From Aaron Kudi’s London street installations to a multimedia tribute to Britney Spears, we round up the best international shows you need to see this month
BUFFER, GUTS GALLERY, LONDON, UK
London’s Guts Gallery is pioneering a new art world that values the diversity and equity that so many other museums and galleries fail to prioritise or even consider. Buffer is its latest group show and features recent graduates from art universities in the UK. The show aims to help those getting their start in the art world through constructive dialogue, workshops, meetings, and tutorials. To do this, Guts will equip a generation of artists journeying through the treacherous waters of the art world with confidence and autonomy by empowering them with knowledge of the business side of art. The gallery also offers arts universities a ‘buffer’ course to teach students how to interact with galleries, invoice, and price their works, amongst other things.
So make sure you go and support this amazing show – and support one of the few galleries putting their money where their mouth is.
Full artist list includes: Joseph Mobolaji Aina, Mattia Guarnera-MacCarthy, Caroline Jackson, Sophie Lourdes Knight, Emily Kraus, Emma Stone-Johnson, Shaqúelle Whyte, and Georg Wilson.
IF YOU CAN’T SEE IT, YOU CAN’T BE IT, AARON KUDI, LONDON, UK
London-based artist and Dazed 100 alum Aaron Kudi is ditching the white cube for the city’s streets by installing his paintings all around the UK capital and sharing their locations via Google Maps.
Launched during Frieze Week, If You Can’t See It, You Can’t Be It feels like a protest in the face of the global fair, which is often accused of being exclusionary. Here, Kudi places art amongst communities and societies rather than in a gallery, allowing “the work to be perceived and understood within its contextual space”. Writing on his Instagram, Kudi said he also hopes that “over time the work will evolve and change, just like the community around it. And hopefully tell another narrative within its space.”
SOMA GROSSA, BREW HOUSE GALLERY, PITTSBURGH, USA
A multimedia survey of painting, installation, soft sculpture, video, jewellery, and photography, by fat artists, focused on making work about fatness. SOMA GROSSA (meaning ‘gross body’), curated by Anna Mirzayan, eschews the “targeted joyful representation of small to mid-fat bodies popular in the ‘body positive movement’. Instead, it takes aim at the “overwhelming metaphysical censorship of fat lives in a world that attempts to will them out of existence or consume them as entertainment”. The show aims to do two things: to make visitors reflect on their own anti-fat attitudes as well as celebrating “the radical act of creating communities between fat people”.
CITY OF KINGS, HOWL! HAPPENING, NEW YORK
New York City is arguably the birthplace of graffiti culture, and a new exhibition City of Kings is here to prove it. Co-curated by Al Diaz (one-half of the enigmatic 80s art duo SAMO alongside the late Basquiat), City of Kings takes visitors through a chronology of the city’s graffiti history to examine how it “has become so lodged and influential within our present popular culture”.
Notably, it also contextualises graffiti amongst key events like the Son of Sam murders, street gangs, the city’s financial decline, and its ‘clean up’. Using personal narratives direct from the inventors, participants, and innovators who shaped the culture over the last five decades, City of Kings uplifts the lesser-known stories and artists that set the movement in motion and kept it going.
BORN TO MAKE YOU HAPPY, RESIDENCE GALLERY, LONDON, UK
Britney Spears is a lot of things. Mother, singer, performer, artist, gay icon, now she can add muse to that list too. Born To Make You Happy is a just-opened exhibition. It explores how the star’s struggles for agency, the construction of persona and self-coding, freedom and submission, connects with new works of four exhibiting artists, Débora Delmar, Lucy Evetts, Zoë Marden and Gray Wielebinski.
A library of the books Spears has recommended via her Instagram is also on show, and a catalogue of research materials from the artists and essays by Asa Seresin and Grace Medford is available. In addition, there will be a talk on the 26 November with the artists and a new live performance from Marden.
THE SHADOW OF SPRING, MILES GREENBERG & VIVIAN CACCURI, NY
Canadian artist Miles Greenberg and Brazilian artist Vivian Caccuri debut their first collaboration in The Shadow of Spring, curated by Bernardo Mosqueira, at New York City’s New Museum. Described as an exhibition that “investigates the phenomenon of vibration and how it is capable of generating collective transformative experiences”, it includes new sculptures, installations, embroidery pieces, and sound works created collaboratively and individually. The installation “will form an encompassing environment created to provoke alternative ways to experience the sonic dimension”, while highlighting “the invisible bonds that connect us to one another, reflecting on how sound can integrate communities and dismantle preconceived ideas of what bodies are, can do, and can become.”
THE RHYTHM OF VISION, GEORGE CLINTON, JEFFREY DEITCH, LA
The Godfather of Funk, George Clinton, deserves all the flowers, and he’s getting them in a special exhibition at Jeffrey Deitch’s LA post. The legendary musician and performer’s exhibition, titled The Rhythm of Vision, was launched to coincide with the 40th anniversary of his seminal #1 record Atomic Dog, credited for hip hop’s evolution in the 80s and 90s.
As well as his musical chops and props, Clinton has been creating visual art for decades, starting with a rock drawing in 1969, to his iconic autograph inspired by a dog’s silhouette, his sketches from the back of his tour bus, and his psychedelic paintings. When the pandemic stopped touring as a musician, he turned back to his art with renewed intention and focus, “synthesising sixty years of themes and characters”.
If that hasn’t sold you on going and seeing this show, LA artist and activist Lauren Halsey has created a sculptural stage that takes inspiration from Clinton’s music: “a homage to Clinton’s influence on her artistic vision”.
FROM SAMO, TO SAMO, EVOLUTION OF STREET ART & TYPE, TORONTO
Before there was the art powerhouse that was Basquiat, there was SAMO©. An enigmatic art duo comprised of Jean Michel-Basquiat and Al Diaz would tag the surfaces of New York City with messages that reflected the collective mindstate of working-class society in the 1980s. When Basquiat became, well, Basquiat, the duo had ceased being SAMO©. But in 2016, Diaz revived the tag for the Trump era, covering the city once again with messages that felt on the pulse of a disenfranchised world.
Selections of this 40-year history to the current day is now on show at Toronto’s Cultural Goods Galery in FROM SAMO, TO SAMO, Evolution of Street Art & Type. Curated by Grace Zeppelli and Jason Hater, the exhibition includes contributions from local street artists: Javid Jah, Danilo Deluxo McCallum, Nicolas’ Alfalfa’ Sanchez, and Kizmet.
THE NEW BLACK VANGUARD, SAATCHI GALLERY, LONDON, UK
The seminal exhibition, bringing to life the equally pioneering book, The New Black Vanguard, has finally arrived in London. Curated by Antwaun Sargent, The New Black Vanguard celebrates the Black photographers “contributing to a new vision of the Black figure and reframing representation in art and fashion”. The stellar line-up showcases work from the original publication, such as photographers, stylists, make-up artists, models, and creative directors, from Campbell Addy to Quil Lemons, Daniel Obasi, Ruth Ossai, and Stephen Tayo, amongst others. The London edition expands this impressive collection with dozens more inclusions from Joshua Woods, Lucie Rox, Ronan Mckenzie, Casper Kofi, Bafic, and many more. If you haven’t yet, you’ll have to see it yourself.
COME AS YOU ARE, ANTHONY GALLERY, CHICAGO
Come As You Are, is a group exhibition of “people in a room that usually wouldn’t see each other”. Curated by Isimeme “Easy” Otabor, the show is “reflective of Otabor’s relationships, and philosophy for connecting” and the thread to unify people through art runs throughout. The exhibition is the sixth and final exhibition in the gallery’s year-long residency with Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation. It features Tom Sachs, Lauren Halsey, Chase Hall, KAWS, Barbara Kruger, George Condo, Rashid Johnson, Sterling Ruby, and more.
ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS, VITO SCHNABEL, NEW YORK
I’ll take any opportunity to step into artist Ariana Papademetropoulos’ dreamy world, and Baby Alonein Babylone is no exception. Throughout the show – made of new works – we follow a baby unicorn through a “fantastical journey from youthful innocence to maturity, towards liberation and individuation”. Papademtropoulos also draws on the 15th-century lore of the mythical unicorn, specifically two tapestries of the late Middle Ages: The Lady and the Unicorn (Musée National du Moyen Âge, Paris), an allegorical fable of the five senses, and The Hunt of the Unicorn (The Cloisters, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), to explore awakening and transformation in her signature style.
YOUNG LORDS AND THEIR TRACES, THEASTER GATES, NEW MUSEUM, NY
A double bill for New Museum this month, as Chicago artist Theaster Gates launches Young Lords and Their Traces, curated by the brilliant Massimiliano Gioni and Gary Carrion-Murayari. This epic show takes over three floors and is Gates’ first survey exhibition in New York. A true polymath, Gates’ practice encompasses ceramics, paintings, videos, performance, sound, and more. This show promises to showcase the full range of his artistic abilities, with work from the last two decades alongside new work created explicitly for Young Lords and Their Traces. Revisit my interview with Gates here.
MIAMI ART WEEK, MIAMI
The art fair that needs no introduction, Miami Art Basel, returns at the end of this month. For me, the best thing about Basel (or any major art fair week) is everything that happens around it. So make sure to seek out the local shows and satellite fairs, and, of course, crash as many of those brand parties as you can.
My first stop is NADA. Now in its 20th edition, the fair is a non-profit organisation showcasing new voices in contemporary art and features over 140 galleries from more than 40 countries. Hit Basel itself if you can afford the ticket; otherwise, head to UNTITLED ART, which is literally built on the beach. It’s a more curated affair, promising to showcase galleries outside mainstream art hubs, and it hits its 10-year anniversary this year. Lastly, head to DESIGN MIAMI for all things *aesthetics*; this year’s theme is The Golden Age: Looking to the Future, “epitomising hope for the future, lighting the path towards our highest aspirations, (and) celebrating a tomorrow of our own creation” – it will be viewable online too.
THE ART OF THE FOOTBALL SCARF, OOF GALLERY, LONDON, UK
Ah! The humble football scarf. A symbol of allegiance and dedication, but, on the flip side, toxic masculinity, violence, and more. It can be equally as celebrated as it is a controversial piece of clothing for many reasons, some of which are explored in The Art Of The Football Scarf by artists such as David Shrigley, Gorilla Girls, Babak Ganjei, and others. The show promises “searing cultural critique, loads of sexuality, tons of humour, endless colour and boundless ideas”.
THE HORROR SHOW!, SOMERSET GALLERY, LONDON, UK
Described as a twisted tale of modern Britain, this new exhibition is split across three epic sections – monster, ghost, witch – which over 200 artworks and cultural artefacts to examine how horror has informed the last 50 years of creative rebellion. So expect Leigh Bowery costumes, Derek Ridgers’ iconic club photographs, a phenomenal sculpture and video/sound work by Gazelle Twin, and so much more. You can learn more about it by reading Emily Dinsdale’s interview with the show’s curators here.