Columns on fashion, culture and ideas

Art & Culture / AnOther To Do List

Top 10 May Recommendations

Each month, AnOther's editors give their recommendations for the coming month

Untitled, From Vera to Veruschka: The Unseen Photographs by Johnny Moncada
Untitled, From Vera to Veruschka: The Unseen Photographs by Johnny Moncada Photography by Johnny Moncada

The AnOther team compile their top 10 things to see and do this May

1. From Vera to Veruschka (until June 1) & Pick Me Up (until May 5) at Somerset House
A new exhibition at Somerset House presents a glorious selection of forgotten works by fashion photographer Johnny Moncada, depicting a young Veruschka (then simply Vera) at the very start of her career. Captured in a variety of enviable locales of la dolce vita between 1963 and 1964, the budding young model flourishes in front of Moncada's lens, revealing the star potential that would see her become one of the most unique and captivating icons of the 60s. Also at Somerset House is prestigious contemporary graphic arts festival Pick Me Up, now in its fifth year, featuring an impressive 3D fashion zoetrope by illustrator and AnOther contributor Jo Ratcliffe.

2. Fendi Store Launch – May 2, & Louis Vuitton Curated Shelf at the New Bond Street Maison Librairie
On the 2nd of May, Fendi's new flagship store at 141 Bond Street will be open for business. The store is set to be stunningly turned out, and will be the first European store outside of Italy to showcase Fendi's full menswear collection. As part of the launch, there will be an auction of an exclusive Fendi Peekaboo bag, personalised by ten iconic women, with all money going to Kids Company. Meanwhile, don't miss the chance to catch the latest edition of Louis Vuitton's Curated Shelf, this time by acclaimed British artist Tania Kovats who opted to present fifteen different editions of one book – “The Sea Around Us” by Rachel Carson – to highlight the importance of the sea within her work.

3. Cinema Vezzoli at The Museum of Contemporary Art, LA – until August 11
A new exhibition by Francesco Vezzoli, the Italian artist and film-maker, goes on show this month at MOCA Grand Avenue. Aside from exhibiting some of his past work, Vezzoli, known for his deconstuction of contemporary media and celebrity culture, will be debuting a brand new piece created especially for this exhibition. Yoox.com held an international VIP preview – via a live streaming – to kick-start events.

Friedl Kubelka, Untitled (Pin-up), 1973
Friedl Kubelka, Untitled (Pin-up), 1973 © The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery
4. Viennese Season: Feminism at Richard Saltoun – until May 23, Ella Kruglyanskaya at Studio Voltaire – until June 8, and Samantha Casolari's Volupia at Gallerie Rouge 58 – until June 6
There are some exiting new exhibitions by female artists this month. The Richard Saltoun Gallery on Great Tichfield Street is adding a new chapter to its Viennese season by taking a look at two of the most important feminist artists that the Austrian city has produced: Valie EXPORT and Freidl Kubelka. Meanwhile, Ella Kruglyanskaya's first solo-exhibition outside the US is being held at Studio Voltaire in Clapham. For this exhibition, Kruglyanskaya has completely taken over the gallery, creating an interior mural and several large scale oil paintings specifically tailored for the space, and installing two of her trademark bold, cartoonish female figures on the gallery's roof. And finally in Paris, photographer and film maker Samantha Casolari is making her European debut with Voluptas/Volupia at Gallerie Rouge 58, featuring works which draw on classical influences in order to explore the rich, sensual pleasure of nature.

5. Another Great Day at Sea by Geoff Dyer and Glow by Ned Beauman – both May 8
Here are two perfect excuses for spending a night in reading: Geoff Dyer's Another Great Day at Sea and AnOther contributor Ned Beauman's Glow. For Another Great Day at Sea, journalist Dyer stowed himself away aboard an American air-craft carrier, the USS George Bush, in order to find out what life is like aboard these strange floating worlds. Meanwhile Beauman's third novel is a rollicking thriller that flings us from Pakistan to New Jersey, from a Burmese jungle to a South London Laundrette.

6. Liu Bolin: The Heroic Apparition – until May 10
When, in 2005, Liu Bolin was evicted from his studio in Beijing by the Chinese government, he began to use the city as his canvas. This remarkable collection of photographs is the result of this decision. In each, Bolin stands painted in such a way that he blends, almost seamlessly, with his urban backdrop. Held at London's Scream gallery, don't miss the first UK solo exhibition by this pioneering Chinese artist.

Balthus, The Last Study
Balthus, The Last Study © Harumi Klossowska de Rola
7. Balthus: The Last Studies – out now
A new limited edition book from Steidl sheds light on a remarkable collection of Polaroid photographs taken by the French post-modernist painter Balthus during the last years of his life. As he grew into old age, his hand became incapacitated rendering him unable to paint. He began to use his camera as a substitute for his brush and this collection of nearly two thousand photographs is the result.

8. Green Man Festival – August 14-17, FOR Festival – June 19-22, Worldwide Festival – June 30 - July 6
With such a plethora of brilliant festivals each summer, it's hard to know which way to turn. This year, we're excited about Green Man, the award-winning music and arts festival tucked away in the breathtaking Brecon Beacons, whose stellar line-up includes Kurt Vile, Polica, Panda Bear, Neutral Milk Hotel, Beirut and Mac De Marco. If you're more partial to venturing abroad for your festival fix, FOR festival on Croatia's island of Hvar boasts some of the most interesting and innovative names in dance and electronic music (this year's highlights include Darkside, Erol Alkan and Klaxons) in a beautiful and intimate setting; while the Gilles Peterson-curated Worldwide Festival in the South of France offers glorious beach parties galore, their line-up including Seth Troxler, Connan Mockasin, Ebo Taylor. Time to get booking!

9. Vitsoe Fruit Stand with The Gourmand – May 16-19
To coincide with the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and NYCxDESIGN, the New York branch of iconic furniture company Vitsoe will be transformed into the "Vitsoe Fruit Stand" in collaboration with food and arts journal The Gourmand. The four-day event will allow visitors to relax in style, while The Gourmand put on a curated spread of locally sourced fruit tarts, teas and homemade sodas, alongside their archive of back issues.

Gustave Doré, Pierrot grimaçant
Gustave Doré, Pierrot grimaçant Courtesy of the Musée d'Orsay
10. Gustav Doré at the Musée d'Orsay – until May 11
For those in Paris, now's your last chance to see the Musée d'Orsay's retrospective of the prodigious and flamboyant nineteenth century artist Gustav Doré. The first Doré retrospective to be held for thirty years, this exhibition runs the full gamut of his oeuvre; paintings, engravings, sculptures, drawings, and much more besides.

Compiled by Max Fletcher and Daisy Woodward

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates