Our top picks of exhibitions together with cultural spaces and places, both online and in the real world.


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Viewing Nasim Hantehzadeh: Ray of Light

Zip over to Pippy Houldsworth Gallery this November to see the first UK solo exhibition by LA-based Iranian artist Nasim Hantehzadeh. Inspired by everything from Palaeolithic cave paintings and indigenous art from Mexico to Islamic architecture and ancient Persian rug patterns, Hantehzadeh creates deeply personal works that reflect their cultural duality and explore personal and collective memory.

They also addresse themes of identity, personhood, sexuality and race, evoking a world in which categories are deliberately in flux and undefined. In At the End of the Day (2022), for instance, the embellished orifices and sexual organs are transfigured from the corporeal to the otherworldly. The gate is open, meanwhile, is a meditation on vulnerability and openness in the face of the country’s extreme laws against LGBT people.

By dismantling preconceptions of a pre-modern Islamic gender system, Hantehzadeh fortifies their stance on Iranian feminism and the powerful role it plays in their country’s culture wars. Considering the current political situation, this show couldn’t be more apt.

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Dates
18 November 2022 — 07 January 2023

Viewing Lakwena Maciver: A green and pleasant land (HA-HA)

Lakwena Maciver has had a bumper couple of years. She has made her name creating electrifying, joyful installations — spanning public murals, panel paintings and banners — with messages of ‘hope, redemption, decolonisation and paradise’. Referencing everyday shared experiences as well as pop culture, fashion and basketball, they have emboldened cities around the world, from London and Paris to Munich and Miami.

In 2021 she launched her much-hyped capsule collection with Fiorucci, transformed the roof of Temple tube station into a kaleidoscopic ‘vision of paradise’, and installed a series of large-scale basketball paintings in the courtyard of Somerset House during 1:54. Now she’s presenting a major solo show of new paintings and textile works at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

For this body of new work, Maciver has drawn inspiration from YSP’s landscape and the 18th-century ha-ha, concealed walled ditches that were built to stop livestock straying into gardens without the need for visible fences. Full of colour and sparkling words, the resulting works explore notions of power, ownership, access, control, boundaries and division. They also examine hierarchies of liberty and space. Like much of her work, these new paintings tackle punchy themes in digestible ways. Get thee to Yorkshire sharpish.

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Dates
12 November 2022 — 19 March 2023

Viewing Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread and Rope

Magdalena Abakanowicz’s bold experimentations with space, form and organic materials reframed the possibilities of sculpture for good. This exhibition brings together 26 of her radical three-dimensional works, otherwise known as Abakans, in a forest-like display alongside early textiles pieces and little-known drawings.

Honouring the artist’s wish for them to be seen and experienced as living works, visitors will weave through a fibrous sculptural landscape. As you meander through the forest of towering forms, you’ll encounter some of her most ambitious pieces from the 1960s and 70s, including the monumental Abakan Red (1969) and Abakan – Situation Variable II from 1971, which incorporates rope, spilling from the sculpture onto the floor.

It’s a rare opportunity to appreciate Abakanowicz’s pioneering vision as well as the close connection between these raw forms and both the human body and earth around us. ‘It is from fibre that all living organisms are built, the tissue of plants, leaves and ourselves,’ Abakanowicz once said. ‘Our nerves, our genetic code, the canals of our veins, our muscles. We are fibrous structures.’

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Dates
17 November 2022 — 21 May 2023
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