Where will we be in 2018? Elephant’s staff and contributors share the shows marked on their to-do lists.

Kader Attia and Jean-Jaques Lebel at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris

Kader Attia has established himself as one of the most important artists in Paris and his highly sensitive, politically engaged work has gained him the respect of those in the art world and beyond. His status as a cultural figure shifted up a gear in 2016 when he opened La Colonie on the main artery of Paris’s rue Lafayette. The sweaty, jubilant dancefloor of the four-storey space transforms seamlessly into a serious platform for theoretical and political discussion, working for decolonization in thought, art and culture. His 2018 show at the Palais de Tokyo will see him collaborate with an equally iconic figure, Jean Jaques Lebel, for what promises to be a highly pertinent exploration of the legacy of collected objects from across the globe. The two artists will look to elucidate a human relationship with objects, from the sacred to the profane.

16 February until 13 May

—Jessica Saxby

1970 at Laing Art Gallery and Hatton Gallery, Newcastle

Painted poetry on canvas: I’m looking forward to going up to one of my favourite cities, Newcastle in England, to see Sean Scully’s exhibition, 1970 at Laing Art Gallery and Hatton Gallery.

February 10 until May 26

—Robert Urquhart

Baars & Bloemhoff, Dutch Design Week, Photo: Tommy Kohlbrugg

Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven

My annual visit to Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, Holland is always a highlight. It’s the largest design event in northern Europe and, to me, the Glastonbury of design festivals: arduous, thrilling, educational, a pleasurable assault on the mind. Not to be missed.

21 until 29 October

—Robert Urquhart

Lubaina Himid at Hollybush Gardens, London

What a year 2017 was for Lubaina Himid. I loved seeing her in action at Spike Island, Modern Art Oxford, at the South London Gallery and on the beach at Folkestone this year. Her success as a woman—and as a black woman in her sixties—has been inspirational for everyone in the arts in the UK. It’s not only about that of course, but it’s symbolic, especially in our times. I’m very much looking forward to her solo exhibition in London at Hollybush Gardens in February, it’ll probably be smaller scale and more intimate than her 2017 exhibitions. I’m really interested to see what she presents.

17 February until 24 March

—Charlotte Jansen

Hello World at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin

I’m excited to see the new spring exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Hello World. It will use the collection of the Berlin Nationalgalerie to explore artistic transnational connections and cross-cultural entanglements from the nineteenth century onwards. In doing so it hopes to question what a “national” gallery collection really means in contemporary culture, at a time where national borders are feeling more entrenched than ever. Curated by a huge internal and external team, the exhibition will feature eighty artists and take over the entire ex-train-station space of the Hamburger Bahnhof. Also in March, but this time in Düsseldorf, the Goethe museum is hosting a show relating the writer’s work in light and colour to the ZERO movement artist Heinz Mack. I’m interested to see how these two philosophies on vision and illumination come together.

23 March until 19 August

—Josie Thaddaeus-Johns


Toshio Saeki at Nanzuka Gallery, Tokyo

Having spent time with the seventy-three-year-old Toshio Saeki, I can safely say there is no other artist like him. A technical master, his art captures the fluid, wild sexuality that is at first deeply rooted in Japanese culture, but really captures the contemporary spirit, the desire for freedom and to rebel. And not to mention the humour. This solo exhibition in Shibuya is his first major show in Japan for a while, and there will be recreated murals from his artwork across the gallery space. Rumour has it that the artist himself will be present at the opening, a very rare occurrence.

20 January until 24 February

—Charlotte Jansen

Andreas Gursky, Bahrain I, 2005, C-Print, 302.2 x 219.6 x 6.2 cm
© Andreas Gursky/DACS, 2017, courtesy: Sprüth Magers

Andreas Gursky at Hayward Gallery, London

This is a very obvious choice, but I can’t wait for the Andreas Gursky show at Hayward Gallery, not least because it marks the reopening of one of my very favourite London spaces. The shows at Hayward have always been super creative, fun, playful and inclusive, with intelligent, wonderful quality work presented in a way that engages those far beyond the art world. Gursky is an unexpected choice for the gallery, and I’m looking forward to seeing how his images work within the new but hopefully no less dynamic space.

25 January until 22 April

—Emily Steer

The Forgotten Language of Instinct., Stephen Thorpe, 2020
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