June is a really rich month for the festival, with a huge range of exhibitions, performances, talks and other events taking place all over the country.
Another June highlight is Refugee Week (17-23 June). This year’s theme ‘You, me and those who came before’, is an invitation to explore the lives of refugees – and those who have welcomed them – throughout the generations.
Refugees, Newcomers, Citizens: Migration Stories from Picture Post, 1938-56
Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck, London
3 June – 5 July
This exhibition brings together for the first time over sixty original prints by renowned émigré photographers Gerti Deutsch and Kurt Hutton, together with Bert Hardy and Haywood Magee, revealing Picture Post magazine’s stories of refugees and immigrants to Britain from the 1930s to the 1950s. Images focus on the Kindertransport and Windrush-era migrations, as well as on lesser-known histories of wartime African-American women Red Cross volunteers, and post-war child Holocaust survivors who found refuge in the Lake District.
Driftwood Cast Upon a Foreign Shore: Jankel Adler in Britain, 1940–49
Ben Uri Gallery, London
3 June – 8 July
Marking the 70th anniversary of the death of Polish-Jewish émigré Jankel Adler (1895-1949) this exhibition explores his nine-year British exile. Adler fled Nazi Germany in 1933, was declared ‘degenerate’ in his absence, and arrived in Scotland (via Paris) in 1940. Influenced by Picasso and Klee, in both Glasgow, and later London, he introduced remarkable stylistic and technical innovations, particularly in printmaking, to the next generation of British artists. Drawn primarily from private collections, this exhibition provides a much-needed opportunity to re-assess a still neglected artist, now considered one of the most important European modernists working in mid-century Britain.
The Bonnie Bird Theatre, London
20-21 June, 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Dance performance of re-imagined “lost” Laban work, Drumstick. Over the last two years, Alison Curtis-Jones, Artistic Director of Summit Dance Theatre and Lecturer in Dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London. has been researching two ‘lost’ works, Ishtar’s Journey into Hades and Dancing Drumstick, both choreographed by Rudolf Laban in Monte Verità, Switzerland, in 1913.
“My re-imagined Drumstick is an attempt to show Laban’s shift to arbitrary rhythm – a materialisation of extreme and subtle dynamic changes, where dancers establish their own felt rhythms and work together in unity without sound and make stillness resonate. Musicians accompany the dancers, playing in response to what they see, not the other way around; it’s not radical today, but it was in 1913!”
Walter Nessler: Post-war Optimist
Pallant House Gallery, Chichester
8 June – 6 October
A significant display of the work of German-born artist Walter Nessler (1912 – 2001), who emigrated to Britain in the 1930s. Though not Jewish, he was violently opposed to fascist ideology and was denounced as ‘degenerate’ by the Nazi regime. This exhibition examines the breadth and versatility of Nessler’s artistic practice from his dynamic and foreboding wartime cityscapes to his exuberant post war paintings. These later works were inspired by his passion for jazz, the inspiration of Matisse and his acquaintance with artists including Picasso, Giacometti and Cocteau who he met in Paris during the late 1940s and 50s.
Friedrich Nagler: A Personal Mythology
Hove Museum and Art Gallery, East Sussex
13 June – 17 September
Friedrich Nagler (1920 – 2009) was a Jewish émigré and self-taught artist born in Vienna, Austria. He escaped Nazi occupation in 1938 and after being interned in England was deported to Canada as an ‘enemy alien’ by the British government. He returned after the war and settled in Petersfield, Hampshire. Consumed by a passion for making, Nagler created thousands of works of art, some of which are inspired by his flight from Nazi-occupied Austria to England. On the 22nd of June, join Friedrich Nagler’s sons, Mervyn and Martin, in a conversation about this extraordinary artist to discuss their father’s life, experience and work. This project, produced in partnership with award-winning arts charity Outside In, will see never before seen works on display at Hove Museum and Art Gallery.
The Globe, Europe Galleries
The V&A, London
16 June (as part of Refugee Week)
20:20 vision is a dynamic arts and community legacy project from not-for-profits Salusbury WORLD Refugee Centre and FotoDocument, which celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK. The work focuses on 20 children from diverse backgrounds who arrived in the UK circa 1999 and casts a long lens over their lives and achievements fast forwarding 20 years later to 2019. 20:20 vision uses photography, film, written and spoken word and visual theatre to capture the stories which will be showcased in a touring exhibition alongside archival photographs, significant objects, children’s drawings, letters, diaries and other relevant ephemera.
The Bauhaus in Britain
Tate Britain, London
17 June – 17 November
This free display considers connections between Germany’s Bauhaus School (1919–33) and the visual arts in Britain. It centres on the years 1934–6, when the Bauhaus came into sharper focus in Britain through the presence of key publications and protagonists, including Walter Gropius and László Moholy-Nagy. Living and working for a few years in north London, they encountered the likes of British artists Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Henry Moore. The display also highlights the work and experiences of lesser-known designers or teachers, such as Naum Slutzky and Grete Marks, who continued to live and work in Britain over the following decades.
Pallant House Gallery, Chichester
26 June – 27 October
An exhibition of intimate portrait paintings and drawings by Grete Marks – also known as Margarete Heymann – who trained at the Bauhaus School and is best known for founding the Hael-Werkstätten pottery in Germany, and later for her ‘Grete Pottery’ created in the UK after emigrating in 1938. This exhibition celebrates a lesser known aspect of the artist’s creative practice through a series of works from the 1920s and 1930s. It marks the centenary of the foundation of the Bauhaus in 1919.