10 art exhibitions to see in October

Published 1 October 2017

From the Turner Prize shortlist to Moomins creator Tove Jansson, here are 10 must-see exhibitions opening this month.

  • Turner Prize 2017

    Ferens Gallery, Hull, until 7 January 2018.

    2017 is a year of firsts for the UK’s most famous art prize. The age cap has been lifted for the first time, seeing two over-50 artists in the running. It’s also the first time that exhibitions on show as part of the prize will be judged – as opposed to the exhibitions the artists were nominated for. Finally, it’s the first time that the prize has travelled up north to Hull – the current UK City of Culture. In keeping with the spirit of these shakeups, the Turner Prize is exceptionally diverse and interesting this year. Birmingham born, British-Jamaican artist Hurvin Anderson shows a selection of lively paintings firmly rooted in place; German artist Andrea Büttner presents finely-crafted woodblock prints, etchings and paintings; British-Tanzanian artist Lubaina Himid shows a range of work from her recent major solo exhibitions at Modern Art Oxford and Bristol’s Spike Island; and last but not least, Palestinian-English artist Rosalind Nashashibi shows two intimate films, Electrical Gaza (2015) and Vivian’s Garden (2017).

  • Andrea Buttner, Beggar (series of 9)

    Andrea Buttner , Beggar (series of 9) , 2016 .

    Woodcut. Loaned from Hollybush Gardens.

  • Paula Rego: The Boy Who Loved the Sea and Other Stories

    Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, until 7 January 2018.

    Inspired by a 2005 story of the same name by Portuguese writer Helia Correia, The Boy Who Loved the Sea is Paula Rego RA’s first UK public gallery exhibition in 10 years, and is centred around a new body of work. The vivid dreamlike paintings, drawings and sculptures on view in this (suitably) seaside gallery demonstrate that the 82-year-old artist’s storytelling powers are as potent as ever.

  • Paula Rego, Comfort

    Paula Rego , Comfort , 2017 .

    Pastel on paper. Courtesy of the artist and Jerwood Gallery.

  • Stan Douglas

    Victoria Miro Mayfair, London, 26 October – 20 December.
    The starting point for Stan Douglas’s latest works is 2010-11: a period that saw several uprisings around the world: the Arab Spring that spread across the Middle East and North Africa, and riots in cities including Vancouver and London. With billboard-size aerial photographs of Hackney and Tottenham, the locations of the London riots – some gleaned from contemporary news reports, others taken from inside a specially chartered helicopter – the Canadian artist reconstructs recent events, raising questions about public versus private memories, as well as racial and class tensions.

  • Stan Douglas, Overview Downspark Queensdown

    Stan Douglas , Overview Downspark Queensdown , 2017 .

    Video still. © the artist, courtesy Victoria Miro.

  • Haroon Mirza / hrm199: For A Partnership Society

    Zabludowicz Collection, London, until 18 December.
    British artist Haroon Mirza creates immersive, sculptural soundscapes. This show is inspired by the American scholar and activist Riane Eisler’s theory of “partnership societies”: structures that support mutually respectful and caring relations, instead of “dominator societies” based on inequality and violence. Mirza focuses on the idea of different kinds of partnerships in this solo show. He created the multi-room installation – which includes a sensory deprivation chamber – by reaching out to other artists and practitioners from different disciplines, and incorporating other works from the Zabludowicz Collection.

  • Haroon Mirza, aaa (Installation view, Pivo, Sao Paulo)

    Haroon Mirza , aaa (Installation view, Pivo, Sao Paulo) , 2016 .

    Courtesy Pivo and hrm199 Photography © Everton Ballardin.

  • Everything at Once

    The Store, London, 5 October – 10 December.
    “Nowadays everything happens at once,” claimed the experimental composer John Cage in 1966. Today, this statement rings truer than ever – we live in the internet age, constantly bombarded with images, noise and information. Timed to celebrate the Lisson Gallery’s 50th anniversary, this ambitious, eclectic, freewheeling group show riffs on the forward looking spirit in which the gallery was founded (just a year after Cage’s pronouncement). Organised in partnership with The Vinyl Factory, the exhibition takes place at The Store Studios on The Strand – which last hosted the immensely popular Infinite Mix video art show. Expect to see diverse old and new works from Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg, Ryan Gander, Rodney Graham, Susan Hiller, Shirazeh Houshiary, Stanley Whitney and others.

  • Susan Hiller, Channels

    Susan Hiller, Channels, 2013.

    Video installation with sound. Photo by Oh Dancy © Susan Hiller. Courtesy Lisson Gallery.

  • Tove Jansson (1914-2001)

    Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, 25 October – 28 January 2018.
    She’s best known for the Moomins, a loveable family of round, hippo-like creatures, brought to life in a series of newspaper cartoons and books, but there’s much more to Tove Jansson – as this retrospective aims to show. A large selection of fine art paintings and graphic illustrations reveal the full breadth of the Finnish artist’s talents – shot through with spirit, wit and political conscience.

  •  Tove Jansson, Family

    Tove Jansson , Family , 1942 .

    Oil. 73 x 100 cm. Private Collection. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen.

  • More Dimensions Than You Know: Jack Whitten, 1979 – 1989

    Hauser and Wirth, London, until 18 November.
    A former mentee of the Abstract Expressionists Willem de Kooning and Norman Lewis, the American painter Jack Whitten himself now holds an important place within the story of postwar American art. During his five decades long career, he has produced abstract, textural, sculptural canvases – often with a political edge. This exhibition of work from 1979 to 1989 (the artist’s first solo show in London) happens to coincide with the Soul of a Nation survey show at Tate Modern, in which Whitten is included.

  • Jack Whitten, Willi Meets The Keeper (For Willi Smith)

    Jack Whitten , Willi Meets The Keeper (For Willi Smith) , 1987 .

    Acrylic on canvas. 243.8 x 208.3 x 5.1 cm. © Jack Whitten. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Genevieve Hanson.

  • Soutine’s Portraits: Cooks, Waiters & Bellboys

    The Courtauld Gallery, London, 19 October – 21 January 2018.
    Living in Paris during the 1920s, Chaïm Soutine began to paint the cooks, waiters and hotel porters he encountered, capturing these often overlooked people in bold colours and expressive brushstrokes. Hailed as a successor to van Gogh in his own day, Soutine’s fame has dimmed slightly in recent decades. But this major exhibition of his work – the first to be held in the UK for 35 years – might just redress that.

  • Chaïm Soutine, Waiting Maid (La soubrette)

    Chaïm Soutine , Waiting Maid (La soubrette) , c.1933 .

    © Courtauld Gallery, Ben Uri Gallery & Museum.

  • States of America: Photography from the Civil Rights Movement to the Reagan Era, Nottingham Contemporary, until 26 November.
    This powerful survey show offers the rare chance to see works by some of the greatest American photographers of the twentieth century brought together – including Diane Arbus, Dawoud Bey, William Eggleston, Jim Goldberg, Mary Ellen Mark and many more. Lenses are turned on the rich and the poor, white neighbourhoods in the deep South and black communities in Harlem, public spaces and private homes. Collectively, the works in this show paint a picture of the state of American society during an era that saw the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War – and eerily resonate with our own times.

  • Dawoud Bey, A Woman with Hanging Overalls

    Dawoud Bey , A Woman with Hanging Overalls , 1978 or 1979 .

    Gelatin-silver print. © Dawoud Bey, courtesy of Stephen Daiter Gallery.

  • Basquiat: Boom for Real

    Barbican Centre, London, until 28 January 2018. He was only 27 when he died, in 1988, but by that time Jean-Michel Basquiat had already managed to firmly secure his place in the 20th century art canon. Charting his rapid trajectory from downtown graffiti artist to international art superstar, this Barbican retrospective brings together over 100 works by the painter/poet/DJ/musician – brought to life by archive photographs and film footage. Don’t miss the chance to catch the coolest show in town.

  • Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled

    Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1982.

    Courtesy Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam / © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / Licensed by Artestar, New York / Photo: Studio Tromp, Rotterdam.