dem will be speaking, as well as Gert Jonkers of Fantastic Man, Martha Dillon from It’s Freezing in LA!, among many more. A must event for anyone interested or working in publishing, particularly independent magazines, today.


Derek Jarman. Image via IMMA

Protest! Derek Jarman: A Retrospective
IMMA, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
15 November 2019 – 23 February 2020

This wide-spanning retrospective will unpack the huge legacy of filmmaker, writer, painter, set designer, activist and gardener Derek Jarman. An icon for both the queer community and experimental film fans, Jarman created some of the most provocative, baffling and tender films before he passed away in 1994. Expect a huge wealth of work from the 1960s to the 1990s, many of which has never been seen before.


Eleanor Macnair. Image via Elephant West

Eleanor Macnair: Surrealists rendered in Play-Doh
Elephant West, London, UK
22 November 2019 – 2 January 2020

This show features the likenesses of Salvador Dali, Suzanne Muzard, Paul Eluard, Louis Aragon and other surrealist artists rendered in Play-Doh by Eleanor Macnair. If it sounds a little kitsch, then know that the show actually riffs on the “father of Surrealism” André Breton’s obsession with making “automatic self-” of himself and his friends at the first photo booth at Luna Park in Paris in the 1920s.


Zanele Muholi. Image via Paris Photo

Paris Photo
Grand Palais, Paris, France
7 – 10 November 2019

The largest photography-focused art fair opens this weekend at the Grand Palais, Paris. With 213 exhibitors and five sectors, the fair will also include artist talks, book signings, and an announcement of the Paris Photo Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards. With plenty of photographers, books and films to view, this event promises to highlight work on the forefront of photography today.


Dan Flavin. Image via Bastian

Dan Flavin: For Prudence
Bastian, London, UK
21 November 2019 – 15 February 2020

Dan Flavin, the late American minimalist, will find his light sculptures returning to London in this exhibition that will display two significant works for the first time in the UK. The artist’s signature light tubes subvert the mundane and the master of the immersive installation will be shown at Bastian Gallery, an organisation that has worked closely with the artist, being the one who commissioned one of his last few works back in 1996.

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