The first fashion month to happen in person since the start of the global pandemic is almost over, as Paris Fashion Week draws to a close in a few days. As ever, the fashion calendar has provided a whirlwind of runway shows, presentations of new collections and glamorous events across its four fashion capitals.
But the end of fashion month does not mean the end of experiences in the cities and the start of the fall season brings about a new schedule of activities and experiences to enjoy in the crisp autumn air.
Beyond the world of fashion, New York, London, Milan and Paris are also major cultural capitals with a lot of art to see and enjoy, from the classics at world-renowned museums to contemporary galleries shining a spotlight on emerging artists.
With that in mind, we’ve curated a list of new art exhibitions, as well as brand new gallery, opening this fall that are worth a visit in the fashion capitals of the world.
Social Works II at the Gagosian, London
Installation view of Social Works at Gagosian. Artwork by Rick Lowe
Originally shown this summer at the Gagosian gallery in New York, Social Works II is a group exhibition with a focus on spaces—personal, public, institutional—and the relationships Black people have with them. Curated by writer and critic Antwaun Sargent, who was named a director at Gagosian earlier this year, the show features 12 Black artists from across the African diaspora including renowned architect David Adjaye, photographer Tyler Mitchell, painter Lubaina Himid and sculptor Kahlil Robert Irving.
Through a mixture of text, photography, paintings and three-dimensional installations such as Adjaye’s earthen structure “Asaase”, which pays homage to West African design, Social Works explores how identity is formed and the ways people navigate the communities and spaces in which they find themselves.
“Social Works II” opens on October 7; gagosian.com
Un Monde Bleu at AFIKARIS, Paris
Le Trône Invisible by Moustapha Baidi Oumarou
From Henri Matisse’s “Blue Nudes” series of lithographs to Yves Klein’s specific mix known as International Klein Blue, the color blue has been having more than a moment in the art world. In a similar vein, the exhibition Un Monde Bleu displays Cameroonian artist Moustapha Baidi Oumarou’s use of the color in his artwork.
Presented at the AFIKARIS gallery in Paris, the exhibition opens on this month, featuring a series of 12 paintings by the artist. Associated with water and sky, the color blue also symbolizes peace, trust and loyalty. Oumarou has employed the hue in his work to depict moments of friendship and affection, a representation of the messages of harmony and togetherness he wishes to convey through his art. “My characters represent the ‘flower man’. They embody moments of humanity, moments of joy and pictures of love,” Oumarou says.
“Un Monde Bleu” opens on October 2; afikaris.com
52 Walker, New York
Pedestal (2013) by Kandis Williams
Under the curatorial eye of director Ebony L Haynes, 52 Walker gallery in Tribeca is a new outpost by David Zwirner. Designed to challenge the traditional, insular art world, 52 Walker intends to elevate artists from all backgrounds and identities without playing to the theater of inclusivity.
This month, the gallery will open its inaugural exhibition with A Line, a presentation by performance artist Kandis Williams. Spanning choreography, video and collage, Williams’ work explores structural issues of race, nationalism and authority, through networks of architecture, anatomy, regions of the Black diaspora, popular culture and myth. Williams’ first solo exhibition in New York, A Line will run for three months and will be accompanied by a print publication that captures the artist’s creative process in dialogue with the work on display.
“Kandis Williams: A Line” opens on October 28; 52walker.com
Corpus Domini at Palazzo Reale, Milan
Untitled (2014) by Ibrahim Mahama
Corpus Domini is a group show exhibiting at Milan’s Palazzo Reale, featuring 111 works by 34 artists from around the world, consisting drawings, painting, photography, sculptures and more. Devised to explore the multiplicity of mankind and humanity, the exhibition takes viewers through works depicting the human body and its many cultural and social representations in a contemporary world.
One of the participants in the show is Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama, who is known for his work with found objects especially jute sacks used to transport cocoa and coal, often inscribed with names and traditional African patterned fabrics. Of his work, the artist has said, “The coal sacks began as an extension of how the body could be looked at. It contains all these system and makings of original owners, which have been transferred from the bodies creating a link between the two forms.”
“Corpus Domini” opens on October 27; palazzorealemilano.it
Bold Black British at Christie’s London
Meditation Tree by Ibrahim El-Salahi
October is Black History Month in the UK and auction house Christie’s has collaborated with writer and art curator Aindrea Emelife to show an exhibition focusing on Black British artists spanning generations from the 1980s to the present day.
Incorporating mediums of sculpture, painting, music and video, Bold Black British features a selection of pieces from the likes of photographer James Barnor, filmmaker John Akomfrah and musician FKA Twigs. By displaying various narratives and multiple perspectives of what it means to be Black and British, Emelife hopes to challenge and broaden the perception of Black history and creativity.
“Bold Black British” opens on October 1; christies.com