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August diary: this month's must-see events and exhibitions

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Diary_july_724x474 Regulars / Diary July diary: this month's must-see events and exhibitions

Summer is officially in full swing, and we’re enjoying the long evenings and our fair share of ice creams here at It’s Nice That. It’s not just the sun that’s getting us excited for July, however, as there are a host of art shows and exhibitions taking place around the UK and the rest of the world. From Michael Jackson’s impact on the art world, to an investigation on how Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighbourhood has changed over the last 20 years, check out the It’s Nice That team’s top picks for July below. h3. Michael Jackson: On the Wall
28 June — 21 October 2018
National Portrait Gallery, London

Itsnicethat_diary_june_2018 Regulars / Diary June diary: this month’s must-see events and exhibitions

Whether you’re hitting up grad shows or making the most of longer days taking in one of the plethora of inspiring new shows opening for summer, June is the perfect time to broaden your cultural peripherals. From the V&A’s blockbuster Frida Kahlo show to a design summer school in Galway, there’s truly something for everyone. The It’s Nice That editorial team has picked out ten, five in the UK and five around the world, to help you choose.h3. Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing and Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds
22 June – 2 September 2018
The Barbican, London

Diary_may_724x474 Regulars / Diary May diary: this month’s must-see events and exhibitions

This month there are a flurry of great new art and design shows opening in London, New York and beyond, and the It’s Nice That team has selected their must-sees. Don’t miss the new Rose Wylie exhibition in Mayfair, nor Nataal’s all-female survey of new African photography in Brooklyn. Elsewhere, there’s two new retrospectives opening at the brilliant Louisiana Museum, and a major Alexander Calder show at Hauser & Wirth in (hopefully) sunny Somerset. h3. Documenting Youth Culture
10 May 2018, 19:00
Barbican, London

Diary_april_724x474 Regulars / Diary April diary: this month’s must-see events and exhibitions

Spring is here and with it comes a fresh crop of events, shows and exhibitions to inspire and fascinate. From immersive Abba to computer-generated Ian Cheng simulations and classic Yokoyama Taikan paintings, there’s something for all tastes. The It’s Nice That team has hand-picked five in the UK and five elsewhere around the world, to help you plan your cultural month ahead.h3. Glasgow International
20 April – 7 May 2018
Various venues, Glasgow

Diary_jan_724x474 Work / Diary March diary: this month's must-see events and exhibitions

This month there are shows for every taste, from classic paintings to innovative digital works, spanning disciplines, styles and eras and including solo shows on Picasso, Keith Haring, Sondra Perry and Ryan Schneider. To help curate your diary, the It’s Nice That team has selected five in the UK and five elsewhere around the world, for you to explore and enjoy.h3. Somewhere in Between
8 March – 27 August 2018
Wellcome Collection, London 

Itsnicethat_diary_february_2018 Regulars / Diary February diary: where to go and what to see

There’s a huge variety of exciting exhibitions opening this month, from surrealist paintings by Jonathan Gardner and rarely seen graphic design from North Korea in the UK, to must-see photography in Berlin, Paris and Marrakech. The It’s Nice That team has selected its top ten as a handy guide.h3. Jonathan Gardner: The Spot of the Eye
10 February – 24 March 2018
Mary Mary, Glasgow

Diary_aug_724x474 Regulars / Diary August diary: this month's must-see events and exhibitions

The month of August tends to be a bit quieter, dare we say it, than the rest of the year. Offices are semi-deserted as everyone heads off on their various holidays, from Marbella to Morocco via Margate, and the rest of the country adopts a slightly slower pace (how could we possibly function at full speed in this heat?). Make the most of the summer’s longer evenings, and actually leaving the office on time, by visiting some of the many art shows and exhibitions taking place around the UK and the rest of the world. h3. “Drag: Self-portraits and Body Politics”: https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/hayward-gallery-art/drag-self-portraits-and-body-politics
22 August — 14 October
Hayward Gallery, London

Crystal-zapata-graphic-design-it'snicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Crystal Zapata's work joins the dots between radical Italian design and Chicago house

As a child, Crystal Zapata made collages out of magazine clippings, drawing everything she had collected together onto the page; this love soon grew into a passion for graphic design, and is visible in the delicately-layered posters she produces today.

Using her childhood knack for experimentation, Crystal’s aesthetic is, in her words, “a cocktail of ideas, references, and influences that have been manipulated, stretched, inverted, deleted, and reverted”. Her design is playful but contains beautiful formal moments. The abstract shapes are loud and fun, bouncing around each other, and the typography is minimal and robust, standing strong against a colourful background.

Pentagram-abbottmiller-mahjongg-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Pentagram's Abbott Miller's book on the game of Mahjong gets a reissue

The game of Mahjong has a long and fascinating history. Beginning in ancient China and originally developed in the Qing dynasty, it then made its way to the States. Fast forward to the 1920s and 30s and Americans became transfixed by the fast-paced nature of moving 144 tiles. More recently, it has experienced another resurgence in London too, where players arrange meet-ups or head to XU teahouse for a game. Just before it quickly grew in popularity here in the UK, Abbott Miller, a Pentagram partner since 1999, worked on a book which visually told this history, Mah Jongg: Crak, Bam, Dot released in 2010. This month, the “publication that celebrates the fascinating history and visual universe of the game,” has been reissued in a new edition by its original publishers, 2wice.

Spaghetti-bolo-poster-exhibition-graphic-design-itsnicethat-05 Work / Graphic Design The posters for Switzerland’s first ever spaghetti bolognese festival look tasty as hell

If we barged between you and your pals after work one evening, thick, syrupy IPA spilling over the lip of our pint glass, and asked if any of you had any idea of what “bolo-spirit” is, would you? The answer is probably not, unless you were enjoying a pleasant chat with Swiss design duo Katrin von Niederhäusern and Dominique Magnusson , the curators of what may well be the first ever spaghetti bolognese themed poster collection.

Nicer-tuesdays-july-2018-itsnicethat-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays From Finding Nemo paddling pools to animations by robots: here's what we learnt at Nicer Tuesdays July

Last night saw the return of our monthly curated event, Nicer Tuesdays — and what a banger it was. As we all attempted to fill the Love Island shaped hole in our hearts, August’s line-up – Flat-e, Nadine Redlich, Vicki King and Sophie Koko Gate – provided the perfect remedy. As usual, the crowd at Oval Space were treated to a down-right bonkers mixture of stuff, from clever in-camera visual distortions to a live set from Sophie’s band John Daker. Find out what we learnt at this month’s Nicer Tuesdays below.h3. Making animations “real” is important

Morgan-hill-murphy-photography-itsnicethat Work / Photography Morgan Hill-Murphy's Italian summer: "a playground of incredible light and fantastic wrinkly old men"

London-based photographer Morgan Hill-Murphy has been on a long trip to Italy. Living in Bagheria, a town next to Palermo for just over a month, the photographer headed out with an open mind, thinking a loose photography project would come of it, maybe. With no forced plan in mind, he adopted the Sicilian routine. Days begun by going to the market, popping back to the same cafes, he regularly went to church. Morgan wanted to “understand what it is to be a Sicilian,” and in turn, he’s created a series that makes us all wish we were.

Potionpictures-loveisland2018-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design My typeface on paper: the makings of the Love Island logo

Once again this year, one television programme had us glued to screens. It’s been another season of not just summer, but love. Each night across the UK, viewers have been making sure they’re home for nine PM for Love Island, to tune into a villa in Mallorca where singletons cracked on, did bits, got texts and four final couples yesterday finally found love.

Richard-kovacs-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Photographer Richard Kovacs uses experimental lighting to showcase Lagos' fashion scene

London-based Hungarian photographer Richard Kovacs’ practice encompasses traditional fashion photography combined with some other approach or genre, resulting in work that is as distinctive as it is accomplished. “Most fashion imagery is very boring these days and many image makers are copying, consciously or unconsciously, a few of the successful trendy photographers, which is a shame,” he tells It’s Nice That. It’s this desire to do different that has propelled his recent series I Will See You in My Dreams, which combines experimental techniques, documentary and fashion photography.

Laurence-stephens-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Laurence Stephens documents weary holiday-makers and stuffy museums in his book Bored Tourists

Holidays are weighted with expectation. Every hour in every airport and train station around the world, tourists arrive with brimming suitcases and hopes of what will potentially be the best trip of their life. When visiting Barcelona, London-based photographer, Laurence Stephens, found himself ducking off the bustling streets and into the cool, dark interior of the city’s Cathedral. Here, he quickly realised the humorous photographic potential that tourist traps like these could offer. “Juxtaposed against the beautiful architecture was an array of bemused, disillusioned tourists, bored, half-asleep, unintentionally waiting to be photographed,” he recalls.

Its_nice_that_adobe_stock_your_design_here_manshen_lo_list Sponsored / Found in Adobe Stock Your design here: a timeline exploring graphic design template trends

This Summer It’s Nice That is partnering with Adobe Stock on a series of articles that celebrate their library of over 90 million high-quality images, graphics, video motion graphics, templates, and branding materials. Over the coming weeks, we will be providing an insight into how the Adobe Stock library can benefit your creative practice.

Listimage_2 Partnership / Dropbox: Monthly Poster Alexandra Waespi and Alexa Viscius use cyanotype and long exposure to create a melting poster

For Chicago-based graphic designer Alexa Viscius, London-based photographer Alexandra Waespi, and pretty much everyone else in the world, the month of July has been an absolute scorcher. It’s been weeks of glorious weather but it’s also been a stickily hot one, a feeling both Alexandra and Alexa experienced in their respective cities across the globe.

Edith-young-art-historical-palettes-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art "Painterly Pantones": Photographer Edith Young on her art history-inspired series of colour palettes

“All my life I’ve pursued the perfect red”, sighed Diane Vreeland, once editor-in-chief of Vogue, in the 2011 documentary, The Eye Has To Travel. “I can never get painters to mix it for me. It’s exactly as if I’d said, ‘I want Rococo with a spot of Gothic in it and a bit of Buddhist temple’ – they have no idea what I’m talking about. About the best red is to copy the colour of a child’s cap in any Renaissance portrait.” Hearing these words, in an indie cinema in Providence, Rhode Island, photographer Edith Young – “struck by this inexact and somewhat ludicrous idea of perfection in colour” – had a lightbulb moment.

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