From Steve McQueen’s film on Grenfell to Nan Goldin’s vast San Francisco retrospective, we round up the best exhibitions to catch this month
LAND, SAMUEL ROSS, WHITE CUBE BERMONDSEY, LONDON, UK
Dr Samuel Ross is undoubtedly one of our generation’s visionaries. Alongside A-COLD-WALL* and SR_A, as well as collaborations with artists such as Daniel Arsham and brands like Nike, Acqua di Parma, Mercedes-Benz, Hublot, Beats and more, he has expanded his practice into painting and sculpture. This month, Ross debuts a body of abstract works for his exhibition LAND, employing images of “collapsed landscapes and supine bodies to explore the subject of the Black experience.” Alongside paintings are a series of geometric sculptures that “extend Ross’ long-standing interest in processes associated with modernity”, and the gallery’s environment will be altered with a lower temperature, burning incense, and a soundscape.
From 5 April – 14 May 2023
GRENFELL, STEVE MCQUEEN, SERPENTINE SOUTH, LONDON, UK
This June marks six painful years since the Grenfell Tower fire claimed 72 lives. In December 2017, months after the tragedy, Steve McQueen wanted to ensure that what happened that night wouldn’t be forgotten. So, he began filming the tower from a helicopter before it was covered. The 24-minute film opens in painful silence: only birds, the wind, an aeroplane and an emergency siren piercing through as it pans across the neighbourhood, grounding Grenfell in the everyday life that continues around it. Then, the camera circles the tower at close range, capturing the remains of the tower and the forensics teams sifting through the debris of what was once home to hundreds of people and families. The haunting footage was created in a single shot, and McQueen, raised nearby in White City, extensively consulted families affected and community groups. Undoubtedly deeply harrowing, with no one yet held accountable for the lives lost, Grenfell is an important reminder that we must keep demanding justice.
From 7 April – 10 May 2023
FACE TO FACE, INTERNATIONAL CENTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY, NYC, USA
Tacita Dean, Brigitte Lacombe, and Catherine Opie, three of the greatest portraitists of our time have been brought together by writer and curator, the legendary Helen Molesworth. The exhibition showcases their works – more than 50 photographs from Lacomb and Opie and two films from Dean – featuring cultural figures like John Waters, Rick Owens, Patti Smith, Kara Walker, Joan Didion and many more. A must-see show if you’re in New York to pay homage to the eye of these visionary women and the equally phenomenal figures to take up space in their lens.
Until 1 May 2023
VIOLINS/VIOLENCE, GATHERING, LONDON, UK
A brilliant, unexpected group of artists together in one show – Jesse Darling, Cécile B Evans, Ndayé Kouagou, Bruce Nauman, and Sung Tieu – make up Violins/Violence, which examines those “for whom manufactured objects become performers, interrogating and reframing systems of control through drawing upon associations of the body, language, and inanimate and the technological”. The show’s title is borrowed from Nauman’s work of the same name, Violins/Violence, which plays on a “banal sonic correlation between the two words” and “teases the instability and efficacy of language”, a theme which continues throughout the show and each artists’ contribution.
From 16 March – 1 May 2023
HENRY TAYLOR: B SIDE, MOCA GRAND, LOS ANGELES, USA
Los Angeles artist Henry Taylor has spent four decades putting paintbrush to canvas – or found materials – to create empathetic portraits of those around him or who uplift him. Whether it be the homeless community of Downtown LA where he has long lived and worked, friends such as director Kahlil Joseph, the late painter Noah Davis, family members, or cultural figures like Tyler The Creator and activist and writer Eldridge Cleaver. Despite the power that these people bring to his works, Taylor rejects being labelled a portraitist, so as to make space for the relationship between individualistic and societal “forces at play” to portray not an “idealised image, but a complete narrative of a person and (their) history.” Now, three decades of his work, including paintings alongside mixed media sculpture and installation, are on show at LA’s MoCA in a notable survey of his great legacy.
Until 30 April 2023
THE LANDSCAPE AND THINGS IN THE WAY, SUPER DAKOTA, BRUSSELS
In the 1970s, John Divola began sneaking into abandoned buildings in LA with his camera and spray paint to mark the spaces with geometric and organic forms like dots, crescents, and abstraction. Described as “pure fiction”, these interventions and the resulting images converge “the original architect, the people who lived there, those who came in after and the artist” into a singular frame. While originally shooting in black and white, when he began entering empty beach houses as a continuation of the work, he injected saturated colour (film and settings) into his frames to “challenge our understanding of colour, composition, and form”. Now more than 40 years of Divola’s work – which “laid the groundwork for philosophical critiques of universal truths and objective reality” – including these series (“Vandalism” and “Forced Entry”), alongside others, is on show.
From 23 March – 13 May 2023
WE GREW CLOSER AS THE WORLD FELL APART, ISAAC ANDREWS LONDON
Fresh off his group show earlier this year, young London-based artist Isaac Andrews presents a collection of figurative oil paintings for his solo show. Examining “the complexity of human connection and emotion in a dystopian society”, the work offers “moments of intimacy; moments of suffering; of solitude; of childhood innocence; and of expression”. Despite the dark subject matter of what Andrews calls “an increasingly unrecognisable world”, the artist offers contemplation to the viewer “of hope, human connection, agency, and individual thought”.
From 31 March – 7 April 2023
REGINA, GABRIEL MOSES, 180 STUDIOS, LONDON, UK
In his first exhibition, photographer and director Gabriel Moses will open Regina at London’s 180 Studios. Spanning fashion, sport, music, and never-seen-before work, Moses will exhibit 50 photographs and debut two short films examining art, family, and culture – one film, Ijó, commissioned by 180 Studios, centres on young ballet dancers in Lagos. From Dazed covers to Dior Homme Sport campaigns, Moses’ wide-ranging and far-reaching practice will be in full force.
I’VE COME TO TAKE YOU HOME, LEBOHANG KGANYE, FOAM, AMSTERDAM
As the winner of Foam’s Paul Huf Award 2022, South African artist Lebohang Kganye’s solo exhibition, Haifa Nyana?, showcases her practice in all its glory, from photographic montage to spatial installation, film animation, and patchwork. Through these mediums, Kganye aims to “decolonise the medium of photography and South African cultural heritage.” The show’s title Haifa Nyana? (which translates to ‘too close?’ in Sesotho) alludes to the dialogue between the viewer and the artist, asking, “how far can one enter a photographic autobiography on the one hand, and how much can one share a personal story on the other?”
Until 21 May 2023
EYE BODY, TJ BOULTING, LONDON, UK
Performance and photography have long gone hand-in-hand as means to complement and contrast one another. Now, a new group show titled Eye Body, examines work where the artist is present in both. Borrowed from Carolee Schneemann’s 1963 series of the same name, Eye Body “looks at how artists use their own performance and self-image while exploring identity, feminism, gender, queerness, body image, humour, and personal history.” Featuring female and male artists from across the world, such as Atong Atem, Juno Calypso, Sam Keelan, Rose English, Trish Morrisey, Daisy Collingridge, Julian Cerquiera Leite, Gabby Laurent, Poulomi Baso, Mitchell Moreno, Haley Morris-Cafiero, Rosie Gibbens, this incredible role call od artists examines everything from female objectification and consumerism to violence, frustration, and trauma, pregnancy, and domesticity.
From 30 March – 29 April 2023
NAN GOLDIN, FRAENKEL GALLERY, SAN FRANCISCO
Nan Goldin is getting her flowers worldwide right now – with monthly, sometimes multiple appearances on this list. It’s incredible to see the breadth, depth, and new combinations of her work being shown. At the heart of this show at Fraenkel Gallery is a 24-minute slideshow of images and recordings (contemporary interviews, answering machine tapes from the 1980s, and Goldin’s own voice) that explore addiction, something Goldin has openly struggled with. It’s also the first time the work is being shown on the West Coast. Alongside the slideshow is a series of photographic prints from Memory Lost, which “suggest luminous fragments from a partially remembered past”, such as skies, beaches, animals, and crowds, mostly blurred or overexposed. Lastly, a more recent body of work, portraits of writer Thora Siemsen, who lived with Goldin during the pandemic, is described as “Goldin’s rare return to portraiture”.
Until 29 April 2023
FOR BLACK BOYS..., ROYAL COURT THEATRE, LONDON, UK
In its second London run, Ryan Calais Cameron’s play, inspired by Ntozake Shange’s 1976 theatre piece, for coloured girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, focuses on a group therapy session between six young Black men. Described as “on the threshold of joyful fantasy and brutal reality”, over an emotional two hours, “a world of music, movement, storytelling, and verse” ensues in this poignant exploration of race and masculinity.
Until 7 May 2023
PARTY/AFTER-PARTY, MOCA, LOS ANGELES
This “sonic statement” takes visitors to a club night through the eyes of the DJ, specifically Detroit-based techno DJ and producer Carl Craig – from the pre-, to the party, to the afters to evoke “the collective ecstasy and desolation found only on a club dance floor”. Taking place at LA’s The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, a former police storage facility, Party/After-Party responds directly to its architecture and “reclaims (it)… as a space for agency and radical experimentation”. It’s only fitting that a program of live performances within and in response to the installation take place, so keep an eye on MoCA’s channels for more information.
From 16 April – 23 July 2023
MAKING SENSE, AI WEIWEI, THE DESIGN MUSEUM, LONDON, UK
One of the most powerful artists of our time, the ever-resilient Ai Weiwei, has dedicated his life to art and activism, bringing awareness to the injustices of the world, from China’s censorship and corruption to Europe’s disgraceful migrant deaths and mistreatment, often forgoing his own safety and security to ensure the issues he speaks out against are heard. After five decades, the artist is presenting his first exhibition focusing on design, including a combination of recent works alongside commissioned pieces inviting us “into a meditation on value and humanity, art and activism”. The exhibition examines “design and what it reveals about our changing values”, as Weiwei “explores the tension between past and present, hand and machine, precious and worthless, construction and destruction”.
From 7 April – 30 July 2023
AFRO-ATLANTIC HISTORIES, LACMA, LOS ANGELES
This exhibition spotlights the past 400 years of the transatlantic slave trade and its effects on the global African diaspora. Divided into sections that “consider the global impact of the African diaspora reflected in historic and contemporary artworks,” the show features works by Zanele Muholi, Kerry James Marshall, Betye Saar, and many more.
Until 10 September 2023
IN DIALOGUE, THE GETTY CENTER, LOS ANGELES
Almost five decades ago, in 1976, Carrie Mae Weems was a student of Dawoud Bey at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Both went on to create incredible artistic legacies and have remained friends. This exhibition brings their practices together, creating a dialogue between the artists and their mutual work concerning Black history. For those who can’t make it to LA, there’s a book of the same name that you can dive into from anywhere in the world.
From 4 April – 9 July 2023
OUR CONNECTION TO WATER, ROYAL MUSEUMS GREENWICH, LONDON
A diverse, global group of seven artists are exploring the cultural and spiritual practices of water beyond its impacts on their communities socially, culturally, environmentally, emotionally, and spiritually in this new exhibition. Expect photography, film, audio, illustration, and installation from Aya Mohamed, Artemis Evlogimenou, Dazed 100 alumni Dafe Oboro, Giya Makondo-Wills, JIUN Collective, Paul Malone, and Seba Calfuqueo.
Until 30 June 2023