Spring Has Sprung: Brilliant Things To Do in March

Pin It
Guy Marinea, Pat Cleveland on the dancefloor at Halston’s disco bash at Studio 54, 1977© Guy Marineau / WWD / Shuttershock

From Tate Modern’s upcoming Andy Warhol exhibition to the best new film releases, a round-up of brilliant things to do this month

Studio 54: Night Magic at the Brooklyn Museum, New York: March 13 – July 5, 2020
Tracing the history of one of the world’s most iconic nightclubs, Night Magic at the Brooklyn Museum is a showcase of all things Studio 54. The short-lived but legendary venue in 1970s Midtown Manhattan remains steeped in intrigue and inspiration, and Night Magic brings together photography, fashion, drawings, films, and never-before-exhibited costume illustrations by the likes of Antonio Lopez, set proposals, and designs that illustrate the unique success of Studio 54, and why it thrived during and came to exemplify New York’s heady disco days.

Toyin Ojih Odutola: A Countervailing Theory at the Barbican, London: March 26 – July 26, 2020
The transporting work of Nigerian-American artist Toyin Ojih Odutola arrives at the Barbican this month, in an exhibition titled A Countervailing Theory. Over 40 pieces make up the offering, crafted from dark pastels and charcoal. Ojih Odutola conjures fictional characters and landscapes for her large-scale creations – previous solo exhibitions have seen her vibrant paintings fill the Whitney Museum in New York, where she is based – and A Countervailing Theory promises a series of works in this same manner, with fantastical scenes intending to spark stories in their viewers’ imaginations.

Betty Catroux, Yves Saint Laurent: Feminine Singular at the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, Paris: March 3 – October 11, 2020
In an exhibition curated by Anthony Vaccarello, Paris’ Yves Saint Laurent Museum celebrates Betty Catroux, the muse and “female double” of its namesake designer. Yves Saint Laurent was inspired by Catroux’s androgynous, elegant style from when they first met in the 1960s until his death in 2008, and this new exhibition showcases 50 YSL designs, donated by Catroux to the Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent. “She lives and breathes Saint Laurent,” says Vaccarello, the house’s current creative director. “An allure, a mystery, an almost nefarious aspect, an elusive yet desirable nature, all that underlies the house’s aura, and you understand the magnitude of it when you meet Betty.”

Houses for Superstars: Hypermediated Architecture at Villa Noailles, Hyères: until March 15, 2020
At the acclaimed Villa Noailles in Hyères, south of France, an exhibition for enthusiasts of architecture and pop culture alike: Houses for Superstars looks at partnerships between renowned architects and their famous clients in the 20th and 21st centuries. From architectural studies of projects never realised to photographs taken inside the extravagant homes of cultural icons – the roster of names included in the show features Naomi Campbell, Calvin Klein, Joséphine Baker and Vincent Gallo – the exhibition also sees fledgling architecture firms dream up houses for some of today’s most famous celebrities. 

John Baldessari at Moderna Museet, Stockholm: March 23 – August 16, 2020
“I’m not being purposely humorous. I do think the world is absurd,” said the late American artist John Baldessari, who worked prolifically until his death in January at the age of 88. Baldessari’s irreverent approach to the conventions of art saw him become one of the most influential practitioners of the late 20th century, his work placing focus on the narrative potential of imagery. A forthcoming exhibition in Stockholm is the largest survey of the artist in Sweden to date, and will include film, photography, sculpture, prints and painting, exploring the indelible impact Baldessari left on the world of art. 

British Surrealism at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London: until May 17, 2020
2020 marks 100 years since the inception of Surrealism, the ever-influential avant-garde art movement that found inspiration in dreams and the unconscious. At Dulwich Picture Gallery, work by over 40 British Surrealist artists is on show, ranging from paintings to rare books and other ephemera. Featuring pieces by the likes of Leonora Carrington, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore and Paul Nash, the exhibition looks at the history of Surrealism in the UK, which dates back to the 17th century. 

Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years at Holburne Museum, Bath: until May 25, 2020
“Seeing a psychotherapist was a complete revelation to me,” artist Grayson Perry said in AnOther Magazine A/W19. “It was like a whole new reality was peeled back and I was suddenly seeing the world with these amazingly raw eyes.” A new exhibition and accompanying Thames & Hudson-published book, The Pre-Therapy Years, looks at work Perry made between 1982 and 1994. The show is populated with ceramics sourced from throughout the UK after a public appeal in 2018, forming an unprecedented look at some of Perry’s earliest and rarely seen works. 

Cassi Namoda: Little is Enough for Those in Love at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London: until March 7, 2020
Born in Maputo, Cassi Namoda’s captivating paintings draw on the life in the Mozambique capital. In her first European solo exhibition, Little is Enough for Those in Love, Namoda presents a series painted last year, depicting people “engaged in formal and informal social activities: a prayer group, a family outing, friends spending time together”, each situation a compelling blend of memory, stories and fiction. Namoda – who works between Los Angeles and New York, and recently painted a cover image for Vogue Italia’s photography-free January 2020 issue – has also drawn inspiration from the work of Kenyan theologian John Mbiti and his boundary-pushing research into traditional African religions.

Antonio Lopez: Let Me Hear Your Body Talk at Daniel Cooney Fine Art, New York: March 5 – April 25, 2020
“Everyone was in love with Antonio,” Pat Cleveland once said of the ebullient illustrator Antonio Lopez. 16 of Lopez’s drawings go on show this month at Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York, in an exhibition titled Let Me Hear Your Body Talk. In the series of rarely seen pieces created in the early 1980s, Lopez – who was a mainstay figure in New York’s counterculture and fashion scenes of the 70s and 80s – hones in on the body and the sensual line drawings are based on the figures of dancers from the Louis Falco Dance Company.

Andy Warhol at Tate Modern, London: March 12 – September 6, 2020
Tate Modern’s upcoming Andy Warhol exhibition will feature a number of works by the Pop Art pioneer which have never previously been exhibited in the UK. From his most famous pieces – depicting everyday objects like Campbell’s soup cans or global celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley – to lesser-known series like Ladies and Gentlemen (1975) and the 1966 installation Silver Clouds, the exhibition promises an immersive, in-depth look at the work that made Warhol into an international art icon.

Soggettiva Danny Boyle at Fondazione Prada, Milan: until July 31, 2020
Acclaimed director Danny Boyle is the latest curator of the Fondazione Prada’s Soggettiva film series. For his curation, Boyle has chosen to highlight “his current research and study programme revolving around the increased presence of automation and the issues of a progressive and unregulated obsolescence in our world”, according to the Fondazione. Screenings are on Fridays until July of this year, and you can catch the likes of Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1982), Her (2013), Ex Machina (2014), The Terminator (1984) and WALL-E (2008) for an insight into the working processes of one of today’s most lauded filmmakers. 

Burberry at the Selfridges Corner Shop, London: until March 29, 2020
A dedicated Burberry installation at Selfridges’ Corner Shop opens today and runs throughout March, with a set inspired by the brand’s history of outfitting polar explorers. Wooden snow sleds, shiny mirrored platforms and even penguin figurines – which can be “brought to life through an augmented reality experience” and QR codes – make up the immersive set, in which bags and accessories from Burberry’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection are housed. An immersive shopping experience like no other. 

Memos: Talking of Fashion in this Millennium at Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan: until May 4, 2020
The starting point for Memos, a new fashion exhibition staged in Milan by Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana, is Italo Calvino’s Six Memos for the Next Millennium, a posthumously published book based on a series of lectures the Italian writer was due to give at Harvard University in 1985. The exhibition – curated by Maria Luisa Frisa alongside ‘exhibition-maker’ Judith Clark – and accompanying book trace the “transformations and continuity” of fashion as seen through the unique and probing lens of Calvino’s studies, and examines the varied role that fashion curation can play in today’s society. Pieces by designers like Jonathan Anderson, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Demna Gvasalia, Alessandro MicheleFrancesco Risso and more will be on show in Memos, alongside objects, magazines and ephemera that illustrate fashion’s constant evolution.


This month marks the arrival of myriad film offerings that cater to every taste. For the romantic of heart, there’s Stella Meghie’s The Photograph, starring Issa Rae as Mae, the estranged daughter of a famous, recently deceased photographer. When she finds the film’s titular image in a safety deposit box, Mae begins an enlightening journey into her mother’s past, with the help of a rising-star journalist (Lakeith Stanfield). Gritty Irish thriller Calm With Horses, meanwhile, is the story of an ex-boxer (Cosmo Jarvis) who’s torn between his role as the feared enforcer for a gang of drug dealers, and providing for his young autistic son. Tense and atmospheric, it announces British director Nick Rowland as a fierce new filmmaking talent. Don’t miss Portuguese director Pedro Costa’s beautiful film, Vitalina Varela, starring 55-year-old non-professional actress Vitalina Varela as a widow who travels to Lisbon from Cape Verde three days after her husband’s funeral to unravel the mystery of his secret life abroad. Saudi Arabian director Haifaa al-Mansour returns with The Perfect Candidate, the fiery tale of a young Saudi doctor who raises more than a few eyebrows when she becomes the first female candidate to run for office in the local elections.

For those in search of a compelling coming-of-age drama, And Then We Danced by Levan Akin, ticks all the boxes. Set in the conservative confines of modern Tbilisi, it follows a competitive dancer who’s knocked off course – both professionally and romantically – by the arrival of a rebellious, fellow male dancer among his troupe. Sparks of a different kind fly in Galician drama, Fire Will Come by Óliver Laxe – the visceral story of a convicted arsonist’s return to his small mountain village, and the devastating fire that soon follows. Be sure to catch Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke in French-Japanese drama The Truth, about a movie-star diva’s tense reunion with her daughter after the publishing of her memoirs. Last but not least there’s Czech drama The Painted Bird by Václav Marhoul, following a young Jewish boy’s flight from the Nazis. The fact it’s filmed in black and white does nothing to dampen its grizzly horror – half the audience walked out during its Venice premiere – but critics have deemed it both masterful and important.

This month’s must-see documentaries meanwhile come courtesy of Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am  Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ powerful meditation on the revolutionary American storyteller; Cunningham, Alla Kovgan’s 3D portrait of Merce Cunningham and his celebrated dance company; and The Great Buster – A Celebration, Peter Bogdanovich’s joyful ode to actor and comedian Buster Keaton.

Food and Drink

Larry’s, Peckham: opening March 19, 2020
From the teams who launched South London favourites Salon and Levan, Larry’s is a new opening in Peckham (and in fact is found just next door to Levan – the restaurants are named for 1970s dance DJ Larry Levan). Larry’s will be open all day, serving coffee and breakfasts through to sharing plates and a compact but considered drinks offering, its dining ethos inspired by New York’s food scene.

Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura Beverly Hills, Los Angeles: open now
Gucci has opened a restaurant above its Beverly Hills store in LA, with food by the three-Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura (who also collaborates with the brand on the Gucci Osteria at the Gucci Garden, Florence). With distinctive Gucci interiors and a focus on local ingredients sourced from Los Angeles farmers markets, this new eatery is a must-visit for anyone in the California town. 

Theatre and Dance

While away March’s inevitable rainy days with a theatre trip or two. Sharp British playwright EV Crowe returns to the Royal Court with her newest offering, Shoe Lady, directed by Vicky Featherstone and starring Katherine Parkinson as a woman for whom chaos ensues following the loss of a shoe. The Jamie Lloyd Company takes on Chekhov’s masterpiece, The Seagull at the Playhouse Theatre, marking Emilia Clarke’s West End debut as the self-interested young actress Nina to Australian actor Daniel Monks’ Konstantin. Robert Lepage’s profound seven-hour play The Seven Streams of the River Ota – which traces the survivors of Hiroshima and their descendents across five decades – returns to the National Theatre after 24 years, for just nine performances, as part of a world tour marking the 75th anniversary of the nuclear bombing. Now’s also your chance to catch Irish writer Sebastian Barry’s much-talked-about drama On Blueberry Hill, following its hit runs in Dublin and New York. Arriving at Trafalgar Studios this month, it’s the story of Christy (Niall Buggy) and PJ (David Ganly) – the “best of friends and worst of enemies” – who are destined to spend the next 20 years in each other’s company in a Dublin prison.

Ballet fans, book your tickets for the first revival of Liam Scarlett’s dazzling production of Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House, which met with huge acclaim upon its premiere in 2018. And don’t miss UK dance company Ballet Black’s return to the Barbican with “a double bill full of lyrical contrasts and beautiful movement” – namely Will Tuckett’s thought-provoking piece, Then Or Now, and Mthuthuzeli November’s energetic and existential work, The Waiting Game. Meanwhile, director Tatjana Gürbaca will make her ENO debut with a new version of Dvořák’s beloved opera, Rusalka, which draws on the Slavic myths and folk-tales that inspired Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid to tell the tale of a water nymph who falls in love with a human prince.