A hand-curated selection of great ways to while away November, from excellent films and enticing eateries to new exhibitions and notable productions
Francesca Woodman: Alternate Stories at Marian Goodman, New York: November 2 – December 23, 2021
Good news for fans of Francesca Woodman: Marian Goodman gallery in New York will soon open an exhibition of never-before-seen pictures by the late American photographer, offering “a fresh glimpse into the varied thought processes, interests, and influences that motivated [her] picture-making”. Expect to see a number of evocative images taken during Woodman’s two-year sojourn in Rome, as well as some typically inventive nude self-portraits taken in Providence, Rhode Island.
Black American Portraits at LACMA, LA: November 7, 2021 – April 17, 2022
At Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a new exhibition will celebrate over two centuries of Black American portraiture. Some 150 works will span emancipation and early studio photography, scenes from the Harlem Renaissance, portraits from the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, through to works by celebrated contemporary artists like Amy Sherald, Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Otis Kwame Quaiecoe. The aim is to “chronicle the ways in which Black Americans have used portraiture to envision themselves in their own eyes,” the press notes explain. “Countering a visual culture that often demonizes Blackness and fetishizes the spectacle of Black pain, these images centre love, abundance, family, community, and exuberance.”
Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion at The Museum at FIT, New York: Until November 28, 2021
New York readers, don’t miss your chance to catch The Museum at FIT’s in-depth study of the influence of the rose in fashion. The elaborate display comprises more than 130 garments and accessories, ranging from exquisite hand-woven and embroidered silks from the 18th century to the petal-punctuated creations of contemporary designers like Charles Jeffrey and Noir Kei Ninomiya. The items on display have been grouped in themes – including love, beauty, sex, sin and death – each related to the thorned flower’s storied symbolism and mythology.
Lubaina Himid at Tate Modern, London: November 25, 2021 – July 3, 2022
At Tate Modern, an upcoming exhibition will celebrate the luminous career of British artist, cultural activist and Turner Prize winner, Lubaina Himid. The show’s layout will draw on Himid’s background in theatre design – a major influence upon her painting and installation works – placing visitors centre-stage and backstage in turn. Since the 1980s, Himid has played a pivotal role within the British Black arts movement, “making space for the expression and recognition of Black experience and women’s creativity”. The retrospective will consider the full scope of her impact and influence, as well as debuting a number of brand new works.
Shirin Neshat: Living in One Land, Dreaming in Another at Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich: November 26, 2021 – April 24, 2022
Iranian-born, New York-based artist Shirin Neshat uses photography, film and video installations to examine the cultural issues inherent to her native land, with a particular focus on the female experience. Soon, the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich will showcase her most recent series, Land of Dreams (2019) – revolving around “the traditional calligraphy of Iran, as well as the Western canon of portraiture” – along with four other major works from her powerful and poetic oeuvre.
Eames Office: 80 years of design at Isetan, Tokyo: November 5, 2021 – January 5, 2022
In Tokyo, a new show is set to highlight the multifarious triumphs of 20th-century design visionaries Charles and Ray Eames. The display will reveal the wide-reaching impact of the couple’s work upon contemporary society, Eames Demetrios, Director of the Eames Office explains, looking specifically at “their influential experimentations in art and technology, their groundbreaking innovations in architecture and interiors, and the joy and wonder [they] brought to people of all ages through designs that encourage one to play and learn”.
Domenico Gnoli at Fondazione Prada, Milan: Until February 27, 2022
Italian painter Domenico Gnoli was a master of close-ups, his works honing in on sections of bodies, household objects, clothing, accessories and beyond. “Packed with significance, the details that Gnoli painted suggest enigmatic biographies of the objects represented and testify to the artist’s conviction in pursuing his own research in a radical reinterpretation of classical representation,” details the press release of a new exhibition of Gnoli's work at Milan’s Fondazione Prada. There, Germano Celant has curated a wonderful, two-storey display showcasing the intricacies of this research and the truly beautiful artworks and stage designs it spawned.
Poulomi Basu: Eruptions at Side Gallery, Newcastle: Until February 6, 2022
Indian transmedia artist Poulomi Basu is holding her first major solo exhibition at Side Gallery in Newcastle. Featured are three of Basu’s most acclaimed projects traversing VR, film and photography, including the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize-nominated Centralia. These series “engage with issues of gender, caste, power and class to expose both the marginalisation of and the strength of women and indigenous communities in South Asia”, the press release informs, while simultaneously pushing at the boundaries of traditional documentary photography and filmmaking with awe-inspiring results.
Hockney to Himid: 60 Years of British Printmaking at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester: November 13, 2021 – April 24, 2022
Once a decidedly specialist medium, the postwar period in Britain saw printmaking embraced by a broad number of artists in search of new creative possibilities. And the medium’s popularity has only continued to grow – as evidenced by a forthcoming exhibition at Pallant House Gallery, which will spotlight a remarkable array of makers, styles and techniques from across the past 60 years in British printmaking. Featured artists include Henry Moore, Tracey Emin, Anthea Hamilton, Chris Ofili, and Rachel Whiteread, as well as the show’s titular stars, David Hockney and Lubaina Himid.
Chris Wolston: Temperature’s Rising at Casa Perfect, LA: November 3 – December 31, 2021
In Los Angeles, artist and designer Chris Wolston will soon unveil a fresh body of work at Casa Perfect LA, one that marks a significant shift in his practice as he experiments with “new materials, forms, typologies, and scale”. Working with woven rattan – his deftly rendered, anthropomorphic chairs and loungers are particularly excellent – as well as bronze (think: complexly welded tables), Wolston once again proves himself adept at mixing high- and low-tech processes to create pieces that are artful and playful in equal measure.
Derek Jarman’s Modern Nature at John Hansard Gallery, Southampton: 27 November 2021 – 26 February 2022
If you love the work of Derek Jarman, then it’s time to take a trip to Southampton for John Hansard Gallery’s new exhibit, Derek Jarman’s Modern Nature. According to the accompanying text, the display focuses on the British artist’s “lifelong passion for plants, the human body, the landscape and the greater environment, as evidenced in the living artwork that is Prospect Cottage and its shingle garden in Dungeness”. Jarman’s own creations – from rarely seen early paintings through his seminal film The Garden – will be shown alongside those of artists he admired (think: Graham Sutherland, Maggi Hambling, Eileen Agar, Albrecht Dürer), as well as artists who have been inspired by him (Richard Porter, Tanoa Sasraku and Wolfgang Tillmans among them).
Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Until January 17, 2022
At the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, a spellbinding exhibit explores the storied history of the quilt in America. Painstakingly rendered by hand, and traditionally intended for use in the home, quilts are uniquely personal artworks, revealing much about their creators and the time in which they were made. By showcasing multiple quilts and coverlets made by “an under-recognised diversity of artistic hands and minds”, from the 17th century up until today, the exhibition invites visitors “to celebrate the artistry of [these textiles] and the lives they document, while also considering the complicated legacies ingrained in the fabric of American life.”
November is filled with exciting new film releases, from Ridley Scott’s hotly anticipated crime drama House of Gucci, detailing the ill-fated marriage between Italian fashion scion Maurizio Gucci (played by Adam Driver) and Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), to Pablo Larraín’s Princess Diana biopic Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart, which hones in on the period that saw Diana finally resolve to leave Charles. Rounding off the accomplished biographical offerings is King Richard, Reinaldo Marcus Green’s nuanced and uplifting portrait of the Williams family, headed by Richard (Will Smith), father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena.
Then there’s Paul Schrader’s new thriller The Card Counter, which finds Oscar Isaac in the role of a gambler and ex-military interrogator on a mission to save a troubled young man who is hellbent on revenge. French filmmaker Céline Sciamma also makes a return with Petite Maman, a poetic time-travel drama centred on an eight-year-old girl and her surprise encounter with the childhood version of her mother. Don’t miss Drive My Car, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s beautiful adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s short story of the same name about a famous widowed actor (played by Hidetoshi Nishijima) and the young woman he hires to be his chauffeur (Tôko Miura).
Documentary fans be sure to watch Dear Future Children, Franz Böhm’s compelling study of young activism, zooming in on the lives of three female activists in Hong Kong, Chile, and Uganda respectively; Becoming Cousteau, Liz Garbus’s rousing exploration of the life and career of the French undersea explorer and environmentalist Jacques Cousteau (who inspired Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou); and Rebel Dykes, Siobhan Fahey’s “brilliant and refreshing story of UK post-punk dyke culture, told by those who lived it”, to quote the BFI.
If you’re seeking out great live performances, we’ve got you covered. Master choreographer Akram Khan’s acclaimed production Outwitting the Devil will receive its UK premiere at Sadler’s Wells from November 23-27. Billed as an “ensemble piece about ritual and remembering in the midst of our ever-changing planet”, it is based on the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, the story of a young king who destroys a legendary cedar forest and its guardian, and is punished by the gods thereafter. At the Royal Opera House, meanwhile, don’t miss Peter Wright’s stirring take on Marius Petipa’s great Romantic ballet, Giselle, a tale of “love, betrayal and the supernatural”, which runs from November 4 to December 3.
From November 10, you can catch the latest play from acclaimed British writer Al Smith at the Royal Court Theatre. Titled Rare Earth Mettle and set on a Bolivian salt flat, it promises to be “a brutally comic exploration of risk, delusion and power”. While at the Young Vic, Cush Jumbo (of The Good Wife fame) will embody “a new kind of Hamlet” in director Greg Hersov’s retelling of the Shakespearean tragedy, running from November 1-13. Last but not least, try your hardest to procure a ticket for Canadian comedian and Feel Good creator Mae Martin’s new stand-up show Sap, at Soho Theatre from November 22 to Decmber 11. A contemplation of “the uphill battle of trying to do the right thing in a world that sometimes seems to have lost its moral compass”, it’s sure to spark joy in abundance.
Food and Drink
Foodies, there are plenty of great new offerings to sink your teeth into this November. For those in search of delicious Japanese cuisine, be sure to visit Dai Chi in Soho, a new restaurant drawing on Osaka’s renowned kushikatsu dining culture (ie. deep-fried, skewered meat, fish and vegetables). Suffice to say, the concept of deep-fried oysters with blackberry and yuzu kosho granita has our taste buds tantalised. While in Chinatown, Yatay, a new robatayaki restaurant (traditional Japanese style of coal grilling), will offer visitors the chance to sample classic robatayaki skewers, as well as raw dishes, salads and sharing plates, and a selection of sakes and cocktails.
For those dedicated to sumptuous, sustainability-focused fare, check out Warehouse, a new restaurant from Brendan Eades (the ex-head chef of Silo), opening on the ground floor of The Conduit club in Covent Garden. Its menu will centre on “bold flavours, seasonality and sustainability”, using ingredients from scrupulously selected suppliers. Elsewhere, sustainably-committed eatery Fallow – which began as a pop-up early last year, receiving multiple awards in the process – will reopen in a permanent location in St James’s. Expect tasty sharing dishes “celebrating the most sustainable produce from across the British Isles”, including salmon belly with marrowbone brioche and chives, and ewe kebab with dill pickles and buttermilk.
Manteca, the popular Soho pop-up specialising in hand rolled pastas and Italian-style nose-to-tail cooking, has also secured its first permanent restaurant, arriving in Shoreditch on November 16. This month also marks the opening of The Maine Mayfair, a New England-inspired brasserie in an 18th-century townhouse on Hanover Square. Blending “old-world British Elegance, New England extravagance and a touch of subterranean decadence”, menus will run the gamut from “raw bar to market salads to grilled fish and steak cuts”. Finally, for those in the market for some festive fizz, head over to the Coravin Wine and Bubbles Bar – also in Mayfair – a Champagne pop-up arriving just in time for the holiday season, serving over 50 varieties of sparkling wine. Cheers!