Brilliant Things To Do This September

Pin It
Tschabalala Self, Sprewell, 2020
Tschabalala Self, Sprewell, 2020Image courtesy of the artist and Pilar Corrias, London and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, © Tschabalala Self

From stimulating group exhibitions to culinary highlights, here’s everything you need to bookmark for a great month ahead


Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage at Frist Art Museum, Nashville: September 15 – December 31, 2023

In Nashville, the Frist Art Museum will soon host the first major exhibition dedicated to collage and collage-informed works that “reflect the breadth and complexity of Black identity”. Kara Walker, Kerry James Marshall, Tschabalala Self and Deborah Roberts are among the 52 contemporary artists featured in a show that will explore how the fragmented, mixed-media nature of collage can be used to suggest “diverse conceptual concerns, such as cultural hybridity, notions of beauty, gender fluidity, and historical memory”.

Summer – Seventies – Saint-Tropez at Hamiltons Gallery, London: September 4 – October 4, 2023

For those mourning the end of summer, the upcoming photo show at Hamiltons Gallery in London will provide the burst of sunshine you’ve been looking for. Captured by auction specialist and historian Philippe Garner in 1970s Saint-Tropez, the series, shot on Kodachrome film, features the comings and goings of visitors to La Voile Rouge beach. Bronzed skin, tiny shorts and seaside frolicking abound.

Beyond Here: The Judy and Sidney Zuber Collection of Latin American Photography at Cantor Arts Center, Stanford: Until January 28, 2024

At Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center, a new display spotlights 34 striking figurative works by Latin American photographers, including Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Graciela Iturbide, Flor Garduño, and Pablo Ortíz Monasterio. Spanning studio portraiture, documentary photography, formal modernism and more contemporary experimental works, the show serves to paint a vivid picture of the image-makers’ individual countries, as well as the profound changes that occurred across Latin America during the 20th century, which have had a marked effect on modern national and personal identity.

The Mother & The Weaver at the Foundling Museum, London: September 22, 2023 – February 18, 2024

A new show at the Foundling Museum will consider the concept of “the unseen mother” through 40 works by women artists, presented in dialogue with historic objects and works of art from the London museum’s collection. Works by Louise Bourgeois, Marlene Dumas, Luchita Hurtado and Maria Lassnig, among others, will touch upon ideas of “maternal presence or absence, and the complex emotions that each arouses”, as well as “histories of displacement and fractured identity”.

Play the Part: Marlene Dietrich at the International Center of Photography, New York: September 30, 2023 – January 8, 2024

The ever-fabulous Marlene Dietrich is the focal point of a new exhibition opening at New York’s International Center of Photography later in the month. Around 200 photographs taken of the German actor between 1906 to 1978, by names including Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Edward Steichen and William Walling Jr, will trace the emergence and evolution of her public persona, both on-screen and off. Compiled by the collector Pierre Passebon, the exhibition will serve to illustrate the intricacies of Dietrich’s life as well as her ongoing challenge to the gender and sexual norms of her time.

The Missing Thread: Untold Stories of Black British Fashion at Somerset House, London: September 21, 2023 – January 7, 2024

At London’s Somerset House, a new exhibition will tell the story of Black British fashion in the 20th and 21st centuries “through four distinct themes – home, tailoring, performance and nightlife – each referencing the spaces which inspired and allowed [it] ... to develop on its own terms”. The show will place garments alongside artworks, music, memorabilia and cultural artefacts that provide wider socio-political context, and will feature a never-before-seen showcase of the late designer Joe Casely-Hayford’s archive as well as a number of original commissions by UK designers including Nicholas Daley and Bianca Saunders.

Nude at Fotografiska, Berlin: September 14, 2023 – January 14, 2024

In Berlin, Fotografiska, a new museum dedicated to photography, art and culture, will open its doors on September 14 with its inaugural exhibition, Nude. Comprising work by 30 female-identifying artists from 20 different countries, the show will offer a “comprehensive global view of what the body means”, centring on “the complexities surrounding the portrayal of nudity in art, [while] challenging the historical constraints attached to it”. With image-makers including Brooke DiDonato, Carlota Guerrero, Bettina Pittaluga, Dana Scruggs, Luo Yang, Lina Scheynius and more set to feature, we can’t wait to see what the stripped-down display will hold.

Sarah Lucas: Happy Gas at Tate Britain, London: September 28, 2023 – January 14, 2024

Since ascending to fame in the 1990s as part of the Young British Artists movement, Sarah Lucas has continued to push both material and political boundaries with her multidisciplinary practice, traversing sculpture, installation and photography. Now, a forthcoming retrospective at Tate Britain will allow visitors to reflect back over her bold, humorous and provocative career, during which she has “consistently challenged our understanding of sex, class and gender”, using “ordinary objects [fish, tights, eggs] in unexpected ways” in order to do so.

Ruth Asawa: Through Line at the Whitney Museum of Art, New York: September 16, st-block-222023 – January 15, 2024

Best known for her intricate wire sculptures, the late Japanese-American artist Ruth Asawa was also an avid draughtswoman. The Whitney Museum’s latest show will be the first to examine Asawa’s lifelong drawing practice, which she described as her “greatest pleasure and the most difficult”, and through which she shaped and honed her distinct visual vernacular. Drawings, collages, and watercolours will all be on display alongside paperfolds, stamped prints, copper foil works and sketchbooks that will demonstrate the expansive, experimental nature of Asawa’s ever-inventive oeuvre.

Cassi Namoda: A Gentle Rain Is Dying at 303 Gallery, New York: September 8 – October 21, 2023

At 303 Gallery in New York, Mozambican artist Cassi Namoda will soon be the subject of a new solo show titled A Gentle Rain Is Dying. Boasting a warm, colourful palette and realised in loose yet precise strokes, Namoda’s paintings present what the gallery describes as “a kind of filmic collision space through which [the artist] interpolates ... narrativised visions of African time and place”. Here, through migratory images, graphically rendered landscapes and depictions of communal life, with a magical realist bent, she conjures up a potent meditation on themes of climate change and exodus, as well as “ephemerality and resilience in postcolonial African society”.

Unbound: Performance As Rupture at the Julia Stoschek Foundation: September 14, 2023 – July 28, 2024

Tracking the intersection of performance and video from the 1960s to the present day, Unbound: Performance as Rupture, the soon-to-open show at Berlin’s Julia Stoschek Foundation, will explore “how different generations of artists have called upon the body in relation to the camera to refuse oppressive ideologies, disrupt historical narratives, and unsettle concepts of identity”. Included in the mix are such performance art pioneers as Joan Jonas, Senga Nengudi, Pope.L, Valie Export and Patty Chang, all of whom have created “specific forms of rupture, fracture, and pause” through the conflation of action and visual documentation.

Azzedine Alaïa: Couturier, Collector at Palais Galliera, Paris: September 27, 2023 – January 21, 2024

Palais Galliera’s upcoming exhibition will offer visitors a peep inside the extraordinary collection of haute couture pieces acquired by the late, great Azzedine Alaïa. A master pattern cutter and tailor himself, Alaïa began collecting the work of other remarkable makers upon the closure of the house of Balenciaga in 1968, when he scooped up a number of garments by the Spanish couturier. In the decades that followed, his collection grew to encompass more than 20,000 pieces by Gabrielle Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Comme des Garçons, Alexander McQueen and many more. A curation of 140 of these will feature in the display, which is sure to delight fashion aficionados near and far.

Julianknxx: Chorus in Rememory of Flight at the Barbican Centre, London: September 14, 2023 – February 11, 2024

Sierra Leonian poet, artist and filmmaker Julianknxx will soon present his new exhibition Chorus in Rememory of Flight in The Curve space at the Barbican. Using Julianknxxs personal history as a “prism to deconstruct dominant perspectives on African art, history, and culture”, the show will offer a meditation on themes of “inheritance, loss and belonging”, blurring the boundaries between written word, music and visual art along the way.

Events & Performances

There are plenty of great live performances just begging to be booked this month. Pioneering Chicago DJ and producer Honey Dijon will soon be bringing her live experience Honeyverse to the Southbank Centre (over the weekends of September 9 and 16), merging “club nights, live sets, orchestras and a conversation into a takeover drawing inspiration from her roots in the Black queer community”.

From September 26-30, Sadler’s Wells will play host to Kyiv City Ballet: A Tribute to Peace, a special evening of ballet from one of Ukraine’s foremost dance companies. The programme will feature excerpts from some of the troupe’s favourite pieces including Les Sylphides, Tribute to Peace (choreographed by Ivan Kozlov), Carmen, Sirtaki, and Men of Kyiv (a Ukrainian folk dance). Meanwhile, at The Old Vic, Bertie Carvel and Patsy Ferran will star as Henry Higgins and Eliza Dolittle in a sure-to-be-excellent production of Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw’s “classic story of metamorphosis, identity, and the influence of language”, directed by Richard Jones.

Tyrell Williams’ acclaimed play Red Pitch will return to the Bush Theatre for three weeks only from September 7. Centred on three football-loving teens, it is a powerful tale of “gentrification versus regeneration, [which explores] the impact of this relentless change on London’s communities”. While, at the Almeida, don’t miss Portia Coughlan, Marina Carr’s stirring “modern Irish classic about destructive families and obsession”, starring Alison Oliver and directed by Carrie Cracknell.

We’re also excited for Another Sky, a new London-based festival and initiative celebrating experimental music from the SWANA region and diaspora, running from September 29 to October 1. Taking place at Bishopsgate Institute and Cafe Oto, expect a line-up filled with “incredible pieces of improv, ambient soundscapes, compositions for Western and non-Western instruments, DJ sets, moving-image works, voice and machine-learning technologies”.


If you’re seeking out the best cinematic offerings this month, we’ve got you covered. There’s Passages, the brilliant new feature from Ira Sachs in which a gay married couple (Ben Whishaw and Franz Rogowski, who discusses the film with AnOther here) find their relationship thrown into turmoil after one of them begins a heated affair with a young woman (Adèle Exarchopoulos). In British actor-turned-director Neil Maskell’s darkly humorous debut feature Klokkenluider, a government whistleblower and his wife hide out in a remote house in Belgium, where they are joined by two mysterious protection officers and await the arrival of a British journalist. Tense, eccentric thrills ensue. The titan of British cinema, Ken Loach returns with The Old Oak, his first film to explore Britain’s refugee crisis. It zooms in on a struggling pub landlord in a downtrodden mining town, and the divisive arrival of a group of Syrian refugees among the community.

Past Lives, the spellbinding romantic drama from South Korean-Canadian director Celine Song, tells the story of a South Korean playwright living in New York, who emigrated to North America at the age of 12, leaving her childhood sweetheart behind her. 24 years later, he decides to pay her a visit, triggering a flurry of “what ifs” so heartrending as to rival Brief Encounter. Canadian filmmaker Clement Virgo is back with Brother, the quietly poignant tale of two brothers coming of age in 1990s Toronto, while,Iranian British director Babak Jalali’s newest offering Fremont is a powerful, atmospheric drama about a young Afghan refugee struggling to connect with her new surroundings in Fremont, California.

Documentary fans, be sure to catch A Life on the Farm, Oscar Harding’s strange and compelling doc about a filmmaking farmer from Somerset, and the story of his long-lost home movies. Christopher Sharp and Moses Bwayo’s gripping new film Bobi Wine: The People’s President follows the Ugandan opposition leader, activist and musical star over the course of five years as he battles to end his country’s brutal dictatorship. While Ethan Silverman’s AngelHeaded Hipster is a rousing investigation into “the complex and revolutionary music and lyrics of Marc Bolan and T. Rex”, using archival performances, and interviews with Bolan, Elton John and Ringo Starr.

Food & Drink

Foodies, don’t miss this month’s exciting array of openings and one-off culinary events. First up, cult New York restaurant Llama Inn has just opened a London iteration on the rooftop of The Hoxton, Shoreditch. Embodying the mood and flavours of the Brooklyn original, chef Erik Ramirez’s menu draws on his Peruvian-American background, with offerings including mouthwatering ceviches like scallop, yuzu kosho, pitahaya and nori; pork shoulder buns with sweet potato, salsa criolla and spicy mayo; and whole sea bass with aji amarillo curry.

Next up, for the wine-inclined, there’s the one-off collaboration between Sophie Liverman, the Head of Wine at Sessions Arts Club, and Notting Hill open-fire favourite Caia on September 6th. A bespoke menu featuring such delicacies as coal-baked celeriac with yeast hollandaise and autumn truffle, beef fat sardines with shiitake vinegar, and jerk Iberico pork rib will be served alongside a suitably fiery wine list centred on volcanic- and island-led offerings from the regions of Tenerife and Sicily.

Art Deco devotees, rejoice! Storied London hotel Claridge’s is set to launch its new restaurant this September, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu offers a contemporary take on classically inspired British dishes, with plates including buckwheat crumpets topped with soubise cream, truffle puree and slices of truffle; artichoke agnolotti and grilled native lobster with crushed Jersey royals and sauce Américaine; and a chocolate souffle tart with cocoa nib ice cream for dessert.

In mid-September, Adejoké Bakare’s West African restaurant, Chishuru, will reopen in a new Fitzrovia location. The menu will see Joké give her signature experimental twist to dishes that pay tribute to her West African heritage, with a particular focus on open-fire cooking. Anticipate sumptuous fare ranging from a sinasir rice cake served with white and brown crab and squash puree to cod fillet presented alongside mbongo tchobi (a spiced black sauce) and wilted greens.

If you love seafood, act fast. Ascendant Canadian chef Argie Garcia (currently the  R&D Junior Sous Chef at the Michelin-starred London restaurant Ikoyi) has just embarked upon a three-day residency at The Sea, The Sea, bringing his trademark “tapestry of flavour and innovation” to the Hackney eatery. Diners can look forward to a seven-course menu featuring raw razor clams dressed in a spiced summer herb paste with fried heritage grain crepes; charcoal grilled mackerel with a sauce reminiscent of a classic tom tum broth with cured cucumbers; and toasted sunflower seed ice-cream with coconut and maple sticky toffee pudding.

From 13 - 18 September, Daniel Lee’s Burberry is taking over iconic British café Norman’s in Islington with a newly branded interior and exclusive menu. To concide with London Fashion Week, a travelling Norman’s food truck will also make appearances on The Strand and Duke of York Square – expect greasy fried eggs and chips, served up on a plate stamped with the house’s freshly installed blue logo. 

Last but not least, keep your eyes peeled for new Spitalfields brasserie 65a, opening on September 12. Chef Maura Baxter has created a line-up of “classic French fare”, comprising dishes that skillfully celebrate the quality of their ingredients (think: whole grilled native lobster and free-range rotisserie chicken). Other dishes will include French onion soup, hand-dived coquilles St Jacques, salade chèvre chaud and fillet steak with Café de Paris butter, while a tantalising array of puddings, including crème brûlée and poached pear, will keep sweet-toothed guests sated. Bon appétit!