A List of Great Things to Do This July

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Untitled III, Sea ScoutPhotography by Izzy de Wattripont, courtesy of Free Range

From the return of the Serpentine’s Park Nights to the best films to see this month, here’s what we’re looking forward to this month

Exhibitions and Events

Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: July 3 – September 22, 2019
July 20, 2019 marks 50 years since Apollo 11 landed and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to step foot on the moon, a feat watched on television by half a billion people all over the world. The moon has been a source of fascination for centuries and a new exhibition in New York traces how photographers have depicted it since the birth of the medium in 1839. Over 170 photographs – including what is thought to be the earliest image of the moon in existence, taken in the 1840s, as well as shots of Aleksandra Mir’s irreverent staged moon landing depicting the first women to reach its surface – will be on display alongside ephemera like cameras used on the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, and a photographic atlas of the moon created by two French astronomers at the turn of the 20th century.

Free Range 2019 at Truman Brewery, London: until July 8, 2019
Catch the second half of Free Range 2019 in east London this week, showcasing ones to watch from the worlds of art and photography. With the last day of photography and then a week dedicated to art beginning in a few days’ time, the exhibition is an exciting chance to see what arts students across the UK have been creating – this year, over 800 creatives are exhibiting work. As ever, Free Range – which is now in its 19th year – promises captivating work by some of the UK’s best emerging talent as the exhibiting graduates move on to the next stage in their careers. 

Deborah Roberts: If They Come at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London: until July 20, 2019
If They Come is the first European solo exhibition for American artist Deborah Roberts (whose work is also on show in London as part of Somerset House’s blockbuster exhibit Get Up, Stand Up Now). “With collage, I can create a more expansive and inclusive view of the black cultural experience,” Roberts told us earlier this month. “It allows me the freedom to exaggerate certain aspects of the face and body, creating new pathways to discuss issues of race, identity and class.” Addressing themes of identity politics and how racism extends across generations, Roberts’ striking collages build characters from composite facial features and body parts, with the aim of exploring how young black children build their identities.

Garden of Earthly Delights at Gropius Bau, Berlin: July 25 – December 1, 2019
A forthcoming exhibition at Berlin’s Gropius Bau takes Hieronymus Bosch’s 15th-century painting The Garden of Earthly Delights as its starting point. Bringing together work by more than 20 artists – the likes of Yayoi Kusama, Pipilotti RistTacita Dean and Rashid Johnson will be featured – the show looks at how the garden can be an inspiring force in the world of art, exploring such dichotomies as fantasy and reality, harmony and chaos and utopia and dystopia, and how the space can be seen as political and tumultuous.

Trees at Fondation Cartier, Paris: July 5 – November 10, 2019
Trees, a forthcoming exhibition at the Fondation Cartier in Paris, exists at the intersection of art, philosophy, botany and science. Featuring a wealth of artworks, including photography, painting, and sculpture – one example of which was made specially for the exhibition by the late filmmaker Agnès VardaTrees is a tribute to the pillars of the natural world and encompasses three sections: knowledge, aesthetics, and the current threat of deforestation. The exhibition extends to the foundation’s own tree-filled garden, which houses sculptures and trees that date back to the 1820s.

COS x Serpentine Gallery Park Nights at the Serpentine, London: July 5 – September 27, 2019
Park Nights returns to the Serpentine this month, with an exciting programme of Friday evening events stretching through the summer. All of the experimental work presented at the Park Nights are new commissions, by a range of practitioners, from fashion designers and dancers to musicians and artists, who this year are responding to the newly unveiled Junya Ishigami-designed pavilion. Beginning on July 5 with Precious Okoyomon, further nights will centre on work by Kiko Kostadinov, Leilah Weinraub and Cecilia Vicuña

Wong Ping: Heart Digger at Camden Arts Centre, London: July 5 – September 15, 2019
Playful, brightly coloured, fantastical and futuristic, Wong Ping’s artworks go on show this month in the Hong Kong-born artist’s first solo exhibition in the UK, held at the Camden Arts Centre following the artist winning the institution’s first Emerging Artist Award last year. Fables 1 and Fables 2 are new animated films by Ping whose characters and storylines are inspired by traditional fables and fairy tales, albeit twisted and imbued with a distinctly modern dark humour. New installations by Ping will also fill the London space, forming a captivating introduction to a bold and exciting name in contemporary art.

Terence Donovan: The 1960s at Huxley Parlour, London: July 3 – 27, 2019
A key figure in 1960s London, Terence Donovan’s photographs from that era go on show at Huxley Parlour this month. Claudia Cardinale, Julie Christie, Terence Stamp and Sophia Loren were all lensed by Donovan, who opened his studio in 1959 and shot for advertising campaigns, fashion magazines and musicians throughout his career, often drawing inspiration from his stomping ground in London’s East End. The Huxley Parlour exhibition also features a number of the photographer’s contact sheets, marked with his favourite images (Donovan would throw away contact sheets with images he didn’t think we worth printing), forming an intimate insight into one of the formative image-makers in 60s London.

Hysterical: Presented by Gary Card at Phillips Gallery, London: July 18 – August 21, 2019
Set designer and artist Gary Card has created extravagant and vivacious installations for brands including Comme des Garçons and Hermès, and his work with the likes of Tim Walker has appeared in the pages of Dazed, AnOther and Another Man. A new group exhibition in Mayfair entitled Hysterical sees an installation by Card form the backdrop to work by Cindy Sherman, Erik Parker and George Condo among others, offering an immersive look at Card’s singular style. What’s more, Card has worked on collaborations with Kim Jones and Tim Walker to create new pieces for the show. 

The Awakening at Archive Contemporary, Montreal: until July 17, 2019
Archive Collective Magazine has launched a gallery space in Montreal, and its inaugural exhibition The Awakening continues this month. The exhibition brings together work by nine artists and takes magical realism as its starting point; each artist has been chosen for their specific, unique and innovative practice and point of view. There is a focus on the dichotomy of artifice and reality, and much of the work is rooted in the natural world. Live Wild Collective, for example, is a group of artists whose distorted images are interested in contemporary Dada, while Kyle Berger’s subtly surreal photography looks at hones in on small absurdities of everyday life.

Port Eliot Festival, Cornwall: July 25 – 28, 2019
The annual Port Eliot Festival returns to the ancient Cornish estate this July, with a packed schedule encompassing the worlds of fashion, words, books, food and art. Eclectic highlights of this year’s festival include artist Jeremy Deller in conversation, a celebration of Dame Zandra Rhodes and appearances from Martin Parr, Ben Okri and Max Porter, while designer Phoebe English will host a quilting workshop. Those wishing to unwind should head to the Bowie Lounge, a space which celebrates the legendary musician, himself a regular attendee of the festival.

The Best of Film

There’s something for everybody in this month’s cinematic offerings, from Jon Favreau’s highly anticipated, photo-realistic remake of Disney’s 1994 classic The Lion King – starring Donald Glover and Beyoncé, no less – to the return of Jim Jarmusch with his zombie-comedy, The Dead Don’t Die starring Bill Murray, Tilda SwintonChloë Sevigny and Adam Driver. Horror fans will find something truly unique in Midsommar, Ari Aster’s follow-up to Hereditary, which sees a struggling young American couple and their friends head to Sweden for a midsummer festival. Things soon get dark (in spite of the endless sunlight) as the local villagers urge their guests to partake in increasingly disturbing festivities. And if that doesn’t fully satisfy your fright appetite, there’s Gwen, the impressive, gothic-tinged debut feature from William McGregor about a teenage girl in 19th-century Snowdonia, battling to protect her fractured family.

For July’s best romantic dramas look no further than Never Look Away, the new epic by The Lives of Others director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, loosely based on the early life of esteemed German artist Gerhardt Richter. Only You, meanwhile, is a modern love story centred around a whirlwind romance, which explores with compelling honesty the difficulties of sustaining a relationship when life doesn’t yield everything you hope for. Other must-sees this month include Die Tomorrow, from Thai director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit – a poetic meditation on death following six unsuspecting individuals in Bangkok, each of whom will die the following day. While The Chambermaid by Lila Avilés investigates with acute realism and lyrical strangeness the life of a maid in one of Mexico City’s most extravagant hotels. Last but not least don’t miss excellent documentaries Varda By Agnes – filmmaker Agnès Varda’s poignant meditation on her life’s work, completed shortly before her death – and Marianne and Leonard: Words of Love, Nick Broomfield’s affecting look at the relationship between Leonard Cohen and his greatest muse, Marianne Ihlen.

Food and Drink

Clos19 x Refettorio Felix Supper Club with Skye Gyngell and Rose Ashby: July 2, 2019
The first in a series of innovative supper clubs is staged this week: Skye Gyngell and Spring head chef Rose Ashby will serve a menu made from surplus food, with paired champagnes, wines and spirits from Clos19. Held at Refettorio Felix at St Cuthberts centre, Kensington, the evening’s proceeds go towards the organisation’s charity work which provides vulnerable people with meals made from high-quality leftover ingredients. Look out for more supper clubs with renowned chefs being announced later this summer.

Rose Bakery tasting menu at Dover Street Market, London: July 13, 2019
Mid-July sees Dover Street Market close for its seasonal changeover, when new designers, installations and stock are introduced to the London space. To celebrate Dover Street Market’s reopening on July 13, Rose Bakery has put together a complimentary tasting menu that can be enjoyed by shoppers for one day only in store. Served on sharing plates, the delectable menu includes crab and fresh pea salad, cod with broad beans and pancetta, and baked chocolate mousse with strawberries and honeycomb –  the perfect respite following an afternoon’s shopping. 

Circolo, London: open now
Big Mamma, the Paris-based restaurant group whose first London opening, Gloria, has proven a hit in Shoreditch over the past year, has launched a second outpost in the UK this week. New opening Circolo brings a balmy Sicilian summer night to the heart of Fitzrovia: think negronis (the walls of the mammoth restaurant space are lined with shelves of the bitter spirits that make Italian cocktails so moreish), fresh pizzas big enough to share, burrata, pasta and delicious gelato for dessert. 

Gold, Notting Hill: open now
It’s hard to miss Gold, a new opening on Portobello Road in the space that used to house the Portobello Gold pub, thanks to an artwork by Vihls that has been etched into the building’s brick exterior. With food headed up by ex-River Café chef Theo Hill, Gold’s light-filled interiors stretch over four floors, offering a slice of calm in bustling Notting Hill. A hot English summer ahead calls for an afternoon of seasonal sharing plates and cocktails in Gold’s garden room. 

Great Performances

A whole host of excellent productions arrive on stage this month, spanning revived classics through fresh new talent. First up, there’s The Night of the Iguana, James Macdonald’s take on Tennessee Williams’ beloved play, opening at the Noel Coward Theatre. A group of lost souls – including a “defrocked priest turned tour guide” and a “family of jubilant Nazis” – collide for one night, on a hotel veranda in Mexico, and the result is (unsurprisingly) incendiary. Don’t miss Ned Bennett’s much-acclaimed production of Equus, Peter Shaffer’s psychological thriller about a disturbed teenage boy and the psychiatrist tasked with helping him, soon to arrive at London’s Trafalgar Studios. At the Royal Court, seven methods of killing kylie jenner, marks the debut of talented young playwright Jasmine Lee-Jones, offering an exploration of “cultural appropriation, queerness, friendship between womxn and the ownership of black bodies both online and in real life”. While at The Young Vic, Tree heralds an exciting new collaboration between Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah. Combining drama, music and dance to spellbinding effect, it is a story of “identity, family and belonging… seen through the eyes of one man on the toughest journey of his life”. 

Dance fans, be sure to see Yuri Grigorovich’s spectacular production of Spartacus: Aram Khachaturian’s beloved ballet about a slave rebellion led by the titular gladiator against the Roman Empire, which will kickstart the Bolshoi Ballet’s Covent Garden season. Finally, head to Sadler’s Wells to catch the annual Flamenco Festival London, with its pioneering programme encompassing “the cutting-edge and the classical, with artists crossing both genre and gender divides” with the aim of pushing the passionate dance genre to its very limits.