Brilliant Things to Do This November

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EL201.144_159_MarkerCones_1982_SIGNATURE IMAGE
Jimmy DeSana, Marker Cones, 1982© and courtesy of the Estate of Jimmy DeSana

From awe-inspiring exhibitions on Jimmy DeSana and Steven Meisel to exciting new restaurants and gripping new plays, here’s our round-up of the very best of November’s cultural offerings


Thierry Mugler: Couturissime at the Brooklyn Museum, New York: November 18, 2022 – May 7, 2023

In January, the fashion world was rocked by the death of the inimitable Thierry Mugler. Now, the Brooklyn Museum in New York is gearing up for the opening of the first retrospective of the endlessly inventive French designer’s work. Titled Thierry Mugler: Couturissime, the show will feature around 130 Mugler ensembles, spanning haute couture pieces through stage costumes – expect unorthodox materials in abundance – as well as an array of custom accessories, sketches, videos, and captivating archive imagery by some of fashion’s most revered photographers.

Niki de Saint Phalle: Paradis Retrouvé at Opera Gallery Paris: Until November 30, 2022

At Paris’s Opera Gallery, meanwhile, a new exhibition plunges visitors into the vibrant and fantastical world of Franco-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle. A sculptor, painter, filmmaker, and illustrator, de Saint Phalle was driven by a passion for esotericism and a deep interest in palmistry, both of which had a marked influence on her style and symbolism. The show explores these themes through a number of works in different media, including what is perhaps de Saint Phalle’s opus magnum, Tarot Garden, a sprawling sculpture park filled with whimsical representations of the major arcana of the divinatory tarot.

Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival at Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Xiamen, China: November 25, 2022 – January 3, 2023

The Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival will soon return to Xiamen for its eighth edition, dedicated, as ever, to demonstrating the creative power of Chinese photography old and new, and the international promotion of groundbreaking contemporary Asian image-makers. Each year, the festival zooms in on the photography scene of one Asian country and this year the focus is Thailand, with events including a solo exhibition from renowned artist Manit Sriwanichpoom and Agree to Disagree #Skeptically, a group exhibition exploring “Thailand’s existing artistic concepts and traditional cultural narratives in the post-pandemic era”.

Steven Meisel: 1993 A Year in Photographs at A Coruña, Spain: November 19, 2022 – May 1, 2023

In Galicia, the legendary American fashion photographer Steven Meisel is presenting a fabulous new exhibition of his work, centred around one pivotal year in his career: 1993. In this prolific period, Meisel shot 28 Vogue covers and over 100 editorial stories, many of which visitors can peruse alongside Meseil’s beguilingly candid portraits of film and fashion icons – ranging from Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell to Hamish Bowles and Isabella Blow – taken that same year.

You Know I Used To Love You but Now I Don’t Think I Can: There Ain’t No Right Way To Say Goodbye Again at Lehmann Maupin, London: November 9, 2022 to January 7, 2023

At Lehmann Maupin gallery in London, New York-based artist Arcmanoro Niles will present his first European solo exhibition, featuring a new series of emotionally charged paintings and works on paper. As is typical of Niles’s evocative oeuvre, the pieces are deeply personal, drawing largely on the artist’s own experiences to “examine what it means to say goodbye to people, places, and behaviours.”

Anniversary Exhibition – Special Guest Duane Hanson at Fondation Beyeler, Basel: Until January 8, 2023

This year, the Fondation Beyeler in Basel celebrates its 25th anniversary and is marking the occasion with “the most comprehensive exhibition of works from its collection to date”. Pieces by the likes of Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, Marlene Dumas and Felix Gonzalez-Torres adorn the museum’s brightly lit walls, while breathtakingly realistic figurative sculptures by the late American artist Duane Hanson playfully enrich the experience, providing an uncanny exhibition within an exhibition.

Richard Prince at Louisiana, Copenhagen: November 17, 2022 – April 10, 2023

In the words of Copenhagen’s Louisiana museum, American artist Richard Prince “highlights the marginal and banal aspects of society: jokes, photographs, advertisements, idol worship and other forms of ’everyday cult’”, frequently employing (and transforming) bland imagery from entertainment and consumption culture for the purpose. Now, a forthcoming exhibition at the museum seeks to platform Prince’s masterful image manipulation techniques, spotlighting how he manages to “identify and sample visual codes and finely tune them so that they become seductive and strange despite their banality”.

Nasim Hantehzadeh at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London: November 18, 2022 – January 7, 2023

At Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, don’t miss Iranian-American artist Nasim Hantehzadeh’s first UK solo show, consisting of captivating works in oil, pastel and graphite on both canvas and paper. Inspired by Paleolithic cave paintings, indigenous art from Mexico and ancient Persian rug patterns, among other things, Hantehzadeh’s work contains “moving narratives that examine the shifting spaces that coalesce around identity, personhood, sexuality and race,” the gallery explains, “eschewing dogmatic binaries in favour of a more nuanced approach to gender that has much in common with the natural world.”

Jimmy DeSana: Submission at the Brooklyn Museum, New York: November 11, 2022–April 16, 2023 (lead image)

The late photographer Jimmy DeSana was a key member of the New York art world in the 1970s and 1980s, contributing to the citys punk and No Wave scenes and photographing prominent creatives for album covers and independent publications. Yet his work has been shamefully overlooked. This is something that the Brooklyn Museum is seeking to correct with the first museum survey of DeSanas output. Set to feature some 200 of his visually striking works – “bridging mail-art networks, New York’s 70s and 80s subcultures, the illuminating image-play of the Pictures Generation, and various responses to HIV/Aids” (to which he lost his life in 1990) – the display is a must-see for all photography fans.

A History of Misogyny, Chapter two: On Rape and Institutional Failure, presented by the V&A and Photoworks, at Copeland Gallery, London: November 10-27, 2022

At Copeland Gallery in Peckham, Catalan artist Laia Abril brings her powerful photo project A History of Misogyny, Chapter two: On Rape and Institutional Failure to the UK as part of the V&A Parasol Foundation Women in Photography Project. Spanning over 2,000 years of history, the exhibit focuses on the pervasion of rape in societies around the world, and includes haunting photographs of “objects including battle trophies, rape maps from biblical times, chastity belts and fear detectors”, as well as images of victims’ clothing that ”portray the institutions that have failed survivors.” 

Making Modernism at the Royal Academy, London: November 12, 2022 – February 12, 2023

Endless exhibitions and books have been made about the development and achievements of 20th-century European Modernism, yet very few of these have ever focussed entirely on the movements female pioneers. Happily, the Royal Academys next exhibition is doing just that, shedding light on the work of several vital women artists – namely Paula Modersohn-Becker, Kӓthe Kollwitz, Gabriele Münter and Marianne von Werefkin – who were working in Germany in the early 1900s and proved “central to the development of radical new approaches to art in Europe” .

Events & Performances

There are lots of exciting new productions and live events to entice us out of the house this November. First up, Baghdaddy, the anticipated debut play by British-Iraqi actress Jasmine Naziha Jones at the Royal Court. Billed as “a playfully devastating coming-of-age story”, it centres on “the complexities of cultural identity, generational trauma and a father-daughter relationship amidst global conflict”. At the Barbican, be sure to catch My Neighbour Totoro, the magical and much-acclaimed new staging of Hayao Miyazaki’s classic anime film by the Royal Shakespeare Company and (the original film’s composer) Joe Hisaishi. The end of the month heralds the opening of Mandela, the Young Vic’s soaring new Nelson Mandela musical, created in partnership with Nandi Mandela, Luvuyo Madasa and the Mandela family, and is undoubtedly set to move, uplift and inspire.

Dance aficionados, book your tickets now for New Creation, a new work by the celebrated Brazilian choreographer Bruno Beltrão, alongside Grupo de Rua, showing at Sadler’s Wells on November 22–23. “Beltrão has revolutionised the [hip-hop] genre,” the venue explains, “deconstructing the dance form as he grapples with the changing politics of his native Brazil” – and the results are electric. Meanwhile, for the opera-inclined, there’s the Richard Jones production of La Bohème, Puccini’s beloved “opera of passion, friendship and heartbreak”, coming soon to the Royal Opera House. Speaking of Pucchini, the Italian composer’s operatic thriller Tosca is also coming to the ROH, and is set to conjure “all the beauty and bloodshed of 19th-century Rome”. Sign us up.

The Southbank Centres events line-up is particularly good this month, with highlights including Eryka Badu’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of her brilliant album Baduizm (November 5–6); Woman Life Freedom on November 16, a special concert for the women of Iran featuring an all-star line-up of Iranian and international musicians, singers and poets; and the (newly re-scheduled) Christine and the Queens Presents Redcar on November 22 – an ambitious take on the rock opera from the French pop sensation.


This month’s film releases are similarly compelling. There’s Sebastián Lelio’s gripping period drama The Wonder, set in the Irish midlands in the mid-1800s. In it, the ever-mesmerising Florence Pugh takes on the role of an English nurse sent to care for a young girl who has seemingly survived without food for months on end, proving a draw for tourists and pilgrims alike. Return to Dust, from Chinese director Li Ruijun, tells the heart-wrenching story of an arranged marriage between a reticent farmer and a disabled and infertile woman in rural China. While Alejandro Loayza Grisi’s hypnotic new film Utama follows an elderly Quechua couple from the Bolivian highlands, who find themselves forced to choose between withstanding a punishing drought or relocating to the city and giving up everything they’ve ever known.

Then there’s Aftersun from Scottish director Charlotte Wells: the piercing story of a father-daughter relationship, examined through the lens of a remembered childhood holiday. Luca Guadagnino returns with Bones and All, a “coming-of-age romantic cannibal road film” – featuring Timothée Chalamet and Chloë Sevigny – that we can’t wait to sink our teeth into. While Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan star in Maria Schrader’s She Said, the real-life story of The New York Times reporters who exposed the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

Finally, this month’s best documentaries include Good Night Oppy, Ryan White’s lively investigation into the NASA exploration rover that was sent to Mars for a 90-day mission but ended up trawling the planet for 15 years. KANAVAL: A People’s History of Haiti in Six Chapters by Leah Gordon and Eddie Hutton Mills, which homes in on a southern Haitian port town as it prepares for carnival, unearthing the history of both Haiti and its annual celebration in the process. And Sansón and Me, in which director Rodrigo Reyes traces “a young immigrant’s path from coastal Mexico to a life sentence for murder in California”.

Food & Drink

The approach of winter offers the ideal excuse to hole up in a pub or restaurant for languid Sunday lunches and sneaky midweek suppers. If you fancy the former, why not plan a trip to The Mutton at Hazeley Heath, a new family-run pub in the idyllic village of Hartley Wintney in Hampshire. Helmed by chef Rob Boer, the menu boasts reimagined pub classics that champion local producers. Think: côte de boeuf, roasted onion and beef fat potato with tender beef tongue or Medstead meats served alongside salt-baked celeriac, rainbow chard, beetroot and pepper jus.

Islington is also anticipating the arrival of a cosy new neighbourhood pub: The Hicce Hart, from the duo behind modern eatery Hicce at Coal Drops Yard. Offering “the best of British pub grub, using the finest seasonal British produce, alongside an array of craft beer from an independent local brewer and carefully sourced biodynamic and sustainable wines”, it sounds like the grey-sky remedy we all need.

Truffle lovers, rejoice! Il Borro Tuscan Bistro in Mayfair is currently offering a limited edition menu, filled with dishes that showcase the tantalisingly delicious white truffle in all its glory. There’s carpaccio di manzo e tartufo bianco (thin slices of beef tenderloin dressed with extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated slices of white truffle); tagliolini al tartufo bianco (tagliolini in a butter sauce enriched with white truffle), and pizza al tartufo bianco (which speaks for itself). Plus much, much more.

Multi-award winning restaurant The Palomar is back having undergone a sumptuous redesign by architect studio Archer Humphryes. Head to Soho to sample head chef Omri McNabb’s exquisite twists on modern Jerusalem fare, from octopus with date and harissa molasses and feta cream and or a crab kofta, served with lahoh (a spongy Yemeni pancake), pickled carrots, and yoghurt with mango amba.

Hurry down to Mostrador, a new pop-up from world-renowned Argentine chef and restaurateur Fernando Trocca, now open in Shoreditch. There you can sample mouthwatering salads (the butternut squash served with a honey, lime and cinnamon vinaigrette, kale and feta sounds particularly tasty), decadent desserts and Argentine pastries galore.

In celebration of the festive season, Dior has taken over Harrods with a series of pop-up stores, window displays, an exhibition and even a special restaurant. Inspired by the fairytale house of Hansel and Gretel, the gingerbread-themed Dior Café serves up French cuisine with a British twist; open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, highlights include the smoked-salmon and caviar omelette and the Atlantic lobster Thermidor. 

Finally, in Bristol, lauded chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias will soon open Casa, a new Italian restaurant on the former site of his Michelin-starred establishment Casamia. Kickstart your meal with antipasti delicacies (fried semolina with parmesan and prawn crudo, anyone?) followed by a seasonal selection of pasta plates, a classic meat or fish secondi, and a pinenut panna cotta or house tiramisu for pudding. Buon appetito!