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Throw yourself into March with The Philistine, our monthly list of the very best things to do in London.



Women Look At Women at Richard Saltoun | Eleanor Antin, Renate Bertlmann, Elisabetta Catalano & More (Until 31 March)

In this first exhibition at Richard Saltoun’s new gallery on Dover Street, the gaze is strictly female. Curated by Paola Ugolini, this rich group show brings together the work of thirteen pioneering, radical artists including American performance artist Eleanor Antin, British sculptor and photographer Helen Chadwick, and photographer Francesca Woodman.


Giorgio Griffa: A Continuous Becoming at Camden Arts Centre | Giorgio Griffa (Until 8 April)

Like a jazz composition, it’s what isn’t said that’s often at the heart of Giorgio Griffa’s paintings. Though peppered with bright, vivid strokes of paint, the canvases are never filled – a testament to Griffo’s belief in ‘intelligent painting’, allowing the process of painting itself to consume the detail of the work. With close links to the Italian Arte Povera movement, Griffo has been painting, and redefining its form, since the 1960s.


The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy at Tate Modern | Pablo Picasso (8 March – 9 September)

Opening this month, Tate Modern hosts its first ever solo Picasso exhibition, with over 100 paintings, drawings and sculptures created incredibly over just one year: 1932. Naturally this will be a sell-out show, so be sure to make the most of late-night openings.


The Gallerist at The Sunday Painter | Rob Chavasse & Will Jarvis (1 – 29 March)

Two decades of friendship – from awkward adolescence to adulthood – is chronicled in Rob Chavasse’s show at The Sunday Painter in South Lambeth. A looping montage video captures two boys and their adventures with skateboards, Slipknot hoodies and their journey to become friends as well as professional collaborators. The subjects are artist Chavasse, and Will Jarvis, who is co-director of The Sunday Painter. Chavasse’s exploration of the nepotism of the art world makes this more than just a vanity project.


Michelangelo Pistoletto: Scaffali at Simon Lee Gallery | Michelangelo Pistoletto (Until 7 April)

Italian artist Pistoletto has been working with mirrored surfaces as a canvas since the 1960s. This is his most recent series of mirrored paintings, depicting startlingly lifelike shelving units containing everyday arrangements of shoes, domestic objects and wholesale containers.  In 1969 he wrote: “The mirror paintings could not live without an audience. They were created and re-created according to the movement and to the interventions they reproduced.” As a result, no view of his mirrored works can ever be the same – the viewer and surrounding background is as much a part of the frame as the shapes within it.


Film and Performance

BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival at BFI Southbank (21 March – 1 April)

London’s annual LGBTQ+ film festival returns with 12 days of screenings and special presentations of new and classic films. Look out for My Days of Mercy, a love story about two women with beliefs at alternate ends of the political spectrum starring Ellen Page and Kate Mara, as well as the must-see season Aids on Film, which includes Tom Joslin’s incredible 1993 documentary Silverlake Life: The View From Here.


Playback: BOOTH: Salon Presents Rising Female Filmmakers at ICA London (25 March)

Hosted by BOOTH, a London-based platform for women in film, this salon screens short film works made by talented, emerging filmmakers. It’s part of Playback, a larger film festival screening over 300 films by exciting, upcoming artists running 21-25 March. Add this salon to your diary, and watch the work of prodigious talent before it even makes it to the film festival circuit.



Molly Goddard in Conversation at V&A | Molly Goddard (23 March)

The cult London fashion designer discusses her celebrated tulle dresses, inspirations and the laidback style of her Fashion Week presentations. Don’t sit on this one – her last Fashion in Motion show at V&A was a fast sell-out.


Gentrification: Where Are We Now? at ICA | Voices That Shake!, Ish & Daniel Renwick (10 March)

This programme of short films and debates explores the presence in our daily lives of state violence, racist policing, poverty, Islamophobia, knife crime and knife-related deaths, to war, terror and ‘counter-terror’ culture. A premiere of short film Surviving the State will show, alongside Failed By The State: The Struggle in the Shadow of Grenfell, a timely and urgent grassroots report into how austerity and gentrification contributed to the Grenfell Tower tragedy.


‘Like A Woman’ Pop-up bookshop on Rivington Road, Shoreditch | Penguin, Waterstones & Solace Women’s Aid (5 – 9 March)

A bookshop selling only books written by women pops up in Shoreditch to mark both International Women’s Day and 100 years of the Representation of the People Act (which was the first step in extending women’s right to vote.) The shop will play host to a number of events including ‘Looking Good’, which unpicks how class, race, faith, culture and politics are tangled up in how we present ourselves to the world, hosted by Mostly Lit, podcaster Raifa Rafiq, Editor Bethany Rutter and author and #SAGGYBOOBSMATTER activist Chidera Eggerue.


RES|FEST18 at The Courtauld Institute of Art | Rachel Ara , Denis Pellerin, Edwin Coomasaru, Koko Brown & More (14 March)

This is an action-packed evening of lightning talks, performances and exhibits that celebrate art history, curating and conservation. With events spilling across The Courtauld’s buildings in Somerset House, RES|FEST 18 also celebrates the connection and collaboration between The Courtauld’s Institute and Gallery – the ultimate goal simply being to demonstrate why art history matters more than ever in our image-saturated post-truth world.


Words by Stevie Mackenzie-Smith | Feature image: Installation view of “Giorgio Griffa: A Continuous Becoming,” 2018, at Camden Arts Centre, London. ©MARK BLOWER (via Camden Arts Centre)

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