10 art exhibitions to see in September

Published 31 August 2018

From iconic graphic designs to objects of resistance and Impressionist depictions of everyday life, here’s our pick of exhibitions to see this month.

  • I Object: Ian Hislop’s search for dissent

    British Museum, London, 6 September 2018 – 20 January 2019
    I Object brings together over 100 objects from the British Museum’s collection chosen by Private Eye editor Ian Hislop. The selection showcases stories of dissent, subversion and satire, from ancient Mesopotamia in 1300 BC to the 2016 US Presidential Election. Pieces on display include graffiti on a Babylonian brick, an Edwardian coin defaced by a suffragette with the slogan “Votes for Women” and a hoax work by Banksy – a painting on a piece of concrete showing a caveman pushing a supermarket trolley – which was secretly “installed” by the artist in the British Museum in 2005 and lay undiscovered for three days.

  • , Make America Gay Again badge

    Make America Gay Again badge

    © The Trustees of the British Museum.

  • Making Art Matter: Clifford & Rosemary Ellis

    Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, 8 September – 25 November 2018
    Clifford Ellis is best known as the head of the pioneering Bath Academy of Art, one of the most influential art schools outside London. He and his wife Rosemary were also prolific graphic designers and illustrators, creating iconic posters and book covers for the likes of Transport for London, Collins Publishers and Shell. Making Art Matter celebrates the bold, bright and beautiful designs of their 50 year creative partnership, alongside works by artists associated with the Bath Academy of Arts, including Howard Hodgkin and Gillian Ayres RA.

  • Clifford and Rosemary Ellis, Giant Panda, window bill for London Passenger Transport

    Clifford and Rosemary Ellis , Giant Panda, window bill for London Passenger Transport , 1939 .


  • Christian Marclay: The Clock

    Tate Modern, London, 14 September 2018 – 20 January 2019
    Christian Marclay’s 24 hour video installation has been captivating audiences since its debut at White Cube in 2010. Following several years of painstaking research, Marclay stitched together thousands of film and television images of clocks into a seamless montage which shows the time in real time. As well as being a functioning timepiece, The Clock is also a journey through the past 100 years of cinematic history, spanning genres including thrillers, westerns and science fiction. Tate has scheduled a number of 24-hour screenings outside gallery opening hours for those who’d like to watch The Clock, around the clock.

  • Christian Marclay, The Clock

    Christian Marclay , The Clock , 2010 .

    Single-channel video installation, duration: 24 hours. © the artist, photographer: White Cube (Ben Westoby).

  • Impressionism: The Art of Life

    The Lightbox, Woking, 29 September 2018 – 13 January 2019
    The Art of Life charts how Impressionist painters and sculptors, from the early 1860s to the beginning of the First World War, saw and depicted their everyday worlds. Focusing on four themes – maternity, leisure, work and the home – the exhibition showcases works by lesser-known sculptors, such as Dalou, alongside world-renowned artists such as Paul Cézanne and Edgar Degas. Highlights include Alfred Sisley’s tranquil street scene, 14 July at Marly, France (1875) and Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s oil painting, A Woman Nursing a Child (1894).

  • Alfred Sisley, 14 July at Marly, France

    Alfred Sisley , 14 July at Marly, France , 1875 .

    Oil on canvas. © The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum, Bedford.

  • Space Shifters

    Hayward Gallery, London, 26 September 2018 - 6 January 2019
    This exhibition features sculptures and installations by over 20 international artists, including Yayoi Kusama, Anish Kapoor RA and Richard Wilson RA, which seek to trigger strong psychological and physical responses and alter our perception of our surroundings. Many are made from reflective or translucent materials, including glass and resin, and vary in scale – from pioneering, minimal sculptures from the 1960s to architectural interventions and modern-day commissions which respond to the gallery’s brutalist architecture.

  • Larry Bell, Standing Walls II

    Larry Bell , Standing Walls II , 1969/2016 .

    Installation view at Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles, © Larry Bell/DACS 2018. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: JR Dot.

  • William Kentridge: Thick Time

    The Whitworth, Manchester, 21 September 2018 – 3 March 2019
    South African artist William Kentridge Hon RA is renowned for his animated drawings and films, which have been exhibited around the world since the 1980s. This major touring exhibition of Kentridge’s work, landing this month at The Whitworth, includes drawings, tapestries, sculptures, music and large-scale film installations interrogating the concepts of history and time. Don’t miss O Sentimental Machine (2015) and The Refusal of Time (2012), an immersive multi-media work exploring the technology of time-keeping, created in collaboration with Harvard physicist Peter Galison.

  • William Kentridge, in collaboration with Philip Miller, Catherine Meyburgh and Peter Gibson, The Refusal of Time

    William Kentridge, in collaboration with Philip Miller, Catherine Meyburgh and Peter Gibson , The Refusal of Time , 2012 .

    Film Still. 5-channel video projection, colour, sound, megaphones, breathing machines 30 minutes. Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery.

  • Joana Vasconcelos: Gateway

    Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh, 12 May – 30 September 2018
    Fans of Joana Vasconcelos’ Royal Valkyrie in this year’s Summer Exhibition should make time for the Portuguese artist’s solo show at Jupiter Artland, before it closes at the end of the month. Known for her large-scale surreal sculptures, Vasconcelos has used domestic objects, including plastic cutlery and saucepans, to create works that address socio-political issues, from gender violence to immigration. Highlights include Carmen Miranda in the Ballroom Garden, a large-scale replica of a stiletto shoe made using stainless steel pans and lids – the choice of materials, Vasconcelos says, a nod to contrasting notions of femininity and gender.

  • Joana Vasoncelos, Gateway

    Joana Vasoncelos , Gateway , 2018 .

    Photo: Ruth Clark, Courtesy Jupiter Artland.

  • Elmgreen & Dragset: This Is How We Bite Our Tongue

    Whitechapel Gallery, London, 27 September 2018 – 13 January 2019
    Artist duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset have been working together for over 20 years, exploring social and sexual politics and what they see as power structures embedded in our everyday. For the first major UK survey of their work, Elmgreen & Dragset have created a major new immersive installation which takes over the ground floor of the gallery, looking at the gentrification of London’s East End and a loss of faith in public space. Displayed alongside the installation are a series of emotional figurative sculptures, including Modern Moses (2006) – a figure of a newborn baby in a carry cot, abandoned in front of a cash machine – and One Day (2015), in which a sculpture of a young boy gazes at a rifle in a display case.

  • Elmgreen & Dragset, One Day

    Elmgreen & Dragset , One Day , 2015 .

    Boy: aluminium cast, matte white paint, shorts, socks, shoes; Rifle: aluminium cast, matte white paint; Vitrine: glass, wood, matte black lacquer. Boy: 104 × 40 × 40 cm Vitrine: 55 × 145 × 20 cm. Courtesy of María José Jove Fundación Photo: Holger Honck.

  • At Altitude

    Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, 2 June – 30 September 2018
    At Altitude charts how technological advances and new methods of observation have transformed our experience of Earth, and inspired artists, over the past 250 years. The exhibition opens with A Circular View from the Balloon at its Greatest Elevation, a drawing of Chester made in 1785 that’s considered one of the first ever “real” aerial views. It then fast-forwards to early aviation photography, Google Earth and modern-day drone warfare, featuring painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and film by artists including Tacita Dean RA, Charles and Ray Eames, Kabir Hussain, Wolfgang Tillmans RA and Omer Fast.

  • Mishka Henner, Unknown Site, Noordwijk aan Zee, South Holland

    Mishka Henner , Unknown Site, Noordwijk aan Zee, South Holland , 2011 .

    Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London, © Mishka Henner.

  • Sean Scully: Inside Outside

    Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, 29 September 2018 – 6 January 2019
    Two-time Turner Prize nominee Sean Scully RA is considered one of the world’s leading abstract painters. This exhibition unites important recent paintings on aluminium and linen with enormous steel and stone sculptures – many of them made specifically for the show – including Wall of Light Cubed (2018) and Are You Looking At Me? (2018). The display embraces YSP’s topography, with sculptures spread across the Park’s vast historic landscape as well as inside its galleries.

  • Sean Scully, Boxes of air

    Sean Scully , Boxes of air , 2015 .

    © the artist, Courtesy Sean Scully, Courtesy of YSP.