From exciting exhibition openings to the best new film releases, here’s our round-up of excellent ways to while away March
Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear at the V&A, London: March 19 – November 6, 2022
Described by the V&A as its “first major exhibition to celebrate the power, artistry and diversity of masculine attire and appearance”, this upcoming London show looks set to delight. Expect to encounter some 100 contemporary looks by celebrated and rising designers alike – from Gucci, Raf Simons and Grace Wales Bonner to Harris Reed – alongside just as many artworks, spanning classical sculpture, Renaissance painting, photography, film and performance. Divided into three sections, dubbed Undressed, Overdressed, and Redressed, the exhibition will seek to unveil “the variety of possible masculinities across the centuries”.
Dayanita Singh: Dancing with my Camera at Gropius Bau, Berlin: March 18 – August 7, 2022
In Berlin, a forthcoming retrospective will celebrate the groundbreaking work of Indian photographer Dayanita Singh. Singh’s stirring monochrome images “create archives and spaces, presenting people and architectures from distinct backgrounds and geographies in states of interconnection”, the exhibition text explains. “[But] the photograph is only the raw material. By building mobile structures out of teak wood, her images are rearranged, recombined and re-experienced spatially.” Some works exist as books or montages, others as photo-architectures around which Singh invites her viewers to dance – a uniquely participatory mode of presentation, centred on bodily experience.
Gideon Appah: Forgotten, Nudes, Landscapes at the Institute for Contemporary Art, Virginia: February 19 – June 19, 2022
Ascendent Ghanian artist Gideon Appah is currently enjoying his first institutional solo show at The ICA at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. A plethora of new paintings, drawings and media ephemera make up the display, which aims to “chronicle the cycle of Ghana’s cultural memory – from heyday to bygone”. Appah has drawn on archive newspaper clippings, posters and films for the purpose, resulting in a series of dreamy, gesturally rendered tableaux that consider “the rise and fall of Ghana’s cinema and leisure culture”.
Anthea Hamilton – Mash Up at M HKA, Antwerp: February 18 – May 15, 2022
In Antwerp, meanwhile, British artist Anthea Hamilton is the subject of a vast exhibition survey, supported by Loewe and featuring around 70 works from across her two-decade career. Hamilton is known for her singular “mash up” technique, which sees her filter, assess and recontextualise various facets of fashion, art, food, nature, design, architecture and pop culture, bringing them together in the form of imaginative interdisciplinary installations. Her witty and thought-provoking works “propose an alternative and fragmented reality”, deliberately upending established clichés and bypassing “obvious and hegemonic meanings”.
Role Play at Prada Aoyama, Tokyo: March 11 – June 20, 2022
Prada is supplementing its current exhibition, Role Play, at the Osservatorio Fondazione Prada with a complementary show of the same name at its Tokyo exhibition space, Prada Aoyama. As its name suggests, the Japanese edition also examines the ways in which contemporary artists are employing role-playing devices, the creation of alter-egos, and other proliferations of the self as a means of plumbing the depths of their own identities and personas. Featured artists are set to include Juno Calypso, Beatrice Marchi, Tomoko Sawada, Haruka Sakaguchi and Griselda San Martin, while the works on display will range from photography and video to light and sound installations.
Postwar Modern: New Art in Britain, 1945–1965 at the Barbican, London: March 3 – June 26, 2022
The Barbican’s newest show will offer a revelatory look at the art produced in Britain in the aftermath of the Second World War, a time of uncertainty, painful healing and tentative hope. “It will explore the subjects that most preoccupied artists,” the exhibition blurb explains, “among them the body, the post-atomic condition, the Blitzed streetscape, private relationships and imagined future horizons.” Intending to paint a rounded view of the creative and political climate of the era, the display will include work by well-known figures like Francis Bacon, Frank Bowling and Lee Miller, while foregrounding “artists who came to Britain as refugees from Nazism or as migrants from a crumbling empire, in addition to female artists who have tended to be overlooked”.
Yoko Ono: This Room Moves At The Same Speed As The Clouds at Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland: March 4 – May 29, 2022
At Kunsthaus Zürich, legendary conceptual artist Yoko Ono will restage and exhibit a number of her iconic performances and actions from the 1960s and 70s, alongside an array of sculptures, works on paper, installations, films and music pieces from across her five-decade career. An extensive events programme will accompany the show – a one-time chance to see Ono’s vital feminist performance Cut Piece restaged by Chinese artist Xie Rong, for instance. Plus a revival of her 1965 work Sky Piece to Jesus Christ, in which a live orchestra is progressively wrapped in bandages until its members can no longer perform – a pertinent meditation on freedom, and the threats imposed upon it.
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré: World Unbound at MoMA, New York: March 13 – August 13, 2022
“I do not work from my imagination,” the Ivorian artist Frédéric Bruly Bouabré once said: “I observe, and what I see delights me.” These observations form the basis of Bouabré’s wonderfully wide-reaching oeuvre – his means of collecting, preserving, and sharing knowledge to shed light on the world we inhabit. Now, a new exhibition at MoMA will open the doors on Bouabré’s boundless creativity, presenting an overview of his work from the 1970s until his death in 2014. Highlights will include the Alphabet Bété, Bouabré’s “invention of the first writing system for the Bété people, an ethnic group in present-day Côte d’Ivoire to which [he] belonged”, as well as myriad illustrations drawn on cardboard hair product packaging, which the artist found in his Abidjan neighbourhood.
Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2022 at The Photographers' Gallery, London: March 25 – June 12, 2022
This month marks the anticipated arrival of the 2022 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery in London. This year’s shortlisted artists are Anastasia Samoylova, Jo Ractliffe, Deana Lawson and Gilles Peress, each of whom takes “a distinctive approach to the medium of photography and focuses on subject matter linked to a specific region or community”. Ractliffe and Peress’s projects “propose new ways to picture, and to historicise, conflict and its aftermath”, in the context of South Africa and Northern Ireland respectively. Lawson’s work, meanwhile, powerfully reframes and reclaims the Black experience, while Anastasia Samoylova’s series bears witness to the effects of climate change in Florida.
Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You at LACMA, Los Angeles: March 20 – July 17, 2022
A soon-to-open show at LACMA will offer a vast and comprehensive presentation of Barbara Kruger’s work. The feted American artist “grapples with the accelerated ways pictures and words instantaneously flow through media”, the exhibition text informs, eliciting a shrewd examination of contemporary consumerist and popular culture that is at once bitingly satirical and entirely on the nose. The display will include everything from Kruger’s single-channel videos from the 1980s to her digital productions of the last two decades, as well as large-scale vinyl room wraps, multichannel video installations, and audio soundscapes.
Sunil Gupta, Songs of Deliverance, London: March 25 – April 24, 2022
A new series by Indian-born Canadian photographer Sunil Gupta, created in conjunction with Imperial Health Charity, will soon be displayed in two London hospitals, alongside a concurrent presentation at Studio Voltaire. Over the course of a year spent in residence at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington and Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith, Gupta collaborated with a number of LGBTQIA+ people from the adult HIV Clinic, and Gender Affirmation Surgery service. The result is a moving series of large-scale portraits, and accompanying texts inspired by the work of artist Ken Lum, which explore the sitters’ individual experiences of “receiving care and the relationships and transformations that occurred in the process”.
Beirut and the Golden Sixties: A Manifesto of Fragility at Gropius Bau, Berlin: March 25 to June 12, 2022
Another must-see opening at Gropius Bau in Berlin, Beirut and the Golden Sixties homes in on the Lebanese capital between the late 1950s and 1970s – a “dazzling yet poignant period” that falls between the 1958 Lebanon crisis and the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war in 1975. At this time, the artistic landscape was made up of what the museum terms a “heterogeneous mix of artists from Lebanon and abroad [who] articulated their different and sometimes conflicting visions of modernity”, while pushing for formal innovation. Featuring 230 works by 34 artists, and over 300 archival documents, the show aims to paint a vibrant and complex picture of a much-romanticised moment in Beirut’s history.
There are lots of exciting productions and events to entice you out of the house this March. Don’t miss Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival, a special three-week programme celebrating modern choreography, with performances at the Linbury Theatre, Clore Studio and Paul Hamlyn Hall, as well as Tate Modern and Sadler’s Wells. American choreographer Lucinda Childs will reprise a selection of her renowned performances from the 1970s with her niece, Ruth Childs, while a series of film screenings will offer the chance to revisit iconic works by Merce Cunningham, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Gisèle Vienne and Christian Rizzo in “a stunning display of the intersection between art forms”. Plus much, much more.
At the Royal Court, meanwile, be sure to catch Ryan Calais-Cameron’s acclaimed play For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy, arriving off the back of its sold-out premiere at the New Diorama Theatre last year. Conjuring up a world of “music, movement, storytelling and verse”, the production sees “six young Black men meet for group therapy, [where they] let their hearts – and imaginations – run wild”.
Then there’s the final leg of Transform festival in Leeds, the self-proclaimed “international engine room for powerful performance”. Upcoming highlights include the UK premieres of The History Of Korean Western Theatre by South Korean performer and composer Jaha Koo (March 10-11), an “intelligent and visually arresting documentary theatre performance that seamlessly interweaves the personal and the political”, and Quartiers Libres, a stirring solo performance by Ivorian choreographer Nadia Beugré (March 18-19).
Last but not least, it’s time to book your tickets for this year’s Women of the World Festival, which will return to London's Southbank Centre from March 11-13. As ever, its line-up of world-class speakers, activists, musicians and comedians doesn’t disappoint, with headliners including Booker Prize winning author Bernardine Evaristo and inimitable scholar Angela Y. Davis.
If you’re looking for compelling new film recommendations, we have you covered. First up, Ali & Ava, the brilliant new offering from British director Clio Barnard. Set in Bradford, it centres on the burgeoning romance between its two titular protagonists, who find themselves indelibly drawn to one another even as they battle with their individual pasts. Then there’s Great Freedom by Austrian filmmaker Sebastien Meise, the searing story of a man in post-war Germany who finds himself repetedly imprisoned under Paragraph 175, a law criminalizing homosexuality. American director Sean Baker returns with Red Rocket, a darkly funny portrait of a luckless former porn star (Simon Rex) as he returns to his small Texas town.
For those in need of an uplifting watch, The Phantom Of The Open, from Welsh actor-turned-director Craig Roberts, tells the mind-boggling true story of Maurice Flitcroft, a wonderfully aspirational and audacious golf player, who managed to pull off a series of extraordinary sporting hoaxes. Next, there’s triple Sundance-award-winner Hive, an Albanian-Kosovan drama, written and directed by Blerta Basholli. It centres on Fahrije, whose husband went missing in the Kosovo war, and paints an “inspiring portrait of loss and overcoming injustices in a patriarchal society”. The Worst Person In The World meanwhile marks the return of Norwegian director Joachim Trier, and follows a young woman as she seeks out love and purpose in contemporary Oslo.
This month’s best documentaries include The Metamorphosis of Birds by Portuguese filmmaker Catarina Vasconcelos, a beguiling magical realist memoir that explores her family lineage. River, by Australian directors Joseph Nizeti and Jennifer Peedom: a poetic musing on the relationship between humans and the water sources we so rely on, narrated by Willem Dafoe, with a beautiful score by Richard Tognetti. Finally, be sure to see The Sanctity Of Space, a stunningly-shot film by celebrated climbers Freddie Wilkinson and Renan Ozturk, which follows them on their obsessive mission to cross a series of Alaskan mountains, inspired by a black and white photograph.
Food & Drink
A number of fantasic food offerings will arrive this month, just in time for spring. At Stoney Street in Borough Market, founder Alex Hely-Hutchinson will host a special International Women’s Day dinner on March 8, and will be joined by chefs Freddie Janssen, Masha Rener, Chantelle Nicholson, Judy Joo and Claire Ptak for the purpose. Each cook will whip up a dish inspired by the women who have shaped their lives, which will be served up alongside sumptuous wine pairings by Alexandra Price and Natalia Ribbe. A chance to enjoy emotionally-driven cooking at its finest.
Meanwhile, 100 year-old British institution Richoux has just reopened its doors in Piccadilly, under new owners Jamie Butler and Lewis Spencer. The pair have pledged to honour the heritage of the original restaurant’s modern brasserie dishes and exceptional patisserie (think: Butler’s signature cruffins – a glorious croissant-muffin hybrid), while drawing on their wealth of innovative fine dining experience to bring a more contemporary edge to proceedings.
Shoreditch High Street will soon welcome a new hotspot: Goddard & Gibbs, a wine bar and restaurant, specialising in British seafood. Influenced by the UK’s many fishing villages and seaside towns, the menu will focus on ethical sourcing and supporting local suppliers. Dishes will include fresh oysters galore, and other raw delights, as well as Dorset shellfish lasagne, roasted skate wing with XO butter and spring greens, and a crisp fried fillet of fish burger with kimchi and sriracha mayo.
For those in search of more meaty fare, beloved London chophouse Blacklock has just opened a new space in Covent Garden. Known for its exquisite, sustainably sourced produce, the latest edition continues the restaurant’s dedication to spotlighting lesser known steaks, alongside signature dishes like the cull yaw crumpet (slow-cooked mutton on a homemade crumpet topped with gravy), and its award-winning Sunday roast.
In Notting Hill, meanwhile, March signals the opening of new pub The Princess Royal, helmed by acclaimed chef Ben Tish, who will whip up Mediterranean-inspired dishes from seasonal, carefully-sourced British produce. Expect to sample red prawn crudo with rosemary and orange; English burrata with blood orange, radicchio, coriander seeds and fennel, and Old Spot pork chop with salt roasted beets, new season carrots and walnut picada.
Lastly, for those looking to rustle up their own tempting feasts, Coal Drops Yard will host a pop-up grocery store, conceptualised by food writer and photographer Safia Shakarchi. Running from March 15-22, the shop’s arrival coincides with the launch of Shakarchi’s new recipe platform, Another Pantry, championing seasonal, slow and conscious cooking. At the store, you can purchase olive oil from Hackney restaurant Café Cecilia, sample Merlin Labron-Johnson’s own cider from his Somerset restaurant Osip, pick up provisions from Cornwall’s Coombeshead Farm and much more besides. Bon appétit!