In pictures: the W* photography desk’s 2015 digest of visual inspiration

Retrospecting Sandy Hill

(Image credit: Chris Shaw)

Retrospecting Sandy Hill
22 December

Chris Shaw turned to photography because college didn't suit him. In his own words, he was the only northerner in a class full of southerners, and in 1987, used his camera to connect with the people he felt more at home with. This took the form of nearby Sandy Hill estate – a jumble of oddly designed houses on the border of Surrey, containing 'normal' people Shaw was more inclined to talk to.

Retrospecting Sandy Hill  – new from Mörel books– contains portraits and snapshot glimpses of day to day life on the estate. With scribbled annotations, torn edges and scrawled crossings out, the publication is an authentic documentation of a cul-de-sac of English history.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Feed me

(Image credit: Stephen Shore)

Feed me
21 December

New from the London-based independent publisher MörelInstagram is photographer Stephen Shore's third tome constructed around the collective remits of spontaneity, randomness and tight time constraints.

The book collects Shore's Instagram feed to date, collating the entirety of his image feed and exploring both his use of the app as a photographic tool and the community-building potentials therein.

Ubiquitous uber-curator Hans Ulrich Obrist has also contributed to the book, scanning the extent of Shore's feed – printed on each left hand page of the book – and selecting images to detail on the right.

Instagram is released in a limited edition of 200 copies.

Writer: Tom Howells

Zirkusartisten ('Circus performers'), 1926–1932

(Image credit: Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – August Sander Archiv)

The past is a foreign country
18 December

Currently on view at Antwerp's FOMU Foto Museum, 'August Sander – Masterpieces and Discoveries' is a major retrospective on the hugely influential German photographer.

Though most lauded for his portraits of 'People of the 20th Century' (work from which is on display here), the exhibition transcends just that series to include a wealth of material exploring myriad themes, including images of pre- and post-Second World War Cologne, botanical and industrial surveys, and German landscape photography.

The oeuvre spans five decades, and the show features over 300 original prints. Curated by Gabriele Conrath-Scholl, Rein Deslé and Joachim Naudts, 'August Sander – Masterpieces and Discoveries' is on view until 14 February 2016.

Pictured: Zirkusartisten ('Circus performers'), 1926–1932. Courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – August Sander Archiv, Cologne; SABAM, Bruxelles, 2015

Writer: Tom Howells

The Poet of Light

(Image credit: Photograph courtesy Laurence Miller Gallery)

The poet of light
17 December

In a career spanning five decades, Ray Metzker quietly and dedicatedly altered the course of modern photography. The American-born image maker is best known for his large 'composites' – assemblages of printed film strips and single frames. Throughout his career, Metzker's subject was light itself; people and objects were there simply to react with the source, rather than the other way round. 

Featuring a small, never-before-seen macquette of 12 contact-light-shape prints organised into a grid, Laurence Miller Gallery's exhibition of Ray Metzker's work brakes new ground. The collection also displays his well-known favourites, like Philadelphia 1963 (printed 1985), pictured here, and the show presents a singular opportunity to view a great master's work in its most complete form.

'Ray Metzker: The Poet of Light'  is on view until 23 December 2015.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Pawn Shop, Ozone Park, New York

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist and carlier | gebauer)

Eyes around the world
15 December

Currently showing at Zurich's Helmhaus, the sixth edition of 'Welt-Bilder / World Images' continues the globe-spanning anthropological scope of a photographic project now in its tenth year.

The exhibition features work with a variety of compositional and technical approaches, in myriad sizes and presentations, encompassing a breadth of contemporary photography – presenting a sprawling, enlightening and confounding take on the world around us through the eyes – and lenses – of a sensitively curated range of international practitioners.

'Welt-Bilder / World Images 6' is on view until 21 February 2016.

Pawn Shop, Ozone Park, New York, by Paul Graham, 2013.

Architecture of Density, Scout Shots

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist and Flowers Gallery)

Hidden patterns of Hong Kong
16 December

The German photographer Michael Wolf has been documenting the enveloping, sprawling cityscape of Hong Kong since 1994, exploring both heady high-rise architecture and the dense network of laneways and alleys that comprise the metropolis's wormholes and makeshift storage spaces.

A selection of Wolf's detailed – almost anthropological – surveying of the latter is currently on show at London's Flowers Gallery, entitled 'Informal Arrangements'. Many focus on the banal personal flotsam positioned through these spaces – coat hangers, chairs, gloves – while others pick out the dense, inadvertent patterns in piping and apartment facades. All transpose the everyday into images variously surreal and affecting.

'Hong Kong’s back alleys are often unnoticed against their more glamorous counterparts of dazzling architecture,' Wolf explains. 'However, they present an authentic slice of Hong Kong’s grass roots culture. In my opinion they should be nominated as a heritage site.'

Pictured: Architecture of Density, Scout Shots, by Michael Wolf, 2015.

Writer: Tom Howells

Beach and Fog, Barcelona

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist)

Christmas gifts
14 December

Founded in the autumn of this year by photographer Mark Sherratt and his wife Hayley, a trainee doctor, Prints for Refugees is a photography-based initiative established to raise much-needed funds for Doctors of the World UK, currently the only charity providing on the ground medical aid to refugees in Calais.

Myriad esteemed photographers – including Spencer Murphy, Mimi Mollica, Kalpesh Lathigra, Sam Robinson and, recently, Rankin – have donated signed prints to the cause, which are priced between £45 and £1500.

Thus far, £10,000 has been raised for the cause, though Prints for Refugees are aiming to hit £25,000 by Christmas. A good reason for photography enthusiasts to dig deep over the next week.

Pictured: Beach and Fog, Barcelona, by Sam Robinson.

Writer: Tom Howells

Nature Magique

(Image credit: Guy Bourdin)

Nature Magique
11 December

Translating to 'Magic Nature,' this new book of renowned French photographer Guy Bourdin's outlandish work focuses on the influence of mother nature in 33 of his images.

Launching in collaboration with his exhibition 'Avant-Garde' currently on show at Fotografiska Museet in Stockholm, the title explores the theme in juxtapositions. From bright and floral to monochromatic shots of decaying trees and ominous landscapes, they delve into the world of Bourdin's surrealist style.

The book will be available from Fotografiska Museet, where 'Avant-Garde' remains on show till 21 February.

Writer: Sujata Burman

Pictured: 20 Ans, c. 1977. Nature Magique, published by Jane and Jeremy


(Image credit: Ron Jude)

Lago youth
10 December

Ron Jude has collated 54 photographs for his new publication Lago, which tells the story of the region where he spent his early years, in the mid-1960s. 

This look at the arid, Californian desert contains images made more recently (between 2011 and 2014), affording a grown-up perspective of Jude's childhood.

Throughout the collection, Jude looks for rhythms and patterns in the Salton Sea region, which appears desolate except for venomous spiders and discarded, sun-burnt pornography. A barren landscape such as this might not seem a captivating enough subject for a whole photobook, but, thanks to Jude's poetic sensibility and his talent for creating features from featureless landscapes, Lago is wildly successful.

Pictured: Untitled by Ron Jude, 2015. Lago, £35, is published by MACK

Writer: Elly Parsons

Housing and Shipyard, Wallsend, Tyneside

(Image credit: Courtesy Galerie f5,6)

It's grey up north
9 December

This Christmas, Munich's Galerie f5,6 presents a nostalgic selection of works from northern-English photographer Chris Killip. Documenting his home town of Huddersfield over the course of 25 years, an intimate and unique portrait of a chilly, urban England comes to life.

Despite the collection's forcefully political tone, the images don't come across as preachy or journalistic, thanks to the warmness that can only come from being a proud local. Artistry and elegance appear in the soft, greyscale faces of Tyneside pub-goers, or the white curled ringlets of elderly ladies, celebrating the Silver Jubilee.

Killip now lives in the USA and teaches at Harvard. His work has been featured at MOMA, New York; Museum Folkwang, Essen; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, among many others. His typically British photography traces a wistful, visual thread back to his roots.

'Chris Killip' is on view until 16 January 2016.

Pictured: Housing and Shipyard, Wallsend, Tyneside, by Chris Killip, 1975.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Untitled, from the seires 'Ametsuchi'

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist)

Now and Then
8 December

Priska Pasquer has chosen a Japanese theme to characterise the second exhibition in its new Cologne rooms. As the title suggests, Now and Then comprises both modern works, and those dating back to post-war Japan. It also suggests the transient, momentary nature of the images, that juggle the invisible with the visible, always hinting to what is just out of shot.

In terms of media, the exhibition is eclectic - studious shots from Rinko Kawauchi (pictured here) rub shoulders with the bright pop aesthetic of Mika Ninagawa, which is juxtaposed by a digital LED installation by Tatsuo Miyajima. The diverse nature of the collected works, when paired with the artist's shared, open approach, casts a sensitive, yet discerning eye over contemporary Japanese culture.

Now and Then remains at Priska Pasquer in Cologne, Germany until 23 January 2016.

Pictured: Untitled, from the seires 'Ametsuchi', by Rinko Kawauchi, 2013. 

Writer: Elly Parsons

Gathered Leaves

(Image credit: Alex Soth)

'Gathered Leaves' by Alec Soth
7 December

Aptly taking its name from Walt Whitman's autobiographical poem 'Song of Myself', Gathered leaves is a mid-life recollection of Alec Soth's work. The name's meaning is multifaceted. As well as recalling the American of all American poets, it invokes the process of collecting seemingly disperate sheets of paper, from four of Soth's best loved photobooks. Images from Sleeping by the Mississippi, Niagara, Broken Manual and Songbook are all included. Famously, these images capture Soth's middle-America with an insistance on revealing his subject's vulnerability, with sensitvity, patience and wit. 

In itself, Gathered Leaves is an impressive object. Each of the photographs is presented on a distinct, large-format postcard, with an essay by Aaron Schuman on the back, and a touching forward by Kate Bush. Bound together in a luxurious printed and embossed clamshell box, the experience of 'Falling asleep on the gather'd leaves' as Whitman did in his poem is extended to the thick, downy casing.

The book is being released in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name at London's Science Museum, which continues until 28 March 2016.

Picture: Gathered Leaves, by Alec Soth, £50, published by MACK books.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Fractured Light, Budapest

(Image credit: Sylvia Plachy)

Festive treats
4 December

Opening tomorrow (Saturday 5 December), Hamburg's Flo Peters Gallery welcomes in the festive season with an expansive group show, 'Merry Christmas from Flo Peters Gallery.

On view until 30 January, the round-up features work spanning the past century, from over 20 lauded artists including Eve Arnold, Edward Quinn, Franz Hubmann, Elliott Erwitt, Sylvia Plachy, Jacques-Henri Lartigue and Horst P Horst.

Pictured: Fractured Light, Budapest, by Sylvia Plachy, 1976

Writer: Tom Howells

the collated 'likes' of Ann Woo (left) and Jeremy Liebman (right)

(Image credit: Ann Woo and Jeremy Liebman)

Digital obsessions
3 December

Opening tomorrow, 'Current Obsessions' – a collaboration between London 'creative community' Wandering Bears and the London/New York based agency Webber Represents– is an exhibition featuring the curated Instagram 'likes' of a range of lauded photographers, editors and artists.

The results – nearly a month's worth of digital images from practitioners including photographers Ann Woo and Jeremy Liebman, Webber Gallery curator Dominic Bell, Vogue's Rachel Lucas-Craig and AnOther's Holly Hay – were collated onto individual Tumblr sites and printed onto long sheets of A3 paper (installed here). 'The result,' Wandering Bears founder Peter Haynes explains, 'is a display of modern day image consumption.'

'Current Obsessions' is on view at Webber's Newman Street gallery until 18 December

Pictured: the collated 'likes' of Ann Woo (left) and Jeremy Liebman (right)

Writer: Tom Howells

Studio 54 cabaret couple, 1977

(Image credit: Bill Bernstein)

The last days of disco
2 December

'Who were these people of the night…? It was the Posers. The Watchers. The Posers watching other Posers watching the Waters, watching the Dancers, watching themselves.'

Thus spake Bill Bernstein of New York City's late 70s nocturnal highlife. After witnessing first-hand the madness of Studio 54 on a Village Voice assignment, the photographer subsequently immersed himself in the city's disco scene, shooting the assembled patrons of clubs like Paradise Garage, Hurrah, Mudd Club, GG's Barnum Room, 2001 and Xenon – spaces that transcended linear boundaries of sex, age, gender and class.

His work is on show in 'Disco: The Bill Bernstein Photographs', opening tomorrow at Serena Morton Gallery on Ladbroke Grove – itself an accompanying exhibition to the book of the same name, available now via Reel Art Press.

Pictured: Studio 54 cabaret couple, 1977.

Writer: Tom Howells

The Home Front

(Image credit: Photography courtesy the artist and MACK)

Stranger than fiction
1 December

In The Home Front, the Oregon-born photographer Kenneth Graves explores the transitional America of the 1960s and 70s. His images exemplify photography's potential as a 'tool to document everyday surrealism, the improbable episodes and happy accidents which unfold before the camera'.

The book – published by MACK and available now – features 45 tritone plates over 80 pages, comprising snatched scenes that are simultaneously irreveverant and workaday; peeling back a veil to reveal the inordinate strangeness of the everyday.

Writer: Tom Howells

Yellow Market Sign and Parking Lot

(Image credit: Courtesy Eggleston Artistic Trust)

Beautifully boring
30 November

Featuring works by Robert Adams, William Eggleston, Charles Johnstone, Stephen Shore and Alec Soth, among others, 'Beauty in the Banal' is a new exhibition at Kunsthandel Jörg Maaß in Berlin. The display peeks into the deliberately dull world of 1970s middle-American topography, and considers the lasting impact the form has had.

Topography can be defined as the study and elevation of the banal, into something exciting, exotic or beautiful. This challenging type of image-making is categorised by ditch-water subject matter (suburban houses, industrial warehouses, unremarkable landscapes) displayed in a rigorously formal way (so no cheating, or trying to liven things up in post-production).

Here we find the masters of the new topographics side-by-side, creating a well-rounded, pleasantly nostalgic view of billboard, salt-mine, cattle-range America in the 1970s. Through this exhibition, it becomes clear that new topography, now nearly half a century old, created some of the most striking, bathetic images in recent history, capturing an America that has now all but vanished.

'Beauty in the Banal: American Topographic Photography' is on view from 4 December 2015 until 12 February 2016.

Pictured: Yellow Market Sign and Parking Lot, by William Eggleston, 1999-2000.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Nicolas Haeni & Thomas Rousset spread, from Self Publish, Be Happy: A DIY Photobook Manual and Manifesto

(Image credit: Bruno Ceschel)

Self publish, be happy
27 November

The photobook renaissance. It's happened, and Bruno Ceschel puts it all down to the explosive trend of self-publishing. Self Publish, Be Happy: A DIY Photobook Manual and Manifesto is the physical manifestation of a growing international community of photographers who are choosing to print their own work. One part photo-journal, one part solo-press guidebookthis volume celebrates author-published images, and solidifies self-publishing's increasingly dominant presence.

The book comes as part of a much wider project pioneered by Ceschel. For five years, he has been running workshops, events and web projects to promote self-publishing as a tool for young artists. As pages close on traditional publishing methods, and online photo sharing clicks along nicely, this DIY approach looks set to be the future of the physical photobook.

Business as Usual: Self Publish, Be Happy is in residence at The Photographers’ Gallery in London from 20 until 27 November. 

Pictured: Nicolas Haeni & Thomas Rousset spread, from Self Publish, Be Happy: A DIY Photobook Manual and Manifesto, by Bruno Ceschel, published by Aperture/SPBH Editions 2015 .

Writer: Elly Parsons

Unseen City

(Image credit: Courtesy of Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington)

Atmospheres of Auckland
26 November

City Gallery in Wellington revisits Aukland’s photographic history this year, with an exhibition of Gary Baigent’s iconic photobook The Unseen City: 123 Photographs of Auckland (1967).

Prior to Baigent’s book release, the area was damp with an artistically sterile atmosphere – Baigent provided the remedy. Although today his photographs might seem conventional, when they were released, they were groundbreaking and unpopular. Baigent was the first local photographer to capture life on the streets, going against the grain of scenic New Zealand photobooks for tourists.

Alongside Baigent’s gritty, controversial images, the exhibition will feature other classic Auckland art: drawings from Robert Ellis and Rodney Charter’s seminal Film Exercise (1966), with a soundtrack from local, old-time favourites, the La De Da’s.

Unseen City will be at the City Gallery in Wellington  until March 2016.

Pictured: Pigeon, Parnell, by Gary Baigent, 1965. 

Writer: Elly Parsons

Bird Bald Book Bubble Bucket Brick Potato

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist, with thanks to Andrea Kozma and Elmer Szatmari)

Foam searches for fresh, international talent
25 November

Innovative, international image-makers applied in their hundreds to be featured in Foam Magazine's renowned annual New Talent issue. Only 21 of the 1,500 who applied made the cut. The criteria? You must be under 35. The result? A wildly disparate range of accomplished photographs and portfolios. Helpfully, each set of images is accompanied by a short essay by the photographer, offering insight into their concept.

The platform Foam creates here is invaluable. A new generation of photographers is provided with a unique platform on the world stage, but above this, the world is given untapped access into a whole host of images from the big names of the future - a real treat.

On 10 November, the corresponding exhibition opened in l’Atelier Néerlandais in Paris, until 20 December, when it will continue its tour around other European venues, including De Markten in Brussels next February.

Pictured: Bird Bald Book Bubble Bucket Brick Potato by Marton Perlaki.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Vision, Mont Saint Pierre, Quebec, 1975

(Image credit: Courtesy: The artist and gallery Le Réverbère, Lyon © Serge Clément)

All about the journey

A collection of Serge Clement's black and white photographs are on show at Fotografie Forum in Frankfurt. Taken over his forty year career, the images are part of a collection called 'Dépaysé,' translating to 'out of place' or 'feeling lost.' This resonates the narrative of a journey in these pictures, which travel from an eerie river-side Motel in Québec City and an Autumnal street in Outremont to this seaside view in Mont-st-Pierre, also in QC. The selection creates a feel of intimacy and invites the viewer along for a long journey which is both slightly ominous and figurative.

Clement is a Canadian-born photographer and his work has been known worldwide since the 70s. 'Dépaysé' is curated by Catherine Bédard and Celina Lunsford and will remain on show till February 2016.

Pictured: Vision, Mont Saint Pierre, Quebec, 1975. Courtesy: The artist and gallery Le Réverbère, Lyon © Serge Clément

Writer Sujata Burman

Momentum behind the medium

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist, Beetles+Huxley and Osborne Samuel)

Momentum behind the medium
23 November

Showcasing 150 of the most iconic, progressive and interesting works from the last 100 years, Beetles+ Huxle in association with Osborne Samuel Gallery  presents The Photographers 2015 - a celebration of how far photography has come as a medium. The art form has steadily climbed the ranks of collectability and credibility, and here, everything from early twentieth-century vintage prints to contemporary, cutting-edge nudes are represented. The exhibition features 49 of the art world's most sought after and influential photographers, like Richard Avedon, Edward Weston and Ren Hang (whose work is pictured here), and takes a broad view, allowing for a vast range of techniques, subjects and styles. This serves to illustrate the diversity and scope at the photography collector's disposal, whilst also reflecting the comparatively good value the form still possesses.

The Photographers 2015 will run from 25 November until 23 December 2015 across both Beetles+Huxley Gallery and the Osborne Samuel Gallery in London's Mayfair.

Pictured: Untitled by Ren Hang. 

Writer: Elly Parsons

Mohammed Ali

(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist and Bildhalle)

Story of a champ

In 1966, Thomas Hoepker had exclusive access to a young Muhammad Ali in London, Chicago and later in Miami. He followed the boxing hero’s movements, fascinated by his rollercoaster personality, sharp-wit and vivid intelligence, all of which packed a punch photographically.

As the exhibition name suggests, Thomas Hoepker: Ali and Beyond covers more than just the Ali images, focusing on Hoepker’s broader body of work. After Ali, Hoepker specialised in reportage photography and stylish colour features in a career spanning over 50 years.

The exhibition title also denotes the style of Hoepker’s work. Each image possesses a quality of ‘beyond-ness’. Hoepkner has become known for creating images deeper in meaning than they might appear at first glance. Notably, the ‘most iconic photo of 9/11’ of American’s seemingly relaxing in front of the twin towers.

Thomas Hoepker: Ali and Beyond is at Bildhalle in Zurich until 14 January, 2016.

Pictured: Mohammed Ali

Writer: Elly Parsons

Alan's Cow Grainne (quietest cow in Mayo milled for the house. This Charolais cow had 17 calves and lived to be 21)

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist)

The matter of landscape
19 November

Celebrated, self-taught photographer Tom Wood has a new exhibition at the Centre Cultural Irlandes in Paris. Paysages Intimes (curated by Mark Durden, photography professor at South Wales University) takes an in depth look at Wood's work in relation to the landscape of County Mayo, Ireland, where he grew up. 

Wood is arguably best known for his portraits: the characters he saw whilst riding the bus in Liverpool, or dancing at the Chelsea Reach Disco (as seen in his first book, Looking for Love). This exhibition gives a voice to the quieter side of Wood's photography. Instead of people, the solemn, wild beauty of the Irish countryside is captured. Human traces can still be felt, however, in the odd wind-blown clothes-line, or the blurry dog left off the leash, or here, in the comedic figure at one with his cow.

Paysages Intimes is on display at the Centre Cultural Irlandes until 10 January 2016.

Pictured: Alan's Cow Grainne (quietest cow in Mayo milled for the house. This Charolais cow had 17 calves and lived to be 21), by Tom Wood, 1977.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Amateur photographer photographs starlets at the Cannes film Festival

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist and Magnum Photos)

The 1960s: Photographed by David Hurn
18 November

David Hurn shot to fame with his early photojournalistic work capturing the Hungarian revolution, and went on to photograph famous subjects like James Bond and Barbarella. This book focuses on his sixties images, exploring the turbulent era through its most recognisable pop-figures and pop-moments.

The uniqueness of this collection comes in its well roundedness: shots of the Beatles are interspersed with images of their hysterical fans, debutantes coming out at Queen Charlotte’s Ball are just a few page-turns away from scenes at Soho’s strip clubs. Through the journalistic eyes of a man who saw it all unfolding, a nostalgic and entertaining account of the flower-power decade is formed.

The book will be accompanied by an exhibition of David Hurn’s 1960s photographs at Magnum Print RoomThe 1960s: Photographed by David Hurn is published by Reel Art Press, £29.95

Pictured: Amateur photographer photographs starlets at the Cannes film Festival, by David Hurn, 1963.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Pages from the Glossies

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist and Taschen)

Naked fashion
November 17

To many he was a revolutionary feminist, to others, a pornographer. Either way, Helmut Newton was a widely imitated, powerful photographer, who left the fashion industry wanting more for half a decade. The new tome, Helmut Newton: Pages from the Glossies, focuses on his most memorable magazine commissions, many of which still have the dynamicity to shock audiences today.

Interspersed with the photographs are lively personal anecdotes, which reveal some of Newton’s most intimate moments. We follow him scouting models, setting up a shot with the captain of a nuclear submarine, collaborating with Anna Wintour, and facing (head-on) a wildly disparate public opinion towards the female form as fashion object.

The book release coincides with an exhibition of the same name at Helmut Newton Stiftung, Museum für Fotografie from December 04, 2015 - May 22, 2016.

Helmut Newton: Pages from the Glossies is published by Taschen, £34.99. Picture: Vogue francais, 6/7/1973 by Helmut Newton. 

Writer: Elly Parsons

Destroyed water tank in Tel Al-Hauwa

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist and Fondation Carmignac)

Photojournalism as art
16 November

From Wednesday – and for the first time – the work of every previous winner of the Carmignac Photojournalism Award will be displayed together, at London's Saatchi Gallery. Coinciding with the sixth iteration of the prize, the exhibition will showcase a selection of 40 photographs from the reports of Newsha Tavakolian (documenting Iran), Davide Monteleone (Chechnya), Robin Hammond (Zimbabwe), Massimo Berruti (Pashtunistan), Kai Wiedenhöfer (Gaza) and, this year's winner, Christophe Gin (French Guiana).

The photographs cover some of the most dangerous, hermetic and war-torn areas of the world. In doing so, the lines between journalism, contemporary art and activism are blurred, and the images provide a moving insight into the radical role photojournalism plays in the art world, as well as the world of reportage.

Pictured: Destroyed water tank in Tel Al-Hauwa, by Kai Wiedenhöfer, 2010.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Tokyo Parrots 039

(Image credit: Courtesy Christophe Guye Galerie)

Mizutani looks skywards
13 November

On show until March 2016, 'Tokyo Parrots – Yusurika – Moonlight' is the first Swiss exhibtion by the Japanese photographer Yoshinori Mizutani, held at the Art Space of Au Premier, Zurich. Curated by Christophe Guye Galerie, the well-known Tokyo Parrots series is displayed alongside two newer sets of works: Yusurika and Moonlight.

The earlier photographs explore the surreal phenomenon of Tokyo’s parakeet infestation, bright green wings flapping against a pastel-pink sky. Although his lens is still pointed up, the subject matter takes a darker turn in Mizutani's later work, the lime-coloured birds replaced by an eerie, blood-orange moon behind pine needles. Throughout each series, Mizutani’s natural attunement to depth and layering is evident - an indication as to why he has quickly become one of the most respected young Japanese photographers working today.

Photograph: Tokyo Parrots 039, by Yoshinori Mizutani, 2013.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Mazahua women

(Image credit: Courtesy of Throckmorton Fine Art)

The female gaze
12 October

On show at New York's Throckmorton Fine Art until Saturday, 'Mexican Photography: Women Pioneers I' presents the black-and-white work of a number of influential female Mexican photographers.

The esteemed practitioners featured – from the late Lola Alvarez Bravo, Tina Modotti and Mariana Yampolsky, to contemporary working artists such as Lourdes Almeida, Cristina Kahlo and Colette Urbajtel – vary in scope and approach, and the work on show broadly explores portrait, landscape, socio-cultural and surreal photography.

Pictured: Mazahua women, by Mariana Yampolsky, 1989. 

Writer: Tom Howells

Tree- 1

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist)

We may have met before
11 November

Currently showing at Amsterdam’s Foam Museum ‘We May Have Met Before’ encourages viewers to examine their beliefs about Chinese culture. Curated by Feng Boyi, Liu Gang and Wang Dong, seven multi-generational Chinese photographers are exhibited – each focusing their lens on a different aspect of Chinese culture, within which exists a widespread belief that photography is not art. (Fan Xi, for instance, tests the boundaries of what one deems photography by printing on unusual or unconventional materials like wood or marble.)

Despite the variety of subjects displayed (everything from traditional Chinese artifacts to stark black-and-white images of the human body) a sense of loneliness and emptiness pervades each piece in the exhibition, resulting in an intense yet fascinating window into contemporary Chinese culture. 'We May Have Met Before' is on view until 17 January 2016.

Pictured: Tree- 1, by Fan Xi, 2014–15.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Pandora's Box, The Dressing Room I

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist and Magnum Photos)

Up Close & Personal
10 October

For the next three days (specifically, until 6pm on 13 November) the Magnum Photos Online Store is holding a Square Print Sale, in which museum quality prints, signed by the photographer, will be available for $100 each.

The photo set on sale – entitled 'Up Close & Personal: The Most Intimate Photographs from Magnum' – is a curated collection of the agency's meditations on 'the delicate space between public and private', accompanied with contextualising quotes from the photographers.

Pictured: Pandora's Box, The Dressing Room I, by Susan Meiselas, New York City, 1995. 'A private moment,' says the photographer of the photo, 'becomes more intimate because I am there.'

Writer: Tom Howells

Beyond Beauty

(Image credit: Irving Penn)

Pages of Penn
9 November

'His powerful vision proved defining in an astonishing range of places and with almost a full inventory of the world's peoples,' writes Elizabeth Braun, Margaret and Terry Stent director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in her foreword to Irving Penn – Beyond Beauty, a new catalogue of the photographer's work. 'His subject was life itself  – who we are, who he was – and no sooner did his audience absorb one body of imagery than he presented another that was contrary or at least something else.'

The book – published to accompany the exhibition of the same name – features 161 images (some previously unseen) from Penn's extensive and varied career, beautifully reproduced and contextualised with an essay by the curator and arts writer Merry A Foresta.

Irving Penn – Beyond Beauty, $45, is published by Yale University Press

Writer: Tom Howells

On The Road

(Image credit: Daido Mariyama)

Moriyama's endless journey
6 November

'The black and white tells about my inner world, my emotions and deep feelings that I feel every day walking through the streets of Tokyo or other cities, as a vagabond aimlessly. The color describes what I meet without any filters, and I like to record it for what it looks like to me.'

Thus spake the Japanese master black-and-white photographer Hiromichi (Daido) Moriyama captured in a video interview that forms the introduction to 'Daido Moriyama in Color', a major new exhibition on the man's work at Milan's Galleria Carla Sozzani.

The works on show, drawn from the late 1960s and early 1980s – cultural eras that saw Japan split between tradition and modernity – maintain a focus on the street as setting, comprising an 'endless journey' for the photographer, influenced in part by Kerouac's On The Road.

Writer: Tom Howells

Tom Waits, Santa Rosa, CA, 2004

(Image credit: Photography courtesy the artist)

Hot shot
5 November

To call Anton Corbijn a heavyweight of contemporary cultural photography is to do a grand disservice to a career that has spanned four decades. It's startling how ubiquitous his images of individuals like Pavarotti, REM, Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Björk have become – whether or not you've heard of the man, you'll certainly have seen his work.

To mark Corbijn's 60th birthday, ℅ Berlin is hosting a sprawling retrospective exhibition, comprising around 600 photographs, as well as additional films and other material.

The show is split into two distinct series: 'Hollands Deep' explores Corbijn's full oeuvre, including early works, personal projects and conceptual collections; while '1-2-3-4' focuses specifically on the photographer's work with bands and musicians.

Pictured: Tom Waits, Santa Rosa, CA, 2004.

Writer: Tom Howells

Babugeri, Bansko, Bulgaria

(Image credit: Courtesy Charles Fréger)

Faces of Europe
4 November

'Mask' – a two person show open now at Belfast Exposed(o) – explores the relationship between photography and the mask in the context of folkloric and traditional masquerade festivities across Europe, via the work of Axel Hoedt and Charles Fréger.

Hoedt's 'Dusk' series traverses the culture of carnival found in Austria, Switzerland and southwest Germany, imbued with lurid colour and florid headdresses; while Fréger's documentation of the European 'wild man' occupies more primal, beastly territory.

The latter is exemplified in his shots of the Bulgarian 'Babugeri' – a hybrid human-cum-horse, faceless and buried beneath an encompassing mane. Also known as 'woodwose' or 'wooser' in regional vernacular, the wild man is a figure that spans disconnected European cultural groups (though reported, admittedly, in rather fewer numbers these days). 

Pictured: Babugeri, Bansko, Bulgaria, by Charles Fréger.

Writer: Tom Howells

Un gorille dans lascensuer, 1990

(Image credit: Atelier Robert Doisneau)

Natural history
3 November

On view now at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 'Robert Doisneau: A Photographer at the Museum' is a beguiling exhibition drawing on two reports the man produced for the institution (the first in 1942–43, the second in 1990).

The show's 128 images are surreal, even phantasmagoric – comprehensible only in the context of the museum's surroundings. In one, a female scientist appears to embrace a decrepit, mummified partner; in another, a shadowy figure peers at a jar of pickled baby sharks. Perhaps the most charming example sees a gorilla – we presume stuffed – waiting patiently (eternally?) to escape a lift carriage in the museum's gardens.

Pictured: Un gorille dans lascensuer, 1990.

Writer: Tom Howells

Naucalpan, Mexico City

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist)

Old school / new school
2 November

Opening Thursday at London's Roman Road gallery, 'Tempo al Tempo: Art from Anno Domini to Roni Horn' is a group exhibition curated by the lauded landscape photographer Domingo Milella and Bruno Botticelli, an antiques specialist.

The show juxtaposes (largely anonymous) ancient works with those by respected contemporary artists to encourage new contexts of interpretation for both. Thus, myriad small images by Milella are overviewed by a c. 1460 painting by Bartolomeo Vivarini of Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Elsewhere, Darren Almond's 21 digital flip clocks sit 'in conversation' with a marble swan sculpture; while photographs by Thomas Struth and Roni Horn hang in close proximity to a piece of Roman sarcophagus, its surface rendered incomprehensible from a few hundred years spent at the bottom of a river.

Pictured: Naucalpan, Mexico City, by Domingo Milella, 2004.

Writer: Tom Howells

Staircase & two rooms, 2014

(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery)

Indecisive moments
30 October

A whole generation of photographers dedicated their careers to recording human experience as it unfolded before them - Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans and Robert Frank, for example - but not Jeff Wall. He is a man who's technique and craft rival the greats in popularity but unlike them, his images are painstakingly staged. Down to the very last detail. So too will his new show be staged, simultaneously in New York and London at Marian Goodman Gallery.  

Both exhibitions will present new photographs created over the last eighteen months, charting his unique 'near-documentary' style. Wall's work engages in a boundless exploration of truth and artifice, combining street and studio, reportage and construction. 

New York and London exhibitions run until 19 December

Pictured: Staircase & two rooms, 2014.

Writer: Sam Roger

Victorian portraiture

(Image credit: Esther Teichmann)

Dream worlds
29 October

The work of Esther Teichmann – whose new exhibition 'In Search of Lightning' opens tomorrow at Galerie les Filles du Calvaire, Paris – amalgamates photography, collage and painting into quietly lurid dreamscapes, at once recalling skewed iterations of classic exploration imagery, Victorian portraiture and the cover of Fleetwood Mac's underrated 1987 opus Tango In The Night.

That's disingenuous (perhaps), but Teichmann's work is beguiling in its atmospheric density. 'Her work exploits the tension between photography’s relationship to reality and sense of otherworldly power,' wrote the curator and writer Jessica Brier in a 2014 essay on Teichmann's practice. 'This complex, even troubled relationship with the medium has yielded a passionate foray into others.'

Writer: Tom Howells

A Photographic Memory 1968–1989

(Image credit: Peter Schlesingerapm)

Schlesinger's life in pictures
28 October

Published by Damiani, Peter Schlesinger: A Photographic Memory 1968–1989 is the first comprehensive overview of the American photographer's extensive oeuvre.

After meeting David Hockney as an 18-year-old UCLA student in 1966, Schlesigner moved to bohemian London. It was an upheaval that would form the inception of a remarkable career that saw the young practitioner shoot many of the world's finest art, fashion and society personalities, from Cecil Beaton and and Christopher Isherwood to Tina Chow and Paloma Picasso – the images of whom are collected here.

Writer: Tom Howells

Automat, 977 Eighth Avenue, New York, 1936

(Image credit: Courtesy Beetles+Huxley, copyright Estate of Berenice Abbott / Getty Images)

Berenice Abbott at Beetles+Huxley
27 October

Comprising early portraiture and scientific photographs, as well as the later 'US Route 1’ series,  ‘Berenice Abbott’ – opening today at London's Beetles+Huxley – is the first UK retrospective of the photographer’s work.

Abbott believed that photography could be ‘the friendly interpreter between science and the layman’ – a theme that permeates her minimalist black and white images of scientific experiments, but also appears in her stark portrayal of famous sitters. Inspired by her bohemian Greenwich Village contemporaries, Abbott captured thinkers like James Joyce and Max Ernst, creating images imbued with an almost scientific air of honesty.

Featuring a plethora of subjects – from 1930s Manhattan at night, to the magnetic movement of a metal key – the exhibition affords new insight into the practice of one of the most ambitious photographers of the 20th century, whilst simultaneously documenting a changing America in meticulous detail.

Pictured: Automat, 977 Eighth Avenue, New York, 1936

Writer: Elly Parsons

Cuba 1959

(Image credit: copyright Burt Glinn / Magnum)

Cuba, 1959
26 October

'Cuba 1959' – both a forthcoming exhibition at London's Serena Morton II gallery and a heavyweight photographic monograph published by Reel Art Press – is a kinetic document of the Cuban revolution by Magnum photographer Burt Glinn.

Shot over nine days in January 1959, the show and book – through myriad iconic and unseen images – track the frenzied reaction to the departure of corrupt dictator Fulgencio Batista and the swift ascent in public opinion of Fidel Castro, the photographer positioning himself in the centre of the action as it unfolded.

'This was no photo-op, ' said Glinn of his experiences. 'This was a real revolution and it was one of the greatest adventures of my life.'

'Cuba 1959' opens on 28 October at Serena Morton II

Writer: Tom Howells

Untitled (photographic postcard), c.1910

(Image credit: Michel Frizot)

Every photograph is an enigma
23 October

Tackling the paradoxes inherent in the art of photography, the Fotomuseum Winterthur’s new exhibition ‘Every Photograph is an Enigma’ explores the form’s philosophical implications.

The exhibition is curated by French photo historian, Michel Frizot – the works are drawn exclusively from photographs in his private collection. Taken by family members, lovers, or unheralded professional and amateur photographers, they reveal a plethora of moments both banal and extraordinary.

It is in this contrast that the inherent magic in photography can be found. ‘The photographic image is a constellation of questions for the eye because it offers viewers forms and signs they have never perceived as such and which conflict with their natural vision,’ explains Frizot.

'Every Photograph is an Enigma' is on display from tomorrow until 14 February 2016.

Pictured: Untitled (photographic postcard), c.1910

Writer: Tom Capon

Beauty Shop, New York, 1949

(Image credit: Courtesy The Irving Penn Foundation)

Irving Penn at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
22 October

In ‘Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty’ – opening tomorrow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum – the photography icon will receive his first retrospective in nearly 20 years. Among 146 photographs drawn from the museum’s permanent collection are 100 images recently donated by the Irving Penn Foundation.

Penn is best known for his seminal fashion, portrait and still life images, and the exhibition boasts work from every stage of his career, including street scenes from the 1930s, celebrity portraits and private studio images that all reveal his trademark predilection for stark simplicity. Further, a series of Super 8 films of Penn travelling in Morocco will be displayed for the first time, affording a newly-intimate glimpse into the artist’s life.

'Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty' is on view until 20 March 2016.

Pictured: Beauty Shop, New York, 1949.

Writer: Tom Capon

work from the book and series Dalston Anatomy

(Image credit: Lorenzo Vitturi)

Future proof
21 October

The inaugural Future Artefacts festival – opening Friday at Shoreditch Studios – is a sprawling showcase for the future of physical media, featuring music, arts, publishing, fashion and tech companies.

From algorithmically generated fabric patterns to immersive virtual reality music videos (by way of a plethora of club nights, a reading by Thurston Moore and myriad vinyl pressings, prints, editions and DIY synthesisers to buy), the expo promises to be the most thrilling exploration of progressive media East London has seen in some time. 

Pictured: work from the book and series Dalston Anatomy, by Lorenzo Vitturi

Writer: Tom Howells

Baseball, 1943

(Image credit: Courtesy Photographic Traveling Exhibitions)

Ansel Adams at war
20 October

Ansel Adams is best known for his austere, high-contrast explorations of the divinity inherent in the American landscape – a visual transcendentalist channelling the philosophies laid down by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau so many years earlier.

'Manzanar: The Wartime Photographs of Ansel Adams' – on view at LA's Skirball Cultural Centre until 21 February 2016 – explores this lesser-known aspect of Adams' oeuvre; an overtly humanistic, 50-photograph survey of life in the titular Japanese American incarceration camp during the Second World War (and a stark commentary on what Adams disapprovingly saw as an 'enforced exodus' of innocent citizens).

Pictured: Baseball, 1943.

Writer: Tom Howells

Lenscrafters, Ace American Insurance, 2015

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong)

Uncanny valley
19 October

The LA-born photographer Alex Prager draws heavily on both her home city and personal experience when creating her images – 'intricately staged works,' explains Galerie des Galeries, Paris, which is hosting her first solo exhibition in France, 'that explore the uncanny elements of today's individual and social life'.

This ethos manifests itself as bold, dramatically lit scenes that affect a simultaneously retro-photographic and painterly quality (it's little surprise that Prager cites Powell & Pressburger and Luis Buñuel as influences). 'Alex Prager' is on view until 23 January 2016.

Pictured: Lenscrafters, Ace American Insurance, 2015.

Writer: Tom Howells

Heiress with dogs, 2014–15

I am a photograph
16 October

The Norwegian Torbjørn Rødland – whose show at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, 'I Am A Photograph', closes today – takes photographs possessed of a lurid, starkly lit tactility. Take his image of strawberries bobbing in a pool of cream – a photograph, the gallery states, that 'nods to Rødland’s analogue process in which form materialises from liquid'.

Sitting alongside shots like this were Rødland's portraits of Paris Hilton; an exploration of the hotel heiress' dual persona of ditzy EDM princess and shrewd business brain.

Pictured: Heiress with dogs, 2014–15. Photography: Hugard & Vanoverschelde. Courtesy the artist and Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels

Writer: Tom Howells

(Image credit: Photography: Hugard & Vanoverschelde. Courtesy the artist and Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels)

I am a photograph
16 October

The Norwegian Torbjørn Rødland – whose show at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, 'I Am A Photograph', closes today – takes photographs possessed of a lurid, starkly lit tactility. Take his image of strawberries bobbing in a pool of cream – a photograph, the gallery states, that 'nods to Rødland’s analogue process in which form materialises from liquid'.

Sitting alongside shots like this were Rødland's portraits of Paris Hilton; an exploration of the hotel heiress' dual persona of ditzy EDM princess and shrewd business brain.

Pictured: Heiress with dogs, 2014–15.

Writer: Tom Howells

Station II, 2015

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist and Edel Assanti)

Intangible heavens
15 October

Though irrefutably modern in its portrayal of man-made technologies juxtaposed with (or, more accurately, suspended in) ancient natural vistas, the work of Noémie Goudal evokes more timeless themes; namely, man's enduring fascination with the sky as an intangible entity rich with history, science, myth and religious significance.

'Noémie Goudal: Southern Light Stations' – on now at the Photographers' Gallery – documents the artist's interest in these interventions via her Towers and Stations series (the former focusing on large-scale telescopic follies, the latter on free floating, celestially-evocative bodies).

Pictured: Station II, 2015.

Writer: Tom Howells

Fire Masks, 1941

(Image credit: Courtesy Lee Miller Archives)

A woman's war
14 October

Opening tomorrow, a new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum – entitled 'Lee Miller: A Woman's War' – explores the female experience of the Second World War through the photography of the eponymous artist.

Miller was one of the conflict's most influential documentarians, working initially as Vogue's official war photographer – documenting the Blitz in detail – and then as a US Army-drafted correspondent for Condé Nast, during which time she produced myriad haunting images of the liberated concentration camps of Dachau and Buchenwald.

Pictured: Fire Masks, 1941.

Writer: Tom Howells

Magnum exhibition

(Image credit: Harry Gruyaert)

Full-colour focus
13 October

Currently on show at London's Magnum Print Room, 'Harry Gruyaert' is the first solo UK exhibition on the work of the influential agency member and Kodak prize winner.

Spanning the broad period of 1972 – 2004, over 30 of Gruyaert's colour saturated images are on display, evincing the photographer's 'emotive, non-narrative and bold graphic' approach in capturing the world around him.

A new English-language monograph on Gruyaert's work – published by Thames and Hudson, with a foreword by François Hébel – coincides with the Magnum exhibition.

Writer: Tom Howells

Toussaint, 1993

(Image credit: Dana Lixenberg and George Pitts)

Community spirit
12 October

Aperture – the New York gallery, bookstore, publisher and self-defined 'centre for the photo community' – will tomorrow host a conversation between photographer Dana Lixenberg and George Pitts, artist, writer and assistant professor in photography at Parsons The New School for Design.

Lixenberg's insightful work tends to focus on marginalised communities and individuals (including native Alaskan Inupiats, homeless populations and, most recently, a housing project in the Watts neighbourhood of South Los Angeles), establishing "a thematic continuity pertaining to the vestiges of time, and the degrees of change that can be recorded by the camera", says Pitts.

Pictured: Toussaint, 1993, from the series Imperial Courts, 1993–2015

Writer: Tom Howells

Vulnerabilia (demonstrations)

(Image credit: Photography courtesy the artist)

Voices from South America
9 October

Encompassing 17.84 million sq km and 387.5 million people, South America is a unique continent, the physical size of which is overshadowed only by its historical expanse – a fact the Michael Hoppen Gallery explores with a new photographic survey, 'Voces: Latin American Photography 1980–2015

Uniting artists from Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, the show’s photography reflects the rich diversity of the continent’s countries by various interpretations of the photographic medium: instead of capturing the mythical ‘real’, they manipulate the images through filters, lighting, and juxtaposition in order to conjure the political, social or purely aesthetic beauty locked within. Each artist carries a distinct voice with their chosen subject – whether personal, universal or both.

Pictured: Vulnerabilia (demonstrations), by Jonathan Hernandez, 2008–2010.

Writer: Tom Capon

from Army of Me editorial for I Love Fake issue 3

(Image credit: Michal Pudelka)

New visual dialogues
8 October

There's an ever-increasing liminal space between the disciplines of art and fashion, marched forward in no small part by the advent of limitless connectivity – or as the organisers of Uncontaminated: Oslo Fashion Art Festival put it, an emergence of 'a new frontier of fashion art in the current climate of digital media and our confluent visual culture'.

The two day event (running today and tomorrow) takes place in the city's harbour, transforming the area into a fashion art hub, replete with exhibitions, talks and events (in historic buildings, empty offices, shops, restaurants and outdoor locations), showcasing the work of international artists such as Katerina Plotnikova, Charlotte Wales, Johnny Dufort, Michal Pudelka, Coco Capitán,, Sølve Sundsbø and @bessnyc4.

Pictured: from Army of Me editorial for I Love Fake issue 3, by Michal Pudelka

Writer: Tom Howells

extract from Sentimental Journey

(Image credit: Nobuyoshi Araki)

Time and place
7 October

Opening this weekend at New York's Japan Society, 'For A New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968–1979 explores the new visual language developed by Japanese artists and photographers following the wave of political and social upheaval that hit the country in the late 1960s.

Featuring a broad plethora of camera-based work by such practitioners as Shōmei Tōmatsu, Nobuyoshi Araki, Ishiuchi Miyako and Daidō Moriyama, the show is the first comprehensive retrospective on a radical, galvanising era that would profoundly alter Japan's artistic landscape and the purview of those that came after it.

Pictured: extract from Sentimental Journey, by Nobuyoshi Araki, published by Shinchosha, 1991

Writer: Tom Howells

production still from Paris: Capital of the XXIst Century

(Image credit: Courtesy and copyright Malcolm McLaren Estate)

A revolutionary reordering
6 October

Aligning the late punk svengali and latter-day counter culture polymath Malcolm McLaren with such literary and artistic heavyweights as William Burroughs, Guy Debord and Asger Jorn may be a little hard to swallow for some, but the John Hansard Gallery is attempting just that with an exhibition that draws lines from Situationism and the Beat generation to the man who popularised punk rock. 

'Eyes for Blowing Up Bridges: Joining the dots from the Situationist International to Malcolm McLaren' – the title of which is derived from a correspondence between Debord and Hervé Falco – features a plethora of work by McLaren and his influences, including the first public UK display of McLaren's student work, produced during time spent at Goldsmiths College.

Pictured: production still from Paris: Capital of the XXIst Century.

Writer: Tom Howells

Misty, from Niagara, 2005

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist)

Cutting to the core
5 October

'To me,' says Alec Soth, 'the most beautiful thing is vulnerability.'

It's a sentiment all too prevalent in the American photographer's work. A Guggenheim Fellowship recipient widely considered one of the country's greatest living documentarians, Soth captures the human condition in its rawest form; his intimate portraits and haunting landscapes revealing an America simultaneously ragged, surreal, enervated and energised.

Tomorrow, his four signature series of work will go on display at London's Science Museum as 'Gathered Leaves: Photographs by Alec Soth' – his first major exhibition in the UK.

Pictured: Misty, from Niagara, 2005.

Writer: Tom Howells

Tim and Chuck, Key West, FL

(Image credit: Photography courtesy the artist)

Mr and Mr
2 October

The typical, tabloid-baiting portrayal of the 'gay lifestyle' in the 1980s was one all-too-often concerned with decadence and illness – a skewed conception that stands in stark contrast with today's broader culture of enlightened sexual equality.

Sage Sohier's At Home With Themselves: Same-Sex Couples in 1980s America is a collection of portraits that contemporaneously exploded these more lurid conceptions of the gay scene; 56 images of quiet domesticity and family life (complemented by interviews with each couple) that expose the roots of today's marriage rights movement.

Pictured: Tim and Chuck, Key West, FL, by Sage Sohier, 1987.

Writer: Tom Howells

Demonstration of the Bertillon metric photography system

(Image credit: Photography courtesy Collection of the Institut de police, scientifique de l'Université de Lausanne. Copyright the artist.)

Scene of the crime
1 October

Ever since the late 1800s, the captured image has been an essential facet of courtroom evidence, particularly as a way of documenting violence –  a notion explored in a new show at London's Photographer's Gallery, opening tomorrow. 

'Burden of Proof: The Construction of Visual Evidence comprises 11 case studies, from the early invention of 'metric' photography of crime scenes in the 1800s, through the processes of posthumous identification galvanised with the exhumation of Nazi doctor Josef Mengele in São Paulo in 1985, to digital reconstructions of drone attacks in Pakistan in 2012. All are subject to historical and geopolitical analysis, and, inevitably, there's some grim imagery on show.

Pictured: Demonstration of the Bertillon metric photography system, by Rodolphe A Reiss, 1925. 

Grace Jones

(Image credit: Simon & Schuster)

I'll Never Write My Memoirs
30 September

Grace Jones has never been one to mince her words. Or stand on ceremony. Or do just about anything she is expected to do in any particular way. Described as everything from 'a diva' to an icon, model, actress, muse and singer, Jones has released her memoir, which she describes as 'one hell of a book'.

The candid, surreal piece - as told to Paul Morley - took almost two years to produce. The title is taken from a lyric of a song, Art Groupie, which Jones wrote after a fight with her then boyfriend, French artist Jean-Paul Goude. In the tome, Jones lays bare all kinds of meditations on art, ambition, race, money, success, grief and love. To say it demystifies the zeitgeist-defining star may be going too far, but it certainly goes a long way to explaining the enigma that she has become.

Published by Simon & Schuster

Writer: Sam Rogers

Superimposition, 1960–1970

(Image credit: Photography courtesy Camera – Italian Centre for Photography)

Back in the USSR
29 September

'Boris Mikhailov: Ukraine' – opening 1 October at the Camera Italian Centre for Photography – delves into the history of the photographer's titular homeland over the past 50 years, from the 1960s through to the recent Euromaidan revolution.

Long considered one of the former USSR's pre-eminent artists, Mikhailov's output here comprises three distinct directives over nine series of works: a socio-historial outline of Ukraine's recent past; an exploration of the the man's consistently experimental artistic practice; and a progressive conflation of the two – 'shifting,' says the gallery, 'from documentation to reconstruction, from theatricalisation to diary-writing, and from the narrative to the anti-narrative'. A publication of over 500 photographs accompanies the exhibition.

Pictured: Superimposition, 1960–1970.

Writer: Tom Howells

Left: Bords de Seine á Vernon; Right: Utah, by Lee Friedlander, 2000

(Image credit: Left: Courtesy Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Right: Courtesy the artist.)

A complex tableau
28 September

Last weekend saw the opening of 'Lee Friedlander & Pierre Bonnard: Photographs & Drawings' at New York's Pace/MacGill Gallery.

Comprising juxtaposed gelatine silver prints by the former (a true heavyweight of contemporary American photography) and drawings by the latter (the French post-impressionistic painter), the exhibition explores the way that these disconnected artists sought to rationalise and convey the world around them.

Despite the fundamental differences in their disciplines, Bonnard created site-specific drawings which he would later use to compose his artworks proper; these sketches are imbued with an immediacy mirrored in Freidlander's photography that led RB Kitaj to note a mutual tendency towards the 'complex tableau'. The show is on view until 24 October.

Pictured left: Bords de Seine á Vernon, by Pierre Bonnard, c. 1920. Right: Utah, by Lee Friedlander, 2000.

Writer: Tom Howells

Songs of Innocence and Experience

(Image credit: press)

A box of Blake
25 September

Breathlessly heralded by publisher Mörel books as 'the closest you could ever get to owning an original William Blake!', Songs of Innocence and Experience is a collection of 30 Blake poems and a photographic print of a life mask of the great man, owned and shot by punk chanteuse Patti Smith (the print, of course, is also signed).

The poems are printed on 200 year old paper in historical pigments (including bone ash) and collected in a robust archive box. 'Blake would have offered his friends and clients the "songs" wrapped in a larger sheet of paper, just as these are,' says the publisher. 'We've left the poems as such – as it echoes down over 200 years of self-published culture, right into the heart of 20th century rebellious-subculture zines.' At £1500, the collection – released in an edition of 30 – might be one for Blake/Smith mega-enthusiasts only, but it's an alluring package all the same.

Writer: Tom Howells

an image from Robert Frank's seminal The Americans, published 1958

(Image credit: Photography courtesy the artist and Magnum)

Photography's expanded horizons
24 September

Currently finishing it's season at Zurich's Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie – though remaining as a cabinet exhibition in a reduced form for another month – 'Expanded Horizons' brings together the work of five feted Swiss photographers: Werner Bischof, Balthasar Burkhard, René Burri, Robert Frank and René Groebli.

Now considered some of the discipline's most important contemporary practitioners, they all sought to leave their picturesque – if insular – homeland to garner a greater understanding and first-hand experience of the wider world; it was a move that would imbue all of their work with varying degrees of exotic humanism, relentlessly pushing boundaries and developing fresh, innovative ways at looking at the world around us via photography.

Pictured: an image from Robert Frank's seminal The Americans, published 1958.

Writer: Tom Howells

Sigmund Freud, Putzleinsdorf 1931

(Image credit: Courtesy Sigmund Freud Foundation)

Freud on tour
23 September

Today marks the 76th anniversary of the death of Sigmund Freud, the almost ludicrously influential 20th century neurologist and, subsequently, father of psychoanalysis.

Appropriate, then, that Vienna's Sigmund Freud Museum has extended the opening of its exhibition focussing on the myriad business and pleasure journeys undertaken by Freud over his lifetime – titled 'Freud's travels: cultural experience, psychoanalytical thought' – until 4 October.

The exhibition, which complements the insights into Freud's practice afforded by the permanent collection, highlights the significance of travel in his theoretical work, and focusses particularly on the period from the mid-1890s to the outbreak of the First World War; the time that comprised the height of his travel activity and which included tours of ancient Italian and Grecian sites, and a lecture trip to the USA's East Coast in 1909.

Pictured: Sigmund Freud, Putzleinsdorf 1931Courtesy Sigmund Freud Foundation

Writer: Tom Howells

Summer Fashions, American Vogue, cover 15 May 1941

(Image credit: Condé Nast and the Horst Estate)

Modern master
22 September

Originally shown at London's Victoria & Albert Museum this time last year, 'Horst: Photographer of Style' is the first – and, given the comprehensive scope and broad curatorial nous, definitive – major retrospective of the late photographer's oeuvre.

Imminently opening at Rotterdam's Nederlands Fotomuseum, and running until 10 January, the exhibition presents the full breadth of Horst P Horst's work, from his immediately recognisable and highly stylised fashion photography, through less iconic – but no less chimerical – work in theatre, interior design and travel; the images drawn from his trips through north Africa and the Middle East in the 1940s and 50s are a spellbinding highlight.

Pictured: Summer FashionsAmerican Vogue, cover 15 May 1941.

Untitled, Rome, Italy, 1977-78

(Image credit: Courtesy of George och Betty Woodman)

Woodman's angels
21 September

The Morderna Museet in Stockholm is hosting surrealist photographer Francesca Woodman’s exhibition, On Being an Angel, until 6 December.  

The retrospective features 102 photographs and one video spanning her career; from her early years as a student in Providence, Italy, to her work in New York before her premature death.  Woodman focused on gender, sexuality and embodiment through a sometimes strange, sometimes quaint, sometimes haunting artistic signature that sees her models pose obscured by blur or furniture. It simulates an ethereal aura, like ambivalent ghosts, the models feel both wanting and unwilling to be seen. The environment, uncaring, without consent, chooses to steal the body from the women.

Pictured: Untitled, Rome, Italy, 1977-78. Courtesy of George och Betty Woodman

Writer: Tom Capon

water melon still life, by Wolfgang Tillmans, 2011

(Image credit: Courtesy David Zwirner, New York)

The complete picture: Wolfgang Tillmans at David Zwirner
18 September

'PCR' – the title of the new Wolfgang Tillmans retrospective at New York's David Zwirner, his first since joining the gallery's roster in 2014 – stands for 'polymerase chain reaction', a technique in molecular biology of amplifying a DNA molecule to generate full genetic identities.

It's a neat summation of Tillmans' approach to his craft; 'the question of when a picture becomes a picture, and when certain developments become noticeable,' the gallery posits, 'has remained a central concern throughout his career.'

The show features over 100 of the artist's works (long taking an interest in the mode of display, Tillmans installed the show himself), comprising a broad overview of his oeuvre's themes and processes, which also sees the debut of a new split-framed video piece, Instrument.

Pictured: water melon still life, by Wolfgang Tillmans, 2011. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York

Writer: Tom Howells


(Image credit: press)

A life, lived
17 September

An integral member of the 'Boston School' of photographers that also included Nan Goldin, Mark Morrisroe and Philip-Lorca di Corcia, the late David Armstrong was a critically esteemed artist whose classically elegant portraits (mostly of young men) and candid portrayals of excess saw him compared to Vermeer by Ryan McGinley in 2011.

This month sees the release of Polaroids published by Mörel Books. Small in extent, dimensions and number (an edition of 1000), the book – a defacto sequel to Armstrong's classic Night and Day – collects a series of the titular format, taken in the 1970s and comprising an intimate portrait into the photographer's life, environment, family and friends (with a number of the images shot by the latter).

Writer: Tom Howells

Mojave Desert

(Image credit: press)

Lair for sale
16 September

Most anyone would be pleased to pick up a remote, architecturally beguiling family pile – and substantial outhouse – set in 60 acres of moody Mojave Desert, especially for $650,000 (or, in a vague transatlantic conversion, the price of a mediocre London flat). But how about one on top of a 150 ft cinder cone volcano? With a panoramic wraparound to boot?

Situated 45 minutes east of the Californian town of Barstow (and only half an hour or so more from east LA), the Volcano House, currently on the market via Sotheby's International Realty, is just that: a space-age slab of mid-century modernism and a dream home for any aspiring megalomaniac.

Writer: Tom Howells

Man With Bandage

(Image credit: Fred Herzog)

Berlin Art Week is GO
15 September

This week sees the staging of the fourth Berlin Art Week, which kicks off this evening with the Berlin Senate-funded joint project STADT/BILD (Image of a City) as well as show openings, a public happening and a reception – featuring a naked Paul McCarthy, if that's your thing – at the Schinkel Pavilion.

The rest of the week will variously see the opening of the abc Art Berlin Contemporary and Positions Berlin fairs, exclusive views of myriad private art hoards around the city, talks and guided tours (as well as the launch of a new Alicja Kwade solo show at Haus am Waldsee).

Pictured: Man With Bandage, by Fred Herzog, 1968. On show as part of C/O Berlin's 'Eyes Wide Open! 100 Years of Leica Photography'

Writer: Tom Howells

Frokost i det grønne #20

(Image credit: Linn Pedersen)

New perspectives in the north
14 September

Produced in collaboration with Oslo's Melk gallery, Black Dog Publishing's New Scandinavian Photography is the first comprehensive study of the region's contemporary photography scene, looking in detail at the discipline's shift – over the last decade – away from documentary and photo-journalism towards a fine-art context.

Edited by Bjarne Bare and Behzad Farazollahi, it's expectedly abstract – and, occasionally, icy – stuff, featuring beguiling work from photographic old hands such as Emil Salto and Asger Carlsen alongside younger talents such as Thora Dolven Balke, Linn Pedersen and Mårten Lange, presented in both straight reproduction and gallery contexts (with 18 accompanying essays to boot).

Pictured: Frokost i det grønne #20, by Linn Pedersen, 2015

Writer: Tom Howells

Yazoo City, Mississippi, 1979

The world in miniature
11 September

'The world is infinitely more interesting than any of my opinions about it,' said the American photographer Nicholas Nixon in 1975. Whether or not that was the case, his lucid, high definition documentary and portrait photography – simultaneously moving and haunting – are startling suspensions of time; fleeting, intensely personal moments captured in compelling detail.

A four-decade retrospective of Nixon's work opened this week at San Francisco's Fraenkel Gallery. Exploring work produced away from his well known The Brown Sisters series, About Forty Years is accompanied by a new book of the same name, and features 100 perfectly reproduced images drawn from the photographer's archive.

Pictured: Yazoo City, Mississippi, 1979. Photography copyright Nicholas Nixon. Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Writer: Tom Howells

(Image credit: Photography copyright Nicholas Nixon. Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco)

The world in miniature
11 September

'The world is infinitely more interesting than any of my opinions about it,' said the American photographer Nicholas Nixon in 1975. Whether or not that was the case, his lucid, high definition documentary and portrait photography – simultaneously moving and haunting – are startling suspensions of time; fleeting, intensely personal moments captured in compelling detail.

A four-decade retrospective of Nixon's work opened this week at San Francisco's Fraenkel Gallery. Exploring work produced away from his well known The Brown Sisters series, About Forty Years  is accompanied by a new book of the same name, and features 100 perfectly reproduced images drawn from the photographer's archive.

Pictured: Yazoo City, Mississippi, 1979.

Writer: Tom Howells

Marte#02 (Larvae-UMBRA series), 2014

(Image credit: Photography courtesy the artist)

Light and sound
10 September

Poetry and photography are infused in Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen(opens in new tab)'s new project, UMBRA. Not only has Sassen invited poet Maria Barnas to write a selection of stanzas to accompany the images, but the work itself aims to confuse 'our perception and leave meaning up in the air', mixing fears, desires, fantasies and illusions in order to create a modernist experience.

The photos turn the everyday abstract, twisting the familiar into something unknown, even morphing the classical focus of the human body into a grotesque image through simple manipulation of mirrors.

The exhibition is on show until 1 November at the l'Atelier Néerlandais, Paris.

Pictured: Marte#02 (Larvae-UMBRA series), 2014.

Writer: Tom Capon

Cendrars & Delaunay, La Prose du Transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France, Paris, 1913

(Image credit: Pierre Bergé)

Read it and weep
9 September

Pierre Bergé may be best known as an industrialist and the co-founder of Yves Saint Laurent, but he was also a keen collector of literature, curating a vast personal library. Bergé's passion for books, keen eye and penchant for the lineage of the book as object meant that this set strikes the golden tone of quantity and quality, comprising 1,600 books, manuscripts and scores drawn from the 15th–20th centuries.

A travelling preview of 60 tomes drawn from this collection will be on show at Sotheby's New York from 10–13 September, preceding an auction of this (near) priceless literary horde in December. Providing a pointed testimony of the man's nuanced taste, this first sale will include such estimable specimens such as a first edition of St Augustine's Confessions (c. 1470), a 1605 edition of Cervante's Don Quixote and Shakespeare's 1664 third folio.

Pictured: Cendrars & Delaunay, La Prose du Transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France, Paris, 1913

Writer: Tom Howells

Tomoko Yoneda From The Series Scene Wedding View Of The Wedding Party On The River That Divides

(Image credit: Grimaldi Gavin)

The long goodbye
8 September

Grimaldi Gavin's 'Beyond Memory', Tomoko Yoneda’s first UK solo exhibition in ten years, was due to end in July but was extended until 16 September. The London-based photographer is known for her evocative - albeit plain - images and her ability to capture human destruction and troubling narratives.

Curated by Paul Wombell, the complex exhibition gathers 14 years of landscapes and interiors marked in some way by our ruinous society. Albeit done in a evocative, nostalgic way, of course. Pictured: Scene Wedding View of the wedding party on the river that divides (the Dandong River dividing North Korea and China)

Writer: Sam Rogers

an image from Nobuyoshi Araki's Love on the Left Eye series

(Image credit: press)

Photo finish
7 September

Next weekend sees the second edition of 'Photo Shanghai, Asia's premier photography-centric art fair. As well as featuring shows by 50 eminent galleries and associations – 20 of which, including London's Beetles + Huxley, Berlin's Camera Work and New York's Staley-Wise Gallery, are from outside of China – the expo will also see myriad featured exhibitions (in collaboration with festival partners such as De Beers, Leica and Hublot), talks and book signings.

Not for nothing is 'Photo Shanghai' – held at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre from the 11–13 September – already considered a new benchmark for the display of photography in the Asia-Pacific region. Pictured: an image from Nobuyoshi Araki's Love on the Left Eye series, on display via Tokyo/Shanghai's Amansalto company

Writer: Tom Howells

sets of crayons

(Image credit: Esai Ramirez)

Colour it in
4 September

Dreaming up a vibrant world where evergreen crayon company Crayola and colour matching system Pantone collide, the LA-based artist Esai Ramirez has imagined limited edition ‘fine artist’ sets of crayons. 'I wanted to make crayons for adults to encourage others to play like a kid again,' he explains.

An exclusively deep blue set would be made to match Yves Klein’s trademark hue, while other collections are devoted to single works of art, like the shades of aquamarine found in Damien Hirst’s macabre In His Infinite Wisdom (2003, pictured), or the entire panoply of colours in Jen Stark’s paper murals.

Writer: Julie Aelbrecht

Ocean Cleanup tackles the 'great garbage patch'

(Image credit: Erwin Zwart / The Ocean Cleanup)

Ocean Cleanup tackles the 'great garbage patch'
3 September

'Why move through the oceans, if the oceans can move through you?' That's the thinking behind the Ocean Cleanup array, an ingenious design initiative harnessing the natural movement of our oceans in a bid to battle global plastic pollution – one which was recently received the 2015 Index / Design to Improve Life's 'Community' award.

The design utilises giant floating barriers to collect plastic waste as it is moved by the seas' tides. Ocean Cleanup estimate that by using a single 100 km array deployed for a decade, it would possible to remove 42 per cent of the 'great garbage patch' – over 70 million kg of detritus. If that wasn't impressive enough, the scheme's mastermind – Dutch designer Boyan Slat – is only 21.

Writer: Tom Howells

toy robots

(Image credit: Roy Livingston)

A warm welcome from a cold future
2 September

Describing his idiosyncratic x-ray photography as 'an artistic joy ride… always organically evolving as he discovers and develops new techniques', Roy Livingston's X-ray Visions archive is a veritable playground of technicolour images of radios, ray guns, cameras and, in this instance, toy robots.

Where one would imagine x-rays might further anthropomorphise an automaton, Livingston's technique renders them more alien, if not a little unnerving; lurid collections of nuts and bolts (and springs, and cogs…) set in a lurid array of cosmic colours. (They're also available as prints.)

Writer: Tom Howells

a killer whale jumping out of a toilet

Taking the Mickey
1 September

Somewhere between alarming and amusing, Banksy's Dismaland has succeeded in capturing the attention of the world.

The artist's 'family theme park unsuitable for small children' features some of the Disney and theme park classics, cast in his anarchic, dark sarcasm. The works of 58 handpicked artists including Damien Hirst and Jenny Holzer are installed across the 2.5-acre site in Weston-super-Mare. Among them a mangled Cinderella in a crash scene, a killer whale jumping out of a toilet and the grim reaper riding dodgems.

Photography courtesy of Dismaland; Writer: Sam Rogers

(Image credit: Dismaland)

Taking the Mickey
1 September

Somewhere between alarming and amusing, Banksy's Dismaland has succeeded in capturing the attention of the world.

The artist's 'family theme park unsuitable for small children' features some of the Disney and theme park classics, cast in his anarchic, dark sarcasm. The works of 58 handpicked artists including Damien Hirst and Jenny Holzer are installed across the 2.5-acre site in Weston-super-Mare. Among them a mangled Cinderella in a crash scene, a killer whale jumping out of a toilet and the grim reaper riding dodgems.

Writer: Sam Rogers

100,000 white balloons

(Image credit: Paul Grover)

Charles Pétillon's Heartbeat fills Covent Garden arcade
28 August

For the next month, Covent Garden will house Charles Pétillons first live work outside of France. Transforming the interior of the 19th century arcade into a tactile cloud – by way of 100,000 white balloons – Heartbeat is part of a cultural program to turn the piazza and its buildings into an open-air gallery.
Pétillon’s goal, he says, is to change the way we see the things we pass every day, to forge a connection between a glorious past and the present. The colour and moveable material of the balloons creates a giant, shifting sculpture, as vibrant and alive as the bustling area itself.

Writer: Julie Aelbrecht

Ness Pier

(Image credit: press)

Tipping point: Sans façon and KHBT’s Ness Pier
27 August

North Scotland's River Ness – a 12 mile waterway that flows from the northern end of Loch Ness to the Beauly Firth – is a popular facet of Inverness, though not one that plays an overarching part in the city's social identity.

That's about to change with the Ness Pier, a planning-stages collaboration between the Glaswegian art practice Sans façon and KHBT, a creative studio based in London and Berlin. The pier takes the form of a striking modernist wedge, balancing on a shoreside edge that will allow the structure to dip towards the water as people walk along it – an 'intentional balance of form and social space'.

Writer: Tom Howells

Superstructure oil burner, Interlock candle holder, Void incense burner and Stratosphere lamp

(Image credit: press)

Page Thirty Three reveal sculptural nous with 'Tactile Equations'
26 August

In synthesising 'popular culture, ancient ritual, sculptural aesthetic and modern art through the the prism of utility', the Australian design brand Page Thirty Three create furniture and objects for the home that are truly alluring in their stark, minimalist realisation and abstract forms.

Their new collection – 'Tactile Equations' – includes a Superstructure oil burner, Interlock candle holder, Void incense burner and Stratosphere lamp (as well as the Zig Zag table, not pictured here). The pieces are rendered in rich browns and golds, and created from Australian bluestone, Riverina granite, steel, brass and blackened pine, positively demanding tactile engagement.

Writer: Tom Howells

a sumptuous mix of abstract structure and lighting, made of intersecting beams that form a striking, disorientating shape

(Image credit: Frank Dinger)

Kahrlsruhe's birthday pavilion
25 August

Kahrlsruhe turned 300 this year. For the occasion, the German city got itself a celebratory pavilion by architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann of the J Mayer H practice.

Titled 'KA300', the pavilion is a sumptuous mix of abstract structure and lighting, made of intersecting beams that form a striking, disorientating shape. The temporary venue boasts a cafe and auditorium, its form a reference to the geometric, radial street layout of the city – an aesthetic derived from Kahrlsruhe's Baroque period. Unveiled earlier this summer, the pavilion will be dismantled in October. In the meantime, it will act as a temporary space for concerts, theatre performances, film screenings and exhibitions.

Writer: Rosa Bertoli

Petit Vie, a site specific installation which bridges the space between two stone houses

(Image credit: press)

Passages Insolite's ruminations on city life
24 August

Quebec City is currently hosting the Passages Insolite arts festival, a takeover of the city’s alleys and narrow lanes that encourages unusual, surprising new ways of living through the city. For the festival, Francis Fontaine, Luca Fortin and Pascal Labelle (three local creatives with backgrounds in art, engineering and architecture, respectively) got together to create Petit Vie, a site specific installation (pictured) which bridges the space between two stone houses.

From one side, the geometrical forms appear as playful, pastel-coloured shapes, while from the other they are mirror-clad, reflecting the building’s walls as well as the sky above, creating a subtly disorientating and briefly immersive piece for people to walk through. As a dual aesthetic and contemplative exercise, the festival successfully gives new life to forgotten or otherwise unnoticed corners of the city. It will run until 2 November.

Writer: Rosa Bertoli

Sky Pool At Embassy Gardens

(Image credit: press)

Lofty aspirations: Arup's swimming pool in the sky
21 August

In a move far surpassing the now-common infinity pool trend, residential developers Ballymore Group have revealed plans to install a transparent swimming pool between two blocks of their £15bn Embassy Gardens project in southwest London. The crunch? The pool – seemingly designed by Arup Associates with the singular intention of antagonising sufferers of vertigo – is suspended 35 metres above the ground. 

'The experience of the pool will be truly unique,' explains Ballymore Group chairman and CEO, Sean Mulryan. 'It will feel like floating through the air in central London.' And who, for a starting price of £602,000, wouldn't want that?

Writer: Tom Howells

Encounter, a public, site-specific skyspace

(Image credit: James Turrell)

Turrell's new Encounter looks to the skies
20 August

Mexico’s Culiacan Botanical Garden has unveiled Encounter, a public, site-specific skyspace by American artist James Turrell. The elliptical observatory is placed upon a grass-covered dome, which acts as a viewing parlour for the artwork above. Visitors enter through a small door and look up to experience Turrell’s piece, a conversation with the sky and stars above. A lit platform changes colour according to times of the day and meteorological conditions, interacting with nature to create the artist’s intended atmosphere of reflection and introspection.

Writer: Rosa Bertoli

Arab Dolls – Maya, Zeina, Racha and Yara

(Image credit: press)

Massoud’s Arab Dolls get a summer makeover
19 August

Courtesy of a collaboration between Beirut’s Carwan Gallery and Mykonos’ Skoufa Gallery, designer Carlo Massoud's Arab Dolls – Maya, Zeina, Racha and Yara – are back in new brass iterations. The collection of 60 dolls is a new installment of last year’s project (originally produced in black lacquered wood and in a limited edition of 15), which captivated and challenged popular culture’s view of the veil.

Looking at preconceived notions of gender roles in Arab society, Massoud’s goal is to celebrate the beauty that lies beneath the surface, while offering a new point of view on such a hotly debated topic.

Writer: Rosa Bertoli

Mirrored Ziggurat – a reflective pyramid sculpture created for Sydney's Underbelly Arts Festival

(Image credit: press)

Stairway to heaven
18 August

Taking an even more transcendental form of the titular Mesopotamian temples that inspired it, Shirin Abedinirad's Mirrored Ziggurat – a reflective pyramid sculpture created for Sydney's Underbelly Arts Festival – is a dazzling work (literally, when the sun is out) that offers 'a transformative view of the self'.

'The Mirrored Ziggurat has seven levels that represent seven heavens,' explains the Iranian multidisciplinary artist, who is based between Florence and Tehran. 'For me, mirrors amplify this paradise, giving light; an important mystical concept in Persian Culture, and a medium creating an optical illusion.'

Writer: Tom Howells

The Dream City

(Image credit: press)

The Kabakovs' idiosyncratic urban planning hits China
17 August

The Russian-born, Long Island-based artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov bring their long-term project The Dream City to the Power Station of Art, Shanghai. The multidisciplinary installation – which combines architecture, lighting, sound, painting, urban planning and more – takes the form of a monolithic imagined cityscape, drawing on movements and themes as diverse as the Renaissance, Romanticism and modern sciences. The Dream City, the artists explain, is ‘a fantastic space born of a collective imagination, and to think and reflect about art, culture, the daily life and our present and our future’.

Writer: Octavia Stead