With August sees the peak of Leo season, ushering in a near tangible atmosphere of boldness and vivacity; parks, pools, gardens and beer gardens alike are in full flourish as London enjoys the heights of summer.

Pseudo-astrology aside, this month’s agenda certainly maintains this exuberant energy with London’s endless host of scintillating exhibitions and events. From the vibrancy of Lee Krasner: Living Colour at the Barbican, to the flamboyance of Jean Paul Gaultier’s Freak Show, one need not look to the stars to know that this August will see a veritable array of culture and entertainment, unless of course, you plan on attending Somerset House’s Film4 Screen, a little star-gazing wouldn’t go amiss.

Jean Paul Gaultier: Fashion Freak Show
Fashion’s enfant terrible Jean Paul Gaultier takes to the Southbank Centre with his original and provocative blend of cabaret and catwalk. We are invited into the mind of the brilliant designer as he provides his rousing yet sentimental view of the times in which we live. The party does not stop – moving through disco, funk and pop, to rock, new wave and punk – the show culminates in a dazzling display of theatricality, grandeur and poetry as he charts his inspirations from cinema’s Pedro Almodovar and Luc Besson to pop titans Madonna and Kylie Minogue, as well as his own intimate memories of childhood and his most iconic fashion creations.

Jean Paul Gaultier: Fashion Freak Show runs until the 2 of August at the Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8XX. Main image via Southbank Centre.

Main image credit: Frank Bowling Barticaborn I 1967 Lowinger Family Collection © Frank Bowling. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2019​.

Late at Tate Britain: Passage
See the Tate in a different light; a summer evening’s light.

This month’s Tate Late is inspired by British abstract expressionist, Frank Bowling, as is explored in the theme of ‘Passage’ – be it in its geographical sense, moving from location to location, or judicial – having the legal right to do so. The late is curated by the collaborative efforts of the Bowling family, and of course, the Tate Collective Producers to look at Bowling’s work and impact via a variety of workshops, discussions, film, and performance.

Meanwhile in the 1840s Gallery, Black Top will be in conversation, and playing live. Though, if you are more drawn to London’s underground scene, Reprezent Radio will be playing outside the Djanogly Café from 6pm until 9.30pm.

Late at Tate Britain: Passage runs from 6pm – 9.30pm on 2 August 2019 at Tate Britain, Millbank, Westminister, London SW1P 4RG. 

Image credit: Bitter Wheat at Garrick Theatre.

Bitter Wheat at Garrick Theatre
Whilst the August sun allows nature to blossom, so too can it scorch and desiccate. It is out of this dryness comes the harvest of Bitter Wheat, David Manet’s new play starring John Malkovich, who is returning to the stage after a 33 year long hiatus.

This dryness is one rivalled only by the work’s sense of humour as it tells the parodically Epic tale of “depraved Hollywood mogul” Barney Fein (Malkovich), one that becomes uncannily familiar in view of the #MeToo movement that was significant in the heights of America’s film industry in 2017 (if the protagonist’s name wasn’t already enough of a give-away). 

Bitter Wheat runs until 21 September 2019 at Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Rd, Charing Cross, London WC2H 0HH. 

Image credit: Wild at Heart by David Lynch.

Somerset House Film4 Summer Screen
Enjoy the cinematic experience that comes with London’s biggest outdoor screen and the unparalleled backdrop of a summer’s starry night sky as Somerset House and Film4 present fourteen summer evenings of iconic films.

However, the event needs not rest on the laurels of its setting alone, as it boasts an impressive array of genres, both classic and contemporary from Clueless and The Matrix to God’s own Country and Get Out, there is something to satiate casual watchers and cinephiles alike. Somerset house is also hosting live music and DJs before screenings, talks looking in depth into the film making process, and even a tour
going from “setting to screen”.

Film4 Summer Screen run from 8 August – 21 August at Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA.

Artwork: Lee Krasner, 'Siren', 1966. 

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
Too often an artist’s contribution is overlooked by a singular facet of their life. As was the case of pioneering American abstract expressionist Lee Krasner, whose work was often seen exclusively in relation to that of her husband, Jackson Pollock. This has since changed as Barbican holds a retrospective of her life and work in Living Colour, for it is her striking use of colour that defines her work and positions her as a vanguard of the abstract expressionist movement. The exhibition traverses the artist’s early self portraits, works that were torn up and subsequently compounded to form new pieces, and of course, her large- scale abstract
paintings for which she is revered.

Lee Krasner: Living Colour runs until 1 September 2019 at Barbican, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS. 

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