New for Now: The Origin of Fashion Magazines – June 12
Before photography became widely available, fashion magazines existed in the form of fashion illustrations. A new exhibition at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam explores the development of magazines from elegant sketches to fashion glossies. Conceived by designer Christian Borstlap, in collaboration with fashion illustrators Piet Paris and Quentin Jones, it documents 500 years of costume and fashion history, from as early as the year 1600 through to the 20th century.
Ryan McGinley: Photographs 1999-2015 – Until August 30
From teenage nudity to idyllic landscapes, glimpses of 1990s urban Manhattan and road trip memories, Kunsthal KAdE’s new summer show looks back at the acclaimed work of American photographer Ryan McGinley. Among the photographs on show are Moonmilk, an experimental series documenting Idaho’s cavernous formations, and Yearbook, an installation display of McGinley’s hundreds of studio portraits.
Maison Mais Non – June 2
London’s first independent fashion gallery, Maison Mais Non opens its doors at the beginning of the month. Marking the event with an inaugural exhibition showcasing the work of three Central Saint Martins MA graduates, Maison Mais Non’s concept is good in every sense. Providing a platform for emerging fashion designers, the profits of the exhibitions will be reinvested into the funding of their work.
The Best of Film
The arrival of June marks a number of exciting cinematic releases. There’s the BFI’s Marilyn Monroe season – a welcome chance to revisit the actress’s finest performances, including her legendary starring role in The Misfits, which will be on UK re-release from June 12. For murder mystery fans, there's Black Coal, Thin Ice, an award-winning drama from Chinese director Diao Yinan that ticks all the boxes. A stylish noir thriller, it follows two ex-cops reinvestigating a series of killings that tanked their careers, just as the murders begin again. Meanwhile, on a similar theme in a very different setting, there’s Mr. Holmes, which sees a captivating Ian McKellen as an aged Sherlock Holmes determined to crack the unsolved case that led to his retirement.
Les Combattants (or Love at First Fight) is the month’s most worthwhile rom-com. The accomplished debut from French director Thomas Cailley, it is a restrained, masterfully shot love story set in a survivalist boot camp. Last but not least, there’s the opportunity to preview Blood Cells – the British road movie that took Venice by storm last year – from directing duo Joseph Bull and Luke Seomore. The bleak, beautiful tale of man in search of the family he abandoned some years before is set to a haunting original score, which will be played live at a pair of screenings at the Ritzy (27 June) and Hackney Picture House (28 June).
Doug Aitken in London – June 12-July 31
The renowned American photographer opens multiple projects at important institutions across Europe. In London, Victoria Miro gallery will explore Aitken’s oeuvre with a show conceived by the artist and centered around the use of sound, touch and light. While in parallel at the Barbican, Station To Station will celebrate the Californian-born photographer’s spontaneous artistic creation with a cross-disciplinary exhibition. The exhibition will also host the UK premiere of Aitken’s film of the same name – shot in 2013, Station To Station follows the artist travelling for 24 days across the US. Aitken’s European journey will end in Frankfurt, where his third and last installation will see the light on July 9.
Serpentine Galleries 15th Annual Pavilion – June 25; Verses After Dusk by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye – June 2
June is an exiting month for the arts, filled with exhibitions and installations to suit all tastes. First on our list is the Serpentine Galleries’ 15th annual pavilion. Designed by Madrid-based architects SelgasCano, this year’s playful polygonal structure is covered in woven, colourful fabric allowing for light to filter through for a natural stained-glass effect. And if you are there, it is definitely worth paying a visit to Lynette Yiadom-Boakye's new exhibition. Appearing to exist outside time and space, Yiadom-Boakye’s oil portraits reveal interesting dimensions, demonstrating the artist's focus on structure and composition and raising age-old questions of identity and representation. Alongside Yiadom-Boakye’s figurative work, the show will feature ten new etchings created specifically for the Serpentine.
Dress Up Story: 1990 Until Now – Until September 13
It’s hard to think of a day when the world will stop celebrating Vivienne Westwood. This time, the news of a new exhibition in her honour comes from the other side of the Atlantic – Dress Up Story at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia, explores the last 25 years of the artist and activist’s nonconformist career.
Great Theatre Performances
Two theatrical performances have arrived to provide entertainment on the inevitable rainy summer days in London. Don't miss The Angry Brigade at The Bush, the darkly funny story of an urban guerrilla group uprising in 1970s from acclaimed playwright James Graham. Electrifying performances from the play's young cast, as well as its timely consideration of life under a Tory reign, make for compulsive viewing. While if last year's celebrated adaptation of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird from Regent's Park Theatre passed you by, fear not – the Barbican will play host to the now-touring production between June 24 and July 25. Keep the tissues handy – the play is as moving and heartfelt as the beloved original.
Carsten Höller at Southbank Centre - June 10
We can’t wait for Carsten Höller’s new exhibition Decision at the Hayward Gallery: the artist’s largest survey show in the UK to date. Aiming to “induce hallucinations, in the widest sense”, Höller has filled the space with disorientating objects and installations, from giant revolving mushrooms and huge slides to two robotically-engineered beds that “roam the exhibition like a pair of restless, insomniac twins.” You can even extend the experience and book a night in the beds for a (relatively speaking) bargain price of £300.
Come Midnight by Haluk Akakçe – Until June 21
June also sees the opening of Come Midnight, a solo exhibition of new work by Turkish artist Haluk Akakçe at the Richard Taittinger Gallery. Known for his explorations of two and three-dimensional surfaces and his fascination with the corporeal and incorporeal, Akakçe actively challenges mankind’s reliance on logic and rationality in his first New York appearance in years.
Mexican Celebrations: The Year of Mexico at the V&A – Until October 2; The Four Fridas – Book now
To mark the Year of Mexico in the United Kingdom, the V&A has commissioned Mexican architect Frida Escobedo to design an Aztec-inspired installation in the museum’s garden. Entitled You Know You Cannot See Yourself So Well As By Reflection, Escobedo plays around the concepts of reflection and flexibility to create her movable pavilion, which was inspired by the Mexican lake city of Tenochtitlán. To keep the celebrations going, The Four Fridas, a new outdoor theatre production honouring the life and work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, will launch later in July. Time to get booking.
The Wapping Project Berlin
If you’re an artist, over 33 and not quite sure what your next step is, you should consider applying for the residency programme at the new Wapping Project Berlin. Conceived as a place to rest, recreate and reflect, the only rule is that no work can be made during the 10-week residency – it sounds like a great place for a creative break.
Into The Forest by Conrad Armstrong – Until June 6
London artist Conrad Armstrong returns to Shoreditch with an exhibition that is focused on the relationship between humans and nature in an urban landscape. It promises an eclectic mix of images, sound and sculpture to provide the audience with an authentic sensory experience of the city and its wildlife.
Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Günther Uecker at Skarstedt – June 11
Meanwhile, Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein and Günther Uecker take over the walls of the Skarstedt gallery. Exploring the notions of destruction and formation, Burning, Cutting, Nailing showcases the works of three masters of modern art who, faced with a new post-war social reality, developed destructive methods of creation as a symbolic confrontation of the concept of flatness as a prerequisite of painting.