Top 5 Art Exhibitions to see this October 2021

We hope that you were able to make the most of all the exhibitions and art events which took place in September (let us know where you went in the comments below!). But now that another month has flown by, it’s time to start booking exhibitions opening in October. There are so many boundary-breaking shows opening this October... so let’s get straight into our top picks!

Anish Kapoor at Modern Art Oxford 

2 October – 13 February

Anish Kapoor is one of those artists that is almost always at the front of many art lovers’ minds. He is most well-known for his installation work such as the Cloud Gate, (also known as The Bean) which is based in Chicago. Kapoor has been a man of large controversy throughout his career, not only for his conceptual artworks but also for his ownership of the ‘blackest black’ paint pigment in the world - yes, apparently you can actually own a colour! Crazy right?! Although Kapoor is not the typical artist you would normally associate with paint (or even paintings) as most of his portfolio consists of three dimensional objects, Kapoor has been dedicating lots of his time to canvases lately. If you are as curious as we are, then the exhibition opening this month at Modern Art Oxford, Anish Kapoor: Painting, is where you should be headed! 


The paintings on display push the boundary between sculpture and painting to explore our perception and understanding of the human body. The paintings are somewhat gory and disturbing with explosions of red on the canvases symbolising blood and decay. Indeed, Modern Art Oxford has even issued a content warning to let visitors know that the exhibition contains “abstract depictions of the human body that some visitors may find graphic and unsettling”. Take that as you will, but it’s sure to keep you on your toes! Maybe this is a good exhibition to add to your Halloween plans! 

Jeff Koons at Palazzo Strozzi

2 October – 30 January 

Another big name in sculpture - Jeff Koons, will be exhibiting a wide selection of his most famous works at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence! The exhibition aptly titled Jeff Koons. Shine will explore the concept of ‘shine’ in his work. It has been curated to highlight how he has utilised the shine of  ‘mirror-finish’ surfaces,extensively throughout his work to date, but also to demonstrate how he is now exploring shine in a more abstract way as “an ambiguous idea that oscillates between the dualities of being and seeming, or truth and sensation”.

Jeff Koons is the world’s most expensive living artist at auction, and has established himself as a prolific and controversial figure in the art world since the mid 70s. In order to capture the magnitude of his practice, the exhibition will host loans from some of the biggest museums and galleries in the world. You can expect to see some of his more famous works all gathered together including Balloon Dog (Red) and Rabbit (pictured above). 

Jeff Koons. Shine will allow viewers to look back at Jeff Koons’ career and contemplate what he may be up to next. We do have some hints though… have you heard that Jeff Koons’ NFT release is coming in 2022? According to The Art Newspaper, “the artist says he is in the process of developing digital works that will be offered as NFTs and expects them to be released “within a year's time”. We are very much looking forward to seeing what Koons will come up with!  

Frieze No.9 Cork Street Gallery Launch

7 October – 23 October

Coinciding with Frieze London , Frieze is launching a new major initiative: The No.9 Cork Street Gallery. The gallery located in Mayfair in the historic artistic centre of London will open with exhibitions from gallerists James Cohan, Commonwealth and Council and Proyectos Ultravioleta.

The gallery will also host a series of talks, tours and special events including a pop-up by the non-profit Allied Editionsand Arts Council Collection which will be showcasing limited editions by contemporary artists. There is a diverse and fully packed schedule to explore, so make sure to read through all the information here!

At Artscapy we are most excited to see the newest works by Christopher Myers presented by New York based gallery - James Cohan. The solo exhibition titled I Dare Not Appear is inspired by Sarah Forbes Bonetta, the West African adopted god-daughter of Queen Victoria. Myers has created colourful large-scale tapestries inspired by Forbes Bonneta’s life and the themes of colonialism, race and class.

Pamela Rosenkranz and Cao Fei at Sprüth Magers

On other news, how does a ‘Cao Fei’ and a ‘Pamela Rosenkranz’ exhibition sound to you..? Sprüth Magers will be hosting exhibitions featuring the two exciting multimedia artists both opening on October 8th, (one in London and the other in Los Angeles). Whether you are taking up late summer holidays to visit the US, or the UK, surely these two will be a must in your agendas!

Pamela Rosenkranz at Spruth Magers London 

 October 8 – November 20

In London, Sprüth Magers will be presenting Pamela Rosenkranz’ sensory and atmospheric works in a solo exhibition titled Healer. Through working with a wide range of colours, technologies and mediums; Rosenkranz explores the limitations of human perception and the interplay between nature and artificiality. From outside the gallery you will already be able to get a glimpse of what awaits you inside: a large robotic snake! Creepy...but cool, right? And just in time for Halloween! 

Cao Fei at Spruth Magers Los Angeles

October 8 – December 22

In Los Angeles, Sprüth Magers is presenting works by the Chinese artist Cao Fei. The exhibition will highlight Fei’s recent works which span across the mediums of video, photography, and digital media. Having recently been awarded the prestigious 2021 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation prize, the exhibition will be a unique opportunity to see Fei’s reflections on the urbanisation and social upheavals in her native China.

We hope you use this listing to plan some art weekends getaways throughout this October. We also invite you to come back and update your fellow Artscapers with your latest exhibition pictures by posting directly in the feed, or in the comments below this article! If you need help getting around Artscapy, do not hesitate to drop us a message (to do this, you can use our ‘Message’ feature, in the top right corner of the page to get in touch, we would love to hear from you and will be happy to help! ). 

Happy art-(creepy) crawling days throughout your October 2021! We hope you have a great one, and hope you come back and share your adventures with us!

#AnishKapoor #JeffKoons #Frieze #CaoFei #PamelaRosenkranz #SprüthMagers


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Which exhibition are you most excited to see?