The Best Shows to See in the UK this November

From Somaya Critchlow’s alluring female figures at Maximillian William, London, to William Kentridge’s monumental retrospective at the Royal Academy of Arts

BY frieze in Exhibition Reviews , UK Reviews | 28 OCT 22

Somaya Critchlow

Maximillian William, London

6 October – 19 November 

Somaya Critchlow, The Maid (Madame S), 2022, oil on linen, 95 × 66 cm each. Courtesy: the artist and Maximillian William

Somaya Critchlow’s glamorous Black female figures all occupy domestic interiors and resolutely stand or kneel before us, either partially clothed or nude. Often, they are in dialogue with something that lies beyond the frame. In Afternoon’s Darkness (Agnes) (all works 2022), one of eight oil-on-linen works in this show, the protagonist directly returns our gaze. Critchlow’s women often lure us in and render us more than mere witnesses, making us somehow complicit in their acts. – Melissa Baksh 

Johny Pitts

Graves Gallery, Sheffield 

11 August – 24 December 

Johny Pitts, Dean House, Penryn, 2021. Courtesy: © Johny Pitts

In ‘Home Is Not a Place’, writer and photographer Johny Pitts recasts the museum as a site for collective gathering. The two distinct bodies of work on display at Graves Gallery in Sheffield investigate the complexity and richness of Black British lives. Largely comprising archival photographs, objects and music from the artist’s childhood, the show also features images documenting a journey undertaken by Pitts and the writer, musician and performer Roger Robinson. – Cathy Wade 

Paul Cézanne

Tate Modern, London

06 October 2022 – 12 March 2023

Paul Cezanne, Still Life with Water Jug, 1892
Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Water Jug, 1892. Courtesy: Tate Modern, London

At Tate Modern, Still Life with Water Jug will be part of a collection of paintings, watercolours and drawings – 22 of which have never previously been displayed in the UK – that span Cézanne’s career. An x-ray of the unfinished work will also be on view, making visible a wobbly line that, beneath the surface, stretches across the lump of bread and two pieces of fruit. – Chloë Ashby

William Kentridge

Royal Academy of Arts, London 

24 September – 11 December 

William Kentridge, De como não fui ministro d’estado, 2012, video still. Courtesy: © William Kentridge

It is simultaneously simple and impossible to keep up with William Kentridge. Like the alter egos who wander through his works, he is always the same yet always moving. His characteristic gesture appears in the animated pages of De Como Não Fui Ministro d’Estado (How I Did Not Become a Monster, 2012): dressed in his regulation white shirt and dark trousers, antiquated pince-nez trailing its black cord, he paces, muses and turns, over and again, the lines of his body shifting restlessly in the trademark shimmer of his animation style. – Tim Smith-Laing

Chris Killip

The Photographers’ Gallery, London 

7 October 2022 – 19 February 2023 

Chris Killip
Chris Killip, Gordon in the Water, Seacoal Beach, Lynemouth, 1983. Courtesy: © Chris Killip Photography Trust and The Martin Parr Foundation

On a trip to New York in 1969, Chris Killip had an epiphany. Seeing the work of Walker Evans, August Sander and Paul Strand for the first time in the Museum of Modern Art, he realized that photography could be made for its own sake. By the early 1970s, the self-taught photographer had abandoned his career in advertising and moved back to his native Isle of Man to document the slow erosion of the island’s traditional way of life. – Julie Hrischeva

Amy Sherald 

Hauser & Wirth, London

12 October – 23 December


Amy Sherald, For Love and for Country, 2022, oil on linen, 312.4 × 236.2 cm. Courtesy: © Amy Sherald and Hauser & Wirth; photograph: Joseph Hyde

Amy Sherald is one of the most prominent portraitists working today, known for her distinctive, stylized realism that focuses on the multiplicity of Black American life. In ‘The World We Make’, Sherald’s first solo presentation in Europe, the artist deconstructs traditional American symbolism and recasts it in scenes that elevate her subjects. For Love and for Country (2022), for instance, replaces the white heterosexual couple that Alfred Eisenstadt famously photographed kissing in Times Square at the end of World War II in 1945 with a Black male couple. Across these large-scale, multichromatic canvases, Sherald’s subjects stand defiantly, facing the viewer head-on with an active, unyielding gaze. As suggested by the exhibition’s title, Sherald’s paintings provide a kind of world-building practice, wherein scenes of everyday Black life are rendered monumental. – Alice Bucknell 


Main image: Johny Pitts, Man through rain dappled window, Carnaby Street, London (after Sade), 2010. Courtesy: © Johny Pitts


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