Brilliant Things To Do in March

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Guilda (one of a triptych). New York, United States, 1950Courtesy of Sébastien Lifshitz and The Photographers’ Gallery, © Sébastien Lifshitz Collection

Look forward to the arrival of spring with an enticing host of exhibitions, films, restaurants and shows to fill your month

Exhibitions and Events

Under Cover: A Secret History of Cross Dressers at the Photographers’ Gallery, London: until June 3, 2018
The Photographers’ Gallery’s latest exhibition shines a light on under-represented countercultures the world over through myriad found images dating back to the 1880s. Under Cover: A Secret History of Cross Dressers draws on the collection of Sébastian Lifshitz, who added photographs of gender non-conforming subjects to his archives upon coming across them in shops, at flea markets, on eBay and the like. These previously unseen images offer a fascinating insight into a little explored corner of recent history, and a time when the decision to operate in spite of gender conventions carried greater – and graver – implications.  

America’s Cool Modernism: O’Keeffe to Hopper at the Ashmolean, Oxford: March 23 – July 22, 2018
Oxford’s storied Ashmolean museum is bringing together an impressive group of iconic American artists this month for America’s Cool Modernism. The exhibition – which boasts over 80 works – hones in on the work of Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Edward Weston, Charles Demuth and E. E. Cummings, to name a few, in its exploration of the Modernist movement, and the pioneers of it who approached art in America with a detached, ‘cool’ ambivalence during the 1920s and 30s. Also featured is Manhatta, which is billed as the first American avant-garde film – bound to be a highlight of this landmark exhibit.

Being: New Photography 2018 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York: March 18 – August 19, 2018
A stalwart in the Museum of Modern Art’s calendar since its inception in 1985, New Photography looks to introduce the new work of image-makers from across the globe. Each artist in 2018’s edition, Being, is new to the museum’s walls, and their images speak to the experience of humanity, the perceptions of others and what it means to exist in the today’s world. Typically the photographs on show are innovative, boundary-pushing pieces, that test the limits of the medium and tackle daring subject matter; the exhibition as a whole promises an exciting look at the world of photography today.

Joan Jonas at Tate Modern, London: March 14 – August 5, 2018
Tate Modern is celebrating Joan Jonas, pioneer of performance and video art, this month, in the biggest UK survey of the artist to date. As well as Jonas’ work filling the Tate’s galleries, Starr Cinema and Tanks, the American artist will also perform during Ten Days Six Nights, the institution’s signature live exhibition which this year is centred on the extraordinary work of Jonas.

David Bowie is at the Brooklyn Museum, New York: March 2 – July 15, 2018
Gain insight into the personal archives, processes and seminal output of David Bowie with the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition. A mammoth 400 objects feature in the show, from hand-scrawled lyrics and original album art to custom-made performance garments spanning the multifarious personas that Bowie took on during his iconic career – an aptly immersive and awe-inspiring tribute to an inimitable legend of music.

Jenny Saville at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh: March 24 – September 16, 2018
The visceral work of Jenny Saville graces the walls of Edinburgh’s National Gallery of Modern Art this month as part of NOW, the institution’s specially created exhibition programme which seeks to present the most exciting of contemporary artists. The monumental, uninhibited paintings that the artist has become known for will be central to the exhibition, alongside pieces from series produced over the last 26 years since her graduation from the Glasgow School of Art – the first time her work has been exhibited in a Scottish museum.

Nick Mauss: Transmissions at the Whitney, New York: March 16 – May 14, 2018
Transmissions promises to be an absorbing experience that sits somewhere between installation, performance art, ballet and traditional exhibition, combining newly conceived dance pieces with historical context and archival ephemera all relating to American Modernist ballet. Ballet’s connection to fashion, art, queer culture and representations of the body having been somewhat underrepresented in a museum context, Nick Mauss’ exploration of the dance form’s role in a wider societal landscape while placing particular focus on one of its stylistic niches looks to be a unique and unprecedented event for ballet devotees and newcomers alike. 

Miaz Brothers: Anonymous at Lazinc Sackville, London: March 16 – April 21, 2018
Pushing portraiture to the extreme with their intensely cloudy paintings, the Miaz Brothers’ work is distinctive and mesmeric. Lazinc is showcasing a new body of work by the Italian pair in Anonymous, opening this month in London. The frosty, blurred paintings are at once tranquil, stirring and poignant, and offer an innovative exploration of what it means to be anonymous. 

Future History at Gagosian, London: until April 7, 2018
This month in creative collaborations you never knew you needed: Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and American multi-hyphenate Virgil Abloh have teamed up on a series of pieces, which are currently being exhibited at London’s Gagosian. The vibrant, surreal works were created by the duo in Murakami’s Tokyo studio and seem to host a vast range of references and techniques. Examples include an Abloh-designed sculpture which itself houses a flower sculpture by Murakami, and paintings that layer swathes of colour onto prints and photographs, resulting in a visible mélange of the two creatives’ styles and ideas.

Ghosts Don’t Walk in Straight Lines at The Store X, London: March 9 – 11, 2018
The latest project from Saskia de Brauw and partner Vincent van de Wijngaard documents De Brauw’s “slow walk” from the top to the bottom of Manhattan, a journey that was as much about self-reflection and introspection as it was about traversing the vast, buzzing city. Captured on film by Van de Wijngaard and costumed in a unique Haider Ackermann creation, De Brauw’s one-day walk was a way of connecting with New York. The Store X’s installation of Ghosts Don’t Walk in Straight Lines coincides with the publication of a book of the same name, comprising stories, photography and experiences collected on De Brauw’s walk and throughout the duo’s time working on the compelling project.

A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes at the New Orleans Museum of Art: until May 28, 2018
The starting point for new Louisiana-based exhibition A Queen Within is daring fashion that looks to an atypical definition of beauty and womanhood. Featured designers include Alexander McQueen, Pam Hogg, Iris van Herpen and Joanne Petit-Frère, and the garments and accessories on show are intriguingly divided according to how they communicate the traits of seven archetypal personalities – Sage, Magician, Enchantress, Explorer, Mother Earth, Heroine, and Thespian – promising a novel look at the artistic and expressive power of fashion design.  

Linder Sterling at Chatsworth House: March 28 – October 21, 2018
Historical stately home Chatsworth House’s art programme is generating eager interest thanks to its first artist-in-residence, Linder Sterling. The post-punk pioneer will gather new material for photo-montages inspired by Chatsworth during her residency, taking inspiration from every corner of the estate and working in a variety of media. Parallel to this project is a retrospective of Linder’s work at Nottingham Contemporary, a show that will bring together the artist’s iconic photography and performance work alongside influential ephemera by as many as 50 other creatives. These two events spotlighting Linder form part of The Grand Tour, an exhibition programme commencing this month at Chatsworth, Nottingham Contemporary, the Harley Gallery at Welbeck and Derby Museums.

Edi Hila: Painter of Transformation at The Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw: March 2 – May 6, 2018
Edi Hila is an Albanian painter whose affecting 1970s portrayals of rural life, later socially and politically aware 1990s pieces and more recent series will be on show in Warsaw from tomorrow. Hila’s style is distinctive in both its form and subject matter, with his paintings always favouring realism and muted colour schemes in their execution.

Margiela / Galliera 1989 – 2009 at Palais Galliera, Paris: March 3 – July 15, 2018
Tracing 30 years of the Martin Margiela’s career, Palais Galliera becomes the first Parisian institution to host a retrospective of the groundbreaking designer. Margiela the brand is defined by the anonymity injected into its clothes with its non-labels in much the same way as its namesake designer is notoriously private, thus it is a rare treat to encounter such insight into his creations and process. Expect some of the house’s now-cult designs to appear (tabi boots very much included), plus pieces from some of Margiela’s most extreme collections.

ArtBAB, Bahrain: March 14 – 18, 2018
Art Bahrain Across Borders – or ArtBAB, as it’s come to be known – returns this month for its third edition, steadfast in its aim to connect leading galleries to the country’s burgeoning art scene. Local artists are also placed in the spotlight here, creating a dialogue between the multitude of creatives that will be presenting varied work at the fair.

The Best of Film

At its best, March brings with it spring sunshine and blossoming buds. This year however, it has presented us with snowy blizzards and ample reasons to head to the cinema for back-to-back viewings from dawn till dusk.  Happily, this month’s offerings make this a particularly welcome option, perfectly rounded off by the long-awaited arrival of Wes Anderson’s delightful, Japan-set stop-animation Isle of Dogs on March 30. Other must-sees include Chilean drama A Fantastic Woman, starring an extraordinary Daniela Vega as trans singer Marina, who finds herself the victim of intense discrimination following the sudden death of her boyfriend. Lynne Ramsay’s brilliantly accomplished new film, You Were Never Really Here, tells the seering tale of a veteran-turned-contract killer, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who accidentally unravels a conspiracy while searching for a missing teenager. For those in search of further knuckle-biting, there’s Steven Soderbergh's iPhone lensed thriller Unsane, featuring a captivating Claire Foy as a ambitious young woman whose traumatic experience with a stalker has left her questioning her own sanity.

Justin Chon’s black-and-white movie Gook offers a fresh angle on the Los Angeles riots of 1992, which form the backdrop to a day-in-the-life of tale of two Korean-American brothers whose shoe shop comes under threat as the explosive protests break out. Meanwhile Swedish satire The Square offers a deliciously absurd and perfectly observed look into the world of public relations as a museum curator attempts to drum up press for a controversial new show. This Women’s History Month, three compelling and well-timed documentaries arrive to celebrate the work of pioneering females. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story explores the remarkable life of the glamorous Hollywood star who, in a bid to outwit the Nazis, devised a system that foreshadowed Bluetooth technology. Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist, examines the artistry, activism and cultural importance of inimitable fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, while Here To Be Heard: The Story Of The Slits follows the subversive rise to stardom of fabulous punk rockers, Ari Up, Viv Albertine et al.

International Women’s Day

Next week marks International Women’s Day, and to honour the occasion many institutions across London are hosting events and experiences to celebrate all things female. Women of the World Festival lands at the Southbank Centre for five days, with an unmissable programme of events designed to empower and further the potential of women and girls across the world. Noted comedians, writers, activists, politicians and artists are all taking part in the festival’s proceedings. Marguerite, the network for women in the art world, is holding a party to celebrate International Women’s Day at the London EDITION on March 8 – get a ticket now to avoid missing out on DJ duo Four Tit soundtracking an evening of cocktails and camaraderie. This year’s IWD also coincides with the 100 year anniversary of women in the UK gaining the right to vote, and a new immersive theatre experience, Suffragette City, explores what life might have looked like as a suffragette in the early 20th century, riffing on the life of Lillian Ball. In her first solo exhibition, artist Alexa Coe presents her sensual line drawings of the female form, which opens on IWD. Coe’s captivating pieces are also available to buy, should you be looking for a unique artwork to mark the occasion. Old Spitalfields Market is set to host a day of talks and debates surrounding issues facing women working in hospitality today, a collaborative effort with collective Ladies of Restaurants – topics include sexism in the workplace and the growing pressure to “have it all”.

Great Performances

Enticing productions abound this month, beginning with the Almeida’s new revival of Summer and Smoke, a lesser known but marvellous early offering from Tennessee Williams, centring on Alma Winemiller, the highly-strung, love-smitten daughter of a Mississippi minister. Then there’s the London transfer of hit Edinburgh Festival show Dust, showing at Soho Theatre until March 17. Written and performed by rising star Milly Thomas, the refreshing and comedic production examines the treatment of a woman’s depression, suicide and everything that comes after to poignant effect. Don’t miss Misty from talented actor and writer Arinzé Kene – a brilliantly original medley of gig theatre, spoken word, live art and direct address that takes its audience on a poetic journey to the soulful heart of underground London, while boldly challenging traditional storytelling tropes.

Opera fans, be sure to catch Coraline, the new opera from trailblazing British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage, premiering at the Barbican from March 27. Based on Neil Gaiman’s dark and fantastical children’s novella of the same name, it is the story of young girl’s discovery of a door leading from her home to an entirely different place and family. Meanwhile dance lovers are in for a treat this month with new works from Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon set to arrive at the Royal Opera House to mark the centenary of composer Leonard Bernstein. Both pieces from the modern dance pioneers will be set to Bernstein’s stirring scores, performed alongside a revival of Liam Scarlett’s The Age of Anxiety.

The Best of Food and Drink

Brat, Redchurch Street, London: March 17, 2018
Brat may have come to be defined solely as a spoiled person, but the term is also a colloquialism for turbot. The supreme fish is at the heart of new restaurant Brat, opening in London this month and favouring an open grill fire method of cooking. Two words spring to mind: simply delicious.

Orrery, Marylebone, London: open now
French restaurant Orrery recently turned 21, and honoured the occasion by undergoing an interior and menu redesign. Its signature dishes have been imagined anew – fillet steak with a sourdough and truffle dressing, or lamb wellington – while the restaurant space itself boasts new terracotta pieces, a muted neutral colour scheme and works of art inspired by the South of France.

Scully, St James’ Market, London: March 1, 2018
Due to chef Ramael Scully’s varied and worldly influences, his new eponymous restaurant draws from all corners of the globe – from Malaysia and Sydney to Europe and Russia – to produce a new style of eaterie in London. Its sleek-yet-rustic interiors are punctuated with jars of preserved, dried and pickled delights, and best seats are at the bar, where you’ll get an uninterrupted view of the open kitchen.  

Sheekey Secrets at J Sheekey, London: March 12, 2018
Legendary West End haunt J Sheekey is inviting the theatre into its old-school dining rooms with a series of talks with stage actors, coupled with a specially designed menu. Next up Jemma Redgrave will take to the restaurant, sharing details of her acting career and her own relationship with theatre. Dinner and a show in one fell swoop.