From top-secret government cables to Parisian youth culture and ‘ecstatic’ forms... we take a look at some of the most exciting art shows and events to see this month
THE WAY TO BE, BARBARA T. SMITH, GETTY MUSEUM, LOS ANGELES,
Before she became a pioneer of the feminist avant-garde movement on America’s west coast, Barbara T. Smith was an unsatisfied housewife. After being ‘radicalised’ by her therapist and introduced to the ideas of Simone de Beauvoir, she bought a Xerox machine and began processing her divorce by making work with it. Now in her 90s, her life is being celebrated with an epic retrospective at the Getty, which guides us through her brilliant mind in her own words. For those who can’t make the trip, there’s a new book published in her honour that you can get your teeth into
The Way To Be, Barbara T. Smith is running at Getty Museum until 16 July 2023
POWER, PAIN, PRIVILEGE, LUCIE ROX, PARIS, FRANCE
A one-night-only event for London photographer and director Lucie Rox is taking place in Paris this weekend. Power, Pain, Privilege is a 20-minute film in collaboration with musician Specimens, who will be live-scoring the event. The film examines biracial identity through an abstract visual, sonic, and personal lens, specifically of the artist pairing being French-Congolese and British-Jamaican, respectively.
Takes place on Saturday 4 March 2023 at 3537 (with showings at 7pm and 9pm)
PARIS YOUTH, DAN BOULTON, PHOTOBOOK CAFE, LONDON, UK
Another one-night-only happening, London photographer Dan Boulton is releasing his new book of portraits titled Paris Youth. The book was shot from 2020 to 2022 in Paris and provides a portrait of young people that Boulton has met through his work, via friends, or on the street, all photographed around the Place de la République.
Many of his subjects are captured on the cusp of adulthood, a weary world stacked on their shoulders due to two years of far-reaching, volatile change – from Covid to student protests and more. There’s a sense of time suspended in Boulton’s portraits of a generation grappling with the power structures in place by generations past. But ultimately, the message is of hope and optimism. Nick Wapplington provides the foreword and you can also find a Q&A between myself and Boulton inside too.
The launch of Paris Youth takes place at the Photo Book on March 24 2023, 6-9pm
NAN GOLDIN, AKADEMIE DER KUENSTE, BERLIN, GERMANY
Nan Goldin is a name whose mere sound (or sight) evokes awe like few others can. On the heels of Laura Poitras’ documentary examining her life, work, and activism, All The Beauty and The Bloodshed, is an exhibition in honour of Goldin being awarded the Käthe Kollwitz Prize 2022. Specifically, this exhibition features early works from her time in Boston, New York, Berlin, and Asia, alongside recent large-scale landscapes and grid works too. Poitras’ film is also screening at the gallery on March 5.
Nan Goldin is running at Akademie der Künste until March 19 2023
YELENA YEMCHUK, THE UKRAINIAN MUSEUM, NEW YORK CITY, USA
It’s been just over a year since Russia attacked Ukraine, killing thousands and sending others fleeing their homes for safety as it sifted through their fingers like sand. It’s this context that makes the work of Ukrainian-born photographer Yelena Yemchuk so poignant. Starting in the wake of the annexing of Crimea, Yemchuk spent time photographing Odesa, its inhabitants and their freedoms. It’s a crucial document, and reminder, of a life that just mere years later would look devastatingly different. Alongside the series is a film made in the Carpathian Mountains titled Malanka. Both photographs and film are a staunch protest in support of the Ukrainian people in the face of this cruel and unnecessary war.
Yelena Yemchuk is running at New York’s Ukrainian Museum until April 15 2023
A HARD MAN IS GOOD TO FIND!, THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S GALLERY
An immensely defiant exhibition that examines more than 60 years of queer photography of the male body in the UK is here! Featuring the work of Cecil Beaton, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Ajamu X, John S. Barrington, and more, A Hard Man is Good to Find! lifts a lid on a “clandestine visual culture” that rose amongst regulated laws that criminalised homosexuality.
A Hard Man is Good to Find! is running at The Photographer’s Gallery in London until June 11 2023
LYNDA BENGLIS, THOMAS DANE GALLERY, LONDON, UK
It’s been almost 50 years since Lynda Benglis appeared in Artforum with nothing but a double-ended dildo and a pair of white sunglasses. Naturally, it caused a stir, and placed her firmly in our sights as an art world icon. She has since honed a reputation for creating “free ecstatic forms that are simultaneously playful and visceral, organic and abstract”, using materials like beeswax, latex, polyurethane foam, plaster, gold, glass, and more. This penchant is highlighted in a new exhibition, which brings a collection of works to London for the first time: expect bronze sculptures that “might be mistaken for relics from another world“ to her vibrant pink, green, and yellow polyurethane egg-like wall sculptures.
Lynda Bengalis is running at Thomas Dane Gallery until April 29 2023
REMEMBER ME, JOY YAMUSANGIE, TIWANI GALLERY, LONDON, UK
For their first solo show with Tiwani Contemporary, Joy Yamusangie presents new paintings that allude to moments where the sentiment “remember me” could evoke euphoria, vulnerability, or sadness. The show ultimately asks us to contemplate memories and legacy, as well as personal and cultural histories. Music is never far from Yamusangie’s works and a curated playlist will play throughout the gallery – their last exhibition paid homage to the jazz club, with a live performance on the opening night.
Joy Yamusangie is running at Tiwani Contemporary from March 8 until April 1 2023
STATES OF VIOLENCE, A/POLITICAL, LONDON, UK
In an incredibly radical and political exhibition by none other than London-based arts organisation a/political, States of Violence marks an unprecedented collaboration with WikiLeaks alongside artists like Ai Weiwei, Dread Scott, and The Vivienne Foundation. The exhibition brings together artists and agitators whose works oppose government oppression, such as war, torture, police brutality, and surveillance. On display will be the largest physical publication of top secret government cables, which have never been available as hardcopies in the UK before. There will also be a public programme hosted by hip-hop artist and activist Lowkey, alongside a closing event of live music in collaboration with the Wau Holland Foundation and Shangri-La Glastonbury.
States of Violence is running at The Bacon Factory, 6 Stannary Street, Kennington, London SE11 4AA from March 24 until April 8 2023
LINDER & HANNAH WILKE, ALISON JACQUES, LONDON, UK
Feminist powerhouses, pioneers, and provocateurs Linder and the late Hannah Wilke are brought together in this double-bill exhibition that raises “shared questions in their individual practices around gender, the portrayal of women’s sexuality against domesticity, and the commodification of the body.” Looking at Linder’s photomontages from 2007 until now, examining things in the home and the “absurdity of gendered consumerism”. While Wilke’s work in the gallery showcases “her subversion of consumer fantasies developed through the commercial advertising of the time” – namely the 70s and 80s.
Linder & Hannah Wilkeis running at Alison Jacques until March 11 2023
THE UNTOLD STORIES, MEHDI GHADYANLOO, ALMINE RECH, LONDON
Primarily known for his large-scale trompe l’oeil-style murals in central Tehran, Iranian artist Mehdi Ghadanloo is showcasing a series of new paintings blending surrealism and minimalism. The works pull from his autobiography to create landscapes of his youth, his memories of the Iran-Iraq war in the 80s, and his life under IS. The paintings, which appear like three-dimensional paintings, are filled with childhood toys: unicycles, plushies, and wooden animals, that evoke a sense of play, whereas rides and slides allude to movement. While the work can appear “sombre and even suggestive of a failed utopia”, the artist’s work “conveys hope that change can be effected, and it speaks with joy of what remains glorious in gloomy times.”
Mehdi Ghadanloo is running at Almine Rech until April 6 2023
HYSTERICAL, BERMONDSEY PROJECT SPACE GALLERY, LONDON, UK
The brainchild of photographer, activist, speaker and founder of Cheer Up Luv, Eliza Hatch, and queer, non-binary illustrator Bee Illustrates, Hysterical is a charity exhibition centring women and marginalised genders across a range of creative disciplines. Specifically curated through a feminist lens, the exhibition name borrows from oppressive stereotypes of the “hysterical woman” and subverts its power. Now in its second year, alongside a physical exhibition of artworks focussed on community, activism, and those who uplift the voices of those around them, Hysteria includes zine-making workshops, life drawing classes, panels, and more.
Hysterical is running at the Bermondsey Project Space Gallery from March 15 until March 25 2023
A PERFECT SENTENCE, OLIVER CHANARIN, MUSEUM OF MAKING, DERBY
Photographer Oliver Frank Chanarin spent time during 2022 journeying across the UK and into fringe societies such as suburban fetish groups, carnival troupes, gender activists, and more. Describing the camera as “a tool for social change”, his first UK solo exhibition is fascinating – “a subjective and intimate record of a nation in transition”. Titled A Perfect Sentence, the series of images and resulting exhibition documents a moment in time, Brexit, Covid, and everything in between.
A Perfect Sentence by Oliver Frank Chanarin is running at the Museum of Making in Derby from March 17 – September 3 2023
CHANGING TRACK, P21 GALLERY, LONDON, UK
A group exhibition featuring Samir Laghouati-Rashwan, Randa Maroufi, Rayane Mcirdi, Valentin Noujaïm and Sara Ouhaddou, exploring ideas of daydreaming, change, and im/mobility across video and stained glass works – two mediums that “function through an interplay between light and surface.”
Changing Track is running at P21 Gallery until March 25 2023
HYPER FUNCTIONAL, ULTRA HEALTHY, SOMERSET HOUSE, LONDON, UK
For far too long, artists with disabilities have been excluded from the arts and its ensuing conversations. But Somerset House Studios is in the midst of a new programme focussing on disability justice, and artists engaging with health and care, titled Hyper Functional, Ultra Healthy, running throughout this month. Described as a “dynamic series that considers individual and collective health and wellbeing” through a film programme curated by artist, writer, and researcher Jamila Prowse, a panel discussion, performances, and a new commission by American sound artist Christine Sun Kim.
Hyper Functional, Ultra Healthy runs at Somerset House Studio throughout March
WITH Q, DENZIL FORRESTER, STEPHEN FRIEDMAN GALLERY, LONDON,
For four decades, Grenada-born, London-based painter Denzil Forrester has examined Black British culture through his rich documentation and composition of London’s West Indian community in the 1980s, to Jamaica’s reggae and dub club scene. His new show, With Q is a survey of his works on paper from the last 40 years and new paintings. Importantly, the show’s title addresses the racist incident involving a 15-year-old Black British schoolgirl identified as Child Q, who was strip-searched by police in a case that raised (even more) questions about police and their oppression of the Black community.
A 2022 painting titled “Q” places the school girl amidst an empty nightclub, surrounded by three policemen, in parallel to one of Forrester’s best-known works “Three Wicker Men” (1982), created in the wake of his friend Winston Rose’s death in police custody. He first started drawing in nightclubs where he sit, observe, and move charcoal and pastel across the paper in his sketchbook, capturing the scenes he saw, each drawing was started and completed in the length of a record, usually four minutes.
Denzil Forrester’s With Q at Stephen Friedman is running from March 10 until April 8 2023