With the sun finally shining and galleries, restaurants and cinemas officially back in business, don’t miss our list of exciting ways to indulge in this month’s newfound freedoms
Absolutely Augmented Reality at Hoxton 253, London: June 5-27, 2021
New York-based artist duo Kuzma Vostrikov and Ajuan Song will hold their first major UK exhibition at Hoxton 253 this month – a welcome chance to immerse yourself in their delightfully colourful and theatrical universe. The pair’s work is a joyful meeting of fine art and photography, drawing on everything from fashion, cinema and theatre to art history and metaphysics to offer a curious, alluring, and often absurd view of the modern world.
Body Topographies is at Lehmann Maupin London: June 16 – September 4, 2021
At Lehmann Maupin London, meanwhile, a great group show brings together a series of radical women artists, old and new – think: Adriana Varejão, Louise Bourgeois, Mandy El-Sayegh, Cecilia Vicuña and Heidi Bucher – to examine their interpretations of the female form. The striking pieces on display span painting, sculpture and works on paper, each depicting some element of the human body to touch upon themes including colonialism, anthropology, personal and shared history, sexuality, identity and beyond.
Joseph Rodriguez: TAXI at Galerie Bene Taschen, Cologne: June 12 – July 31, 2021
In Cologne, Galerie Bene Taschen presents a new exhibition of Joseph Rodriguez’s amazing street photography, captured while the New York imagemaker was working as a taxi driver in the 1970s and 80s. From his position in the front seat, the self-professed “travelling flaneur” bears witness to the hustle and bustle of city life, photographing partygoers and churchgoers alike and offering up an emotive portrait of the Big Apple during some of its most vibrant but turbulent years.
Homeplace at V.O Curations, London: Until June 12, 2021
Londoners, be sure to catch Homeplace at V.O Curations, a group show that “rereads the concept of private domesticity as both theory and philosophy”. Artists including Larry Achiampong, Shezad Dawood, Rhea Dillon and Urara Tsuchiya offer up their take on “homeplace”, reimagining the disruptive possibilities of domestic life outside of its traditional context – with powerful results.
Richard Mosse: Displaced at Fondazione MAST, Bologna: Until September 19, 2021
Fondazione MAST in Bologna is hosting the first retrospective of Irish photographer Richard Mosse, best known for his eye-popping landscape imagery taken in the Democratic Republic of Congo using a now-discontinued infrared film once used for military reconnaissance. Mosse believes that beauty is “the sharpest tool for making people feel something”, and the immersive show serves to highlight the many ways in which he has successfully harnessed this notion to draw our attention to some of life’s most challenging topics, including conflict, immigration and climate change.
Activewear at Modemuseum Hasselt, Belgium: June 6 – December 30, 2021
A forthcoming show at the Fashion Museum Hasselt sees two former Olympic athletes, Elodie Ouédraogo and Olivia Borlée, guest curate an in-depth exploration of sports’ enduring influence on fashion. Beginning with the early history of sportswear, the exhibition will trace the emergence of activewear into the realms of high fashion, while examining the many iconic collaborations this collision of worlds has spawned. Expect to see plenty of Raf Simons, Off-White, Botter, Y-Project and more.
James Bartolacci: Life Without Night at Taymour Grahne Projects: June 19 – July 14, 2021
American artist James Bartolacci is bringing the ambience of New York nightlife to London with his first UK solo show at Taymour Grahne Projects. The evocative works on display see Bartolacci channel his personal experience of queer nightlife in NYC into oil paintings and pastels, made during the pandemic and conjuring up the intimate, neon-lit atmospheres so many have missed in the past year and a half.
Ed Atkins: Get Life/Love’s Work at The New Museum, New York: June 30 – October 3, 2021
Ed Atkins will unveil a new commission at New York’s New Museum later this month as part of a series of collaborations between the museum and Nokia Bell Labs. The project centres on “the ways bodies and technologies are intertwined, particularly in the field of digital communication and telepresence”, according to the press release. The display’s principal work is an interview between the celebrated British artist and his mother, filmed during lockdown and recorded using motion- and facial-capture technologies, which rendered a CG animation of their discussion.
Tesfaye Urgessa at Saatchi Yates, London: June 4 – August 25, 2021
Don’t miss the chance to see the work of Ethiopian artist Tesfaye Urgessa at London’s Saatchi Yates gallery, opening in tandem with London Gallery Weekend this Friday. Urgessa’s beguiling figurative paintings are influenced by traditional Ethiopian iconography, German Neo-Expressionism and the School of London. Imbued with a strong sense of narrative, and rendered in a stirring, Bacon-esque style, they explore representations of race and the politics of identity to engaging effect.
The Best at Hamiltons Gallery, London: June 3 – August 13, 2021
Photography lovers will delight in Hamiltons Gallery’s new revolving exhibition The Best, a chance to view imagery by some of the medium’s most influential practitioners from the 20th century through to today. Highlights will include an enticing array of fashion photographs from Irving Penn, Herb Ritts, Helmut Newton, and Mario Testino, among others.
Anselm Kiefer: Field of the Cloth of Gold at Gagosian, Le Bourget: Until June 26, 2021
For those in France, it’s your last chance to catch Gagosian, Le Bourget’s showcase of four new monumental paintings by Anselm Kiefer. Titled Field of the Cloth of Gold, a reference to the peace summit held in a field five hundred years ago between King Henry VIII and King Francis I, the works expand upon the German artist’s ongoing fascination with “the tension between beauty and terror ... and the inextricable relationship between history and place”. Can’t make the show? Why not watch a conversation between the artist and art historian James Cuno, and a ballet performance by Hugo Marchand and Hannah O’Neill in front of the works, courtesy of Gagosian Premieres.
Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2021 at The Photographers’ Gallery, London: June 25 – September 26, 2021
2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the prestigious Deutsche Börse photography prize, and the submitted projects by this year’s finalists, Poulomi Basu, Alejandro Cartagena, Cao Fei and Zineb Sedira, are aptly exceptional. On display to the public from June 25 at The Photographers’ Gallery in London, the artists’ work will be presented in four distinct rooms where visitors are invited “to examine urgent, though often overlooked, political, cultural and social upheavals across four vastly different geographic terrains – China, India, Algeria and Mexico”.
The sun may be out but June’s new releases are making a compelling case for heading to the cinema. Our top picks include the emotive drama Supernova by Harry Macqueen, which sees Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci star as a longtime couple who embark on a road trip after one of them is diagnosed with dementia. After Love is the brilliant feature debut by British filmmaker Aleem Khan, centred on Mary Hussain, a Muslim convert who unearths a secret about her husband in the wake of his sudden death and sets off to France in search of answers. While Robert Machoian’s masterful drama The Killing Of Two Lovers tells the story of a man’s desperate struggle to keep his family united during a trial separation from his wife.
Don’t miss Emma Seligman’s acclaimed comedy Shiva Baby, in which a college student is unexpectedly confronted by both her sugar daddy and her ex-girlfriend while attending a Jewish funeral service with her parents. Adam Rehmeier’s joyful misfit romance Dinner in America, meanwhile, sees a young woman’s dreams come true when she crosses paths with a punk rebel who also happens to be the elusive lead singer of her favourite band. The Father finds Sir Anthony Hopkins on Oscar-winning form as an ageing man who pointedly resists all offers of help from his daughter (Olivia Coleman) as he begins to lose his grasp on reality.
Lauded Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman stars in his own wonderfully offbeat comedy It Must Be Heaven as a man who leaves Palestine in search of a new life, only to be met by the same problems everywhere he goes. Then there’s Sweat by Swedish director Magnus von Horn: three days in the life of Sylwia, a social media fitness celebrity on a quest for true intimacy.
For those in search of a great documentary, be sure to catch The Reason I Jump, Jerry Rothwell’s inspiring portrayal of five young people living with autism spectrum disorder; Gunda, Viktor Kossakovsky’s delightful farmyard film about a pig, two cows, and a one-legged chicken; and Ahead of the Curve, Jen Rainin and Rivkah Beth Medow’s rousing portrait of Franco Stevens, the founder of the seminal lesbian magazine Curve, and the publication’s ongoing impact.
Food & Drink
After months of being unable to eat in restaurants or else withstanding the wind and rain to dine al fresco, doors are finally open and we’re ready to indulge ourselves at some brand new culinary hotspots. On June 8 in Marylebone, restaurateurs Marcello and Gabriel Bernardi and Barry Hirst of Bernadi’s fame will open The Italian Greyhound “a more casual evolution of their acclaimed Italian restaurant”. Replete with an expansive bar area for a quick drink or light snack (Sicilian chickpea fritters with sage, for instance), you can also settle in for a longer lunch or dinner with a menu based around small plates, handmade pasta, pizza, grilled dishes and more.
On Old Street, the team behind Soho’s refined kebab shop Le Bab have opened an east London edition, just in time for the revival of nighttime escapades. “Fusing global influences with amazing ingredients, ancient techniques and fire cooking”, the petite late-night restaurant and takeaway promises a new kind of kebab.
In Brighton, Burnt Orange, the latest offering from restaurateur Razak Helalat, boasts a menu centred around “well-sourced, seasonal ingredients cooked predominantly over fire and designed for grazing and sharing” (think: crab and samphire fritters with brown crab tahini and Nigella salt). While its bar serves well-made cocktails and delicious wines, and a curated music programme from none other than Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim.
Meanwhile, for open-fire cooking in a countryside setting, look no further than The Double Red Duke, a newly reopened 17th-century coaching inn, located in the Cotswolds. Conceived by Sam and Georgie Pearman, the founders of Country Creatures, the hotel comes replete with 19 rooms and an exciting new restaurant with a British produce-centric menu, created in collaboration with Richard Turner. Large cuts of meat and whole fish dishes are cooked over the fire and served to share, paired with an array of fresh seasonal accompaniments.
A new afternoon menu at The Petersham in Covent Garden allows customers to enjoy an elevated teatime experience while supporting Asian elephant charity, Elephant Family. The Elephant Family Afternoon Tea will be served from 3pm every Thursday to Sunday, with £10 from every purchase going towards the cause. Expect “the heady spices of the Indian sub-continent [combined with] the fresh flavours of spring”, from spring pea and potato samosas and coronation chicken flatbreads to mango layered slices and coconut eclairs.
Last but not least, if you’re in the market for some scrumptious Filipino fare, head to Bong Bong’s Manila Kanteen, newly rehoused at KERB’s indoor food market, also in Covent Garden. From Lechon Kawali to Adobo glazed cauliflower, satay duck heart skewers to crispy Pata pancakes with pork hock, there’s something for everyone. Let the feasting begin!