See + Do

It's that time of year again—the summer season of exhibitions and events is about to kick off, and wherever you are in the world, there's plenty to keep you busy for the next few weeks. Here's our roundup of what not to miss from May onwards...

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Christoph Niemann, 'Champ de Mars 1', 2017

Christoph Niemann: That's How!
Cartoonmuseum Basel, Switzerland
6 May - 29 October
The excellent Cartoonmuseum in Basel celebrates the work of Christoph Niemann this summer with a solo exhibition of the illustrator's work, incorporating over 120 original drawings, paintings and prints. Mr Niemann is rightly renowned for his clever draughtsmanship and eye for a visual pun, and the chance to see this sprightly work in the flesh is not to be missed.

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The Sci-Fi London Film Festival 2017
Various venues, London
Until 6 May
Get your fill of otherworldly delights at this year's Sci-Fi London film festival, which kicked off last night and runs until next Saturday. Now in its seventeenth year, the festival presents an exciting programme of premieres, screenings, workshops, events and even a pub quiz, at various venues across the capital. The films on show range from internationally-released blockbusters to independent films and an array of shorts, and you can keep an eye on what's on and where in the festival's dedicated app, too.

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Dan Friedman: Radical Modernist
Chicago Design Museum, USA
Until 12 August
A pioneer of New Wave typography and a lively stalwart of the downtown art scene, Dan Friedman reappraised the tenets of modernism through his work and advocated for a more humanist, expressive approach to graphic design. This exhibition, which opens today, is based on an installation created by Friedman himself to accompany an autobiography published shortly before his early death in 1995. It documents the evolutionary shifts in Friedman's career, from his early work in academia and exploration of corporate design at Anspach Grossman Portugal and Pentagram, to his later, more experimental and socially-conscious work which included installation and furniture design, and his involvement with the East Village art community.

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Eric Gill: The Body
Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, Sussex
29 April - 3 September
Eric Gill was an interesting, if rather odd fellow—graphic designers will likely be most familiar with his work in typography, but this was only one facet of his practice, which spanned sculpture, calligraphy, stonecutting, printmaking and draughtsmanship. In recent years, he's become almost as well-known for certain very questionable sexual proclivities as he is for his work, and this new exhibition at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, focusing on his exploration of the human body, asks whether it's possible for us to reconcile an appreciation for his art with a knowledge of the more disturbing aspects of his lifestyle.

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Petrol Station, by Thomas Hedger, nominee for the 2017 Student Illustrator of the Year

V&A Illustration Awards 2017
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
17 May - 20 August
The shortlist has just been announced for the V&A's annual Illustration Awards, and the winners will be announced in a ceremony on 16 May, followed by an exhibition of the awarded work at the Museum over the following months. We're particularly taken with the work of Thomas Hedger, shortlisted for the Student Award for unpublished illustration, but the entire shortlist offers an interesting snapshot of the diversity of contemporary illustration.

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Patent drawing for the geodesic dome courtesy of The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller and Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio.

California: Designing Freedom
Design Museum, London
24 May - 15 October
Next up at the Design Museum this year is a new exhibition focusing on the design legacy of the sunshine state. The show will trace the development of the Californian design tradition, from the pioneers of mid-century modernism to the global reach of Apple and its Silicon Valley ilk, taking in everything from self-driving cars to the work of David Carson to shed light on how Californian design over the past half-century has created pioneering tools of personal liberation.