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

4 September 2018
Reading Time
5 minute read

So summer is over and you’re looking for a way to ward off those September-back-to-school-blues. Well, look no further, as we here at It’s Nice That have curated a list of the most exciting exhibitions and events opening throughout the month of September.

Taking place in the UK and across the world – from Basel to New York to Amsterdam – keep yourself busy on the impending chillier days and darker evenings with this stellar line-up. What’s more, with an art book fair, a feminist collection of artworks, large-scale installations exploring sexual politics and a look at the dramatic rise and fall of Mongolia’s mineral economy, this month’s diary will ensure you impress your parents, friends and partners alike with all your cultural knowledge.

Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection
23 August – 31 March 2019
Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York

Featuring more than 100 works from the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s collection, Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection explores a wide range of art-making and enduring political subjects. Encompassing gender, race, and class, these topics represent those which remain relevant today. The exhibition’s intersectional feminist framework highlights artworks, in a plurality of voices, that aim to rally support or motivate action on behalf of a cause, or to combat stereotypes and dominant narratives.

11 September – 7 October 2018
Kettles Yard, Cambridge

Running over a month, Kettles Yard will present four different exhibitions each lasting week. The programme begins with A Setup, a collaboration between renowned sculptor Eva Rothschild and choreographer Joe Moran. Rothschild’s architectural structures will occupy the Sackler Gallery, along with two dancers who will perform live in the spaces each day during the exhibition. Week two sees artist Oreet Ashery’s sonic performance Passing Through Metal which involves participants from Cambridge creating sound through mass knitting, accompanied by a heavy metal band. Week three is artists Broomberg & Chanarin, and installations by Patrick Coyle and Francesco Pedraglio will be shown in week four.

Unseen Amsterdam
21-23 September 2018
Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam

An uncontested highlight in the calendars of photographers and photography fans alike, Unseen returns for its seventh iteration. Showcasing work by undiscovered talent and (you guessed it) unseen work by established artists, the Netherlands fair aims to bring together the international photography community to discuss and debate the directions in which the industry and the medium are evolving.

Elmgreen & Dragset: This Is How We Bite Our Tongue
27 September – 13 January 2019
Whitechapel Gallery, London

The art world’s favourite Norwegian-Danish duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset are bringing the subversive This Is How We Bite Our Tongue exhibition to one of London’s best-loved gallery spaces. Juxtaposing a survey of their emotional figurative sculptures with an extraordinary new large-scale installation that meditates on the fate of civic space, the show is set to explore social and sexual politics while navigating the power structures embedded in the everyday designs that surround us.

Louise Bonnet
September 14 – October 27 2018
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

Swiss-born, LA-based painter Louise Bonnet draws inspiration from sources as wide as the cinematic works of Alfred Hitchcock to Cindy Sherman’s identity-blurring photographic portraits. The work on show at this Berlin gallery will be painterly explorations of melancholy and nostalgia, with nearly-human figures finding themselves distorted out of recognition. Alongside the paintings, there will be a series of drawings, which allow a further insight into Bonnet’s practice.

Istanbul Design Biennale
22 September — 4 November 2018
Various locations, Istanbul

This year’s Design Biennale – the city’s fourth – sees six of the Turkish city’s cultural institutions transforming into experimental teaching spaces. Akbank Sanat; the Yapı Kredi Culture Centre, the Pera Museum, Arter, Salt Galata, and Studio-X Istanbul will play host to a thought-provoking selection of programmes such as Time School, an exploration into “contested past and speculative futures”.

Five Heads (Tavan Tolgoi): Art, Anthropology and Mongol Futurism
31 August – 15 Sept 2018
Greengrassi Gallery, London

Five Heads (Tavan Tolgoi) brings together the work of five anthropologists and five artists and collectives researching and responding to the dramatic rise and fall of Mongolia’s mineral economy. Drawing from ongoing fieldwork in Mongolia, the artists in this exhibition conceptualise crisis as a space for the emergence of new possibilities.

New York Art Book Fair
21-23 September 2018
MoMA PS1, New York

Now in its 13th year, Printed Matter’s New York Art Book Fair is once again just around the corner. Forget all other book fairs, NYABF is the international crème de la crème. The list of publishers is curated by the Printed Matter team, and alongside the fair itself, there’s a programme of free educational talks, readings and discussions. This year will also see the announcement of the first Shannon Michael Cane Award, in memory of the Curator of Fairs, which will be given to four emerging artists or publishers.

Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design
29 September – 10 March 2019
Vitra Design Museum, Basel

The first major retrospective of Victor Papanek’s practice, The Politics of Design presents the designer, author and activist’s practice alongside that of his contemporaries – Buckminster Fuller, Marshall McLuhan and Global Tools – and examines Papanek’s fundamental concerns: inclusion, social justice, and sustainability. Most famous for his book, Design for the Real World, the exhibition will showcase the industrial design practice that saw his ideas take form.

Two Pages: A physical book in the making
12-16 September 2018, Berlin

Two Pages began in 2012 and now consists of a series of sketchbooks co-authored and produced by some of the world’s leading creatives. The project invites a creative or team in one city to become an initial contributor. This first participant proposes the next creative or team in the same city who in turn invites the following one and so forth. Each sketchbook has a theme and participants are encouraged to freely respond in relation to it on their given two pages. Now, in collaboration with, Two Pages will host a workshop and exhibition rethinking the performative process of bookmaking and reading. The exhibition will lead the audience to explore an unpredictable journey of how a book starts and ends.

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About the Author

Ruby Boddington

Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.

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