November's Must-See Museum Shows


Tim Marlow, artistic director for London's Royal Academy of Arts, chooses the best exhibitions to see this month, presented by Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

N ovember brings us into the full swing of autumn, and like the season, Steve McQueen is marking another significant moment of transition with his Year 3 project. The artist has photographed 115,000 seven-year-olds in standard class portraits, memorializing an important milestone in their educational development. On view at Tate Britain, it’s among Tim Marlow’s selection of the top exhibitions to see this month, alongside the Mori Art Museum's multi-disciplinary look at the future, the Philadelphia Museum of Art's investigation of wearable artworks, and the V&A’s close look at the impact of the automobile.

Steve McQueen Year 3

Tate Britain, London
12 November–3 May

I n collaboration with Tate Britain, Artangel and A New Direction, renowned British artist and filmmaker, Steve McQueen is presenting Steve McQueen: Year 3 – a city-wide collective class album.

Three rows of school children sitting and standing for their class photo
Year 3 class at Little Ealing Primary School 2018. Photograph © Tate.
portait of artist steve mcqueen in salmon-colored shirt
Steve McQueen. Photograph © John Russo.

Born in London himself in 1969, the artist has photographed an entire year group of school children - 115,000 seven-year-olds, capturing a moment of transition and a milestone in their education and development as they joined a new class in September this year.

The project will be presented at Tate Britain in a large-scale installation which will illustrate the diversity of the pupils and present a portrait of a coming London generation. In his words: ‘There’s an urgency to reflect on who we are and our future […] to have a visual reflection on the people who make this city work.’

Steve McQueen: Year 3 will be on view in the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain from November 2019 to May 2020.

Future and the Arts: AI, Robotics, Cities, Life - How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow

Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
19 November–29 March

A n exhibition at The Mori Art Museum, Japan is presenting over 100 projects and works that promise to ‘go beyond the confines of fine art’. Future and the Arts: AI, Robotics, Cities, Life - How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow will explore the numerous and complex ways in which phenomena including artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and biotechnology will impact our lives in the coming years, and lets us ponder how very different life might look.

rendering of gloating island city with solar panels
Bjarke Ingels Group, Oceanix City, 2019.

This multi-disciplinary, cross-genres show will feature a heady mix of contemporary art and exhibits of urban theory, architecture, design and product innovation, bio-art, movies and manga. It will endeavour to encourage visitors to consider current and potential issues surrounding cities, the environment, human lifestyle and society.

a large ear inside a clear vat of liquid with bubbles
Diemut Strebe, Sugababe, 2014.

Future and the Arts: AI, Robotics, Cities, Life - How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow is on view at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo from 19 November until 29 March 2020.

Off the Wall: American Art to Wear

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
10 November–17 May 2020

T he Philadelphia Museum of Art is celebrating an American art movement that emerged in the late ‘60s in a major exhibition. Off the Wall: American Art to Wear will focus on artists working between 1967-1997 who led the way in creating art centred around the body and body-related forms.

woman in utility vest covered in found objects
Joan Steiner, Basement Vest, 1977. Photograph by Otto Stupakoff ©Julie Schafler Dale.

It will feature more than 100 one-of-a-kind wearable works and sculptures by 50 artists from this period, framing their thoroughly individual outputs within the cultural and social contexts of the time. Expect the spectacular, with works crossing the borders of discipline and imaginatively spilling out into fine art, textiles, craft, performance and fashion.

a woman in a shiny one piece of tooled, painted, laced, and stitched leather, suede, antique shoe buttons, and satin.
Nina Vivian Huryn, Tree Outfit, 1976. Promised gift of The Julie Schafler Dale Collection. Photograph by Otto.

Off the Wall: American Art to Wear will open in at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on 10 November 2019 and comes to an end 17 May 2020.

Cars: Accelerating The Modern World

Victoria and Albert Museum, London
23 November–29 April, 2020

L ondon’s Victoria and Albert Museum is devoting a show to cars as a vehicle for exploring and questioning ideas about technical development and innovation, and the future of our cities, economies and environment.

a red car with hydraulics balanced on its back wheel
Lowrider Convention in Los Angeles. © 2019 Nathanael Turner.

Cars: Accelerating the Modern World will present 15 examples of very different cars accompanied by examples of products, fashion, graphics, photography and film. They will each speak about the ubiquitous impact of this invention as well as design more broadly.

Pop.Up Next © Italdesign.

Highlights will range from the first automobile ever made and an example of the first mass-produced car, to a contemporary sculpture by artist Patricia Piccinini of a human designed to survive a traffic collision.

Cars: Accelerating the Modern World opens at the V&A on 23 November 2019 and cruises on through until 19 April 2020.

More from Sotheby's

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.