This article titled “Dreamers and disrupters: the best art and architecture of autumn 2018” was written by Jonathan Jones, Sean O’Hagan , Adrian Searle and Oliver Wainwright, for The Guardian on Monday 27th August 2018 05.00 UTC
British Museum, London
Art is usually paid for by rulers and elites yet somehow artists have never been able to stop biting the hand that feeds. The British Museum’s world-spanning collections prove satire is a universal impulse. Private Eye editor Ian Hislop has delved deeper in search of the snarky for this exhibition, turning up angry artefacts, from graffiti on an ancient Babylonian brick to a Pussyhat worn on a women’s march. As they said in Babylon: “Up yours, Nebuchadnezzar.”
6 September-20 January
Masahisa Fukase: Private Scenes
The highlight of the autumn photography season is this major retrospective of the troubled genius of postwar Japanese photography, the late Masahisa Fukase. The exhibition chronicles his extensive body of work from the early 1960s to 92, when a fall left him in a coma for the remaining 20 years of his life. Prints, publications and personal documents, including previously unseen material, trace the life and work of a radically experimental and often obsessive artist.
7 September–12 December
Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art
Marking the first major permanent building by the young Turner prize-winning architecture collective, Assemble, all eyes will be on Goldsmiths’ new £4m Centre for Contemporary Art, to see how the pop-up prodigies have become grownup architects. Housed in a former Victorian swimming baths complex next to Goldsmiths art college, the birthplace of the young British artists, the galleries will take over radically different spaces, from airy top-lit rooms to the atmospheric cast-iron water tanks. It opens with a solo show by the provocative Argentine video artist Mika Rottenberg.
Opens 8 September
Three European photography festivals
In Europe, September is a busy month for photography festivals. Unseen Amsterdam once again occupies the former industrial site, Westergasfabriek, for its seventh edition. If you want to take the temperature of contemporary photography, the book market and the Living Room, where talks are held, are the best places. The scenic town of Vevey, Switzerland, becomes a big free photo festival with outdoor and indoor sites showing work by 60 artists including Daidō Moriyama, Christian Marclay, Erwin Wurm and Clare Strand. In Zagreb, the 10th Organ Vida festival is titled Engaged, Active, Aware – Women’s Perspectives Now, and features participants selected from an open call alongside an exhibition that includes work by activist artists such as Zanele Muholi and Sandra Vitaljić.
Images Vevey, Switzerland, 8-30 September; Organ Vida, Zagreb, 10-16 September, Unseen, Amsterdam, 21-23 September
By Jamie Fobert
This Sussex farmhouse was country base of the Bloomsbury Group, on the edge of the South Downs. The home of artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, it was a lively meeting place for their circle of writers, painters and intellectuals, stuffed with an eclectic collection of furniture, textiles, books and ceramics. The bucolic complex in Sussex will see its first exhibition space open this autumn, in a new building by Jamie Fobert, architect of Tate St Ives, along with a restaurant and events space in a pair of 18th-century farm buildings, restored and redeveloped by Julian Harrap Architects.
Opens 8 September
Video Games: Design/Play/Disrupt
From the beguiling pastel landscapes of Monument Valley to the cinematic crime scenes of Grand Theft Auto, computer games have come a long way since the innocent days of a chubby Italian plumber jumping around to get coins. This exhibition will explore the medium since the mid-00s, charting how technology – from super-fast broadband and smartphones to open source design methods and social media – have changed the way video games are designed, discussed and played.
8 September-24 February.
By Kengo Kuma
Standing like a stone galleon run aground on the banks of the river Tay, the V&A’s Scottish outpost will finally open to the public in September, after years of delays and ballooning costs. Designed by feted Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the angular concrete forms are clad with 2,500 cast stone panels, giving them the look of rugged boulders that have tumbled down from the cliffs. Its galleries will showcase the best of Scottish design, from paisley fabric and Fair Isle sweaters to the Dundee-designed computer game Grand Theft Auto.
Opens 15 September
Renzo Piano: The Art of Making Buildings
Royal Academy, London
Renzo Piano doesn’t have an architecture practice – he has a “building workshop”. Coming from a family of builders, the suave octogenarian is very proud of how he crafts his buildings from his Genoa atelier, and this monographic exhibition promises to shed light on some of the magic behind the making. Focusing on 16 of his most significant projects, the show will range from his early career experimenting with lightweight structural systems to recent goliaths, including London’s Shard and New York’s the Whitney Museum.
15 September-20 January
Tate Britain, London
Politics dominate this year’s shortlist, with four radical visions competing for the world’s most prestigious art prize. Forensic Architecture is a team including lawyers and scientists who offer an alternative take on human rights cases. Naeem Mohaiemen uses film to explore the history of revolutionary movements. Luke Willis Thompson has made video portraits that bring Warholian gravitas to our media age. Charlotte Prodger explores queer identity with film, writing and performance. The exhibition will be a snapshot of political art now, whoever wins – but Willis Thompson is the most artistic artist of the bunch.
26 September6 January
Hayward Gallery, London
Art that messes with your head is the theme of what should be a discombobulating delight of an exhibition. The artists here have ways of confusing your sense of space, undermining the apparently solid foundations of reality, luring you into a world of mirrors and uncertainty. Manipulators of the mind on a colossal scale such as Anish Kapoor and Richard Wilson are among the stars in this show, yet there is also space for the more homely subversions of Felix Gonzales-Torrez. Also on hand to warp basic assumptions about the world are Robert Irwin, Larry Bell and Roni Horn.
26 September-6 January
Ribera: Art of Violence
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
Jusepe de Ribera died in 1652, and this will be the first London show of the astonishing and mordant Valencian painter and printmaker, who spent most of his career in Naples. Violence and martyrdom, crime and punishment and the bound male figure feature in this thematic overview of 40 works, including eight monumental paintings, figure studies and closeups of noses and mouths and, the gallery informs us, “an example of human remains in the form of tattooed skin”. Can’t wait.
26 September-27 January.
Elmgreen & Dragset: This Is How we Bite Our Tongue
Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset have been working together for more than 20 years. They are still very naughty boys. Previous exhibitions have turned galleries into collector’s houses and gay saunas, airport baggage lounges and the lair of a fictional architect. Often mixing figurative sculpture and live actors, art gags and political points, their chief concern is the social world, private life and freedoms and civic responsibility. How Scandinavian of them.
27 September-13 January
The Atlantic Project: After the Future
Various venues, Plymouth
A pilot programme for a new biennial based around the multimillion-pound renovation of Plymouth City Museum and Gallery (opening as the Box in 2020). German artist Hito Steyerl, Superflex and Tommy Støckel from Denmark, Angolan artist Kiluanji Kia Henda and the late Donald Rodney are among the artists whose works will be located across the city, many in spaces not usually accessible to the public.
28 September–21 October
Royal Academy, London
The art of the Pacific was first collected by Europeans when Captain Cook set sail for Tahiti and beyond. It fascinated artists including Gauguin and Picasso – and they were right to be beguiled. The islands of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia have produced some of the world’s most compelling and dreamlike images, from angry war gods and painted canoes to enigmatic faces. This is a blockbuster survey of a stupendous cultural tradition, with many well-preserved historical masterpieces. This show glories in them.
29 September–10 December.
Berlinde de Bruyckere
Hauser & Wirth, Somerset
The work of Belgian sculptor Berlinde de Bruyckere continually returns to the natural world, revealing her themes of suffering and protection, vulnerability and decay. Rotting blankets and wax casts of animal skins fill two galleries at Hauser & Wirth Somerset. With gloomy echoes of Beuys and Beckett, her work is creepy but very memorable, at once theatrical and earthy – and as insidious as a stain.
29 September-1 January.
Mantegna and Bellini
National Gallery, London
This is a family saga set in Renaissance Italy that casts light on two stupendous artists. The great painters Giovanni Bellini and Andrea Mantegna were competitive brothers-in-law with very different ideas about art. Bellini’s sensitive style is a play of light, shadow and rapturous colour. Mantegna is much sharper and bristles with classical erudition. They displayed their differences in friendly rivalry when they each painted versions of The Agony in the Garden. Mantegna’s is bold and full of detail, but the salmon-coloured sunrise Bellini painted is a knockout. A double helping of beauty.
1 October-27 January.
Richard Mosse: The Castle
Richard Mosse continues his exploration of the refugee experience with a book that gathers images taken from above using a thermographic video camera attached to a moving robotic arm. Following the migration routes into Europe from the Middle East and Central Asia, Mosse’s futuristic images document reinforced fences, security gates and loudspeakers as well as food queues and temporary shelters. They contrast the almost medieval conditions of the camps with the technology used to track and monitor those held in Fortress Europe.
Published 1 October.
Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London
Cuban artist Tania Bruguera sees art as a tool for social change. A controversial figure in her homeland, where her father was a diplomat in Fidel Castro’s government, she has been lauded abroad and detained by Cuban authorities. She also proposed herself as a presidential candidate in the 2018 Cuban presidential election. Bruguera has eaten dirt and, previously at Tate, two mounted police officers performed crowd control exercises in the gallery. For her, art and activism are inseparable – her art calls for active engagement.
2 October-24 February.
Serpentine Gallery, London
Ecosystems and artificial intelligence, human brainwaves and machine learning collide in French artist Pierre Huyghe’s latest project. Huyghe grapples with the world’s complexity, this time aided by an AI laboratory in Kyoto. There will be ambient noise, there will be biosemiotics, there will be LED screens and mental images. Huyghe, who can be very funny, treats the Serpentine Gallery as a living organism: it lives, it breathes, it is out of control.
3 October-10 February.
Living With Buildings
Wellcome Collection, London
An exhibition at the Wellcome Collection promises to shed light on the impact the built environment has on our health, for better and worse. From the slums of 19th-century London to the utopian experiments of postwar urban planners, to therapeutic spaces for people affected by cancer, the show will chart architects’ relationship with human wellbeing – and how their best intentions don’t always pan out.
4 October-3 March
Tate Modern, London
For a long time, the hand-woven textile work of Anni Albers was overshadowed by her painter husband, the Bauhaus theorist Josef Albers. Like Sonia Delaunay, married to Robert, it is time her own significance is recognised. This major exhibition of more than 350 works – from small-scale studies to large wall hangings intended to interact with architecture, not to mention pictorial weavings and jewellery made from everyday objects – promises to be a ravishing and unmissable encounter with a pioneer of modernism.
11 October-27 January.
By Níall McLaughlin
Designed to resemble a great wooden siege engine drawn against the walls of Auckland Castle, in County Durham, Níall McLaughlin Associate’s Auckland Tower will provide a striking public entrance to a sprawling gothic stately home that has remained private residence for 900 years. Once the seat of the Prince Bishops of Durham, the estate is being converted into an international arts, faith and heritage centre by former investment banker Jonathan Ruffer, who has also boldly commissioned Japanese architects Sanaa to design a restaurant in a series of glass bubbles in the walled garden, due to start construction next year.
Opens 20 October
A recent collaboration between artists Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer took them to Tahiti, following in the footsteps of Paul Gauguin, to look at the role and mythology of women in French Polynesia. Their earlier collaborations have used works by Henri Matisse and Paul Nash as inspiration. Matisse and Gauguin, Nash, Winifred Nicholson and others hang alongside Nashashibi and Skaer’s films, in a show that is a conversation across generations, a shared examination of histories and attitudes.
20 October-6 January
Hepworth prize for sculpture
The Hepworth, Wakefield
Michael Dean’s barbed, political and physical entanglements, Mona Hatoum’s meditations on the world, Phillip Lai’s mixes of real and unreal objects, Magali Reus’s highly crafted physical and metaphorical encounters and Cerith Wyn Evans’ poetry of light and space, signs and language give this biannual sculpture prize a surprising cohesion as an exhibition. Who might win? Wyn Evans is your man.
26 October-20 January
Roman Vishniac Rediscovered
Photographer’s Gallery and Jewish Museum, London
Between the two world wars, Russian born Vishniac created one of the most widely known photographic records of Jewish life in eastern Europe. In 1920, he settled in Berlin, where he recorded the ominous changes in German society, including the rise of nazism and the increasing persecution of German Jews in the city. Alongside his iconic works, this retrospective, which takes place across two galleries, includes recently discovered prints from the early 1920s to the late 70s.
26 October-24 February
Royal Academy, London
Sex and death in Sigmund Freud’s Vienna should make for a sumptuous display of dreams, desire and desperation. Gustav Klimt was the emperor of Viennese modern art around 1900, creating unrepressed visions of goddesses and gold. He helped the enfant terrible Egon Schiele to make his way. This show juxtaposes their drawings to reveal very different revolutionaries. Klimt’s eroticism is joyous, while Schiele portrays a darker world in which the naked human being is exposed and alone. With loans from Vienna’s Albertina Museum, Klimt/Schiele is a look at the birth of modernism.
4 November–3 February
Lorenzo Lotto: Portraits
National Gallery, London
This will surely be one of the exhibitions of the year. Italian Renaissance painter Lorenzo Lotto created some nice altarpieces, but his real genius was for painting people. His portraits have an engrossing frankness and intimacy. He sometimes uses a landscape format, so he can dramatise individuals on a wider stage. His great Portrait of Andrea Odoni, for instance, places a passionate man with hand on heart among his collection of sensual sculpture. Lotto is one of the supreme portrait painters of all time. Seeing his subjects is just like meeting Shakespeare’s characters up close.
5 November-10 February
I Am Ashurbanipal
British Museum, London
Ancient Assyrian art is like a slab of bleeding lion meat thrown before you to eat raw. In fact, Lion hunting is a favourite theme. Others include besieging cities and torturing prisoners. Not a gentle empire, but the chunky, determined figures who march and even swim through its mighty art are dynamic and strong. The British Museum has the best collection of this art in the world. This exhibition brings it to life by setting it against the story of Ashurbanipal, greatest of Assyrian kings and one hell of a lion hunter. A guaranteed blockbuster blast.
8 November-24 February
Europe’s biggest photo fair takes over the Grand Palais for four days. If you need a break from the commercialism of the main event, there is the indie book fair, Offprint, at Beaux-Arts de Paris as well as various events, including a curated walk though Paris that retraces the history of photography in the city “through the prism of women”. There will also be a host of book signings by the likes of Roger Ballen, Sophie Calle, Susan Meiselas, Alec Soth and David Lynch.
Gainsborough’s Family Album
National Portrait Gallery, London
Perhaps not many artists are such keen parents as the 18th-century portrait master Thomas Gainsborough. In an age of the profoundest patriarchy, Gainsborough wanted his two daughters to become artists. He painted them again and again, marvelling at their growing minds as they discovered the world around them in his most moving work, The Painter’s Daughters Chasing a Butterfly. Gainsborough’s love for his daughters is at the heart of this revelatory look at his private world, which includes portraits of his wife and himself.
22 November-3 February
The mechanised new world he saw on the western front in the first world war convinced Fernand Léger that art also should be machine-like. Before then he was a cubist, seeing reality in shards. When he got his new vision of a cybernetic modernity he started to paint in a unique tubular style that celebrates modern life, and feature art deco interiors and beautiful robotic people. As the Tate Liverpool exhibition stresses, he also made films and collaborated with architects in pursuit of his quirky utopia. Léger saw the digital age coming. His optimism has a lot to teach us.
23 November–17 March
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