10 Must-See Shows in Europe in 2024, From Naomi Campbell at the V&A to Anselm Kiefer in Florence

Here's a carefully selected round-up of what you can look forward to.

Naomi Campbell (2023). Photo by Marco Bahler for V&A.

Art lovers the world over will be swarming Europe next year for the Venice Biennale, which as per usual boasts dozens of national pavilions and the highly anticipated main exhibition, “Foreigners Everywhere,” curated by Adriano Pedrosa. Anyone hoping to stay on for an early vacation is in luck, as the continent is anticipating a bumper crop of blockbuster museum shows, from a celebration of supermodel Naomi Campbell in London, to a retrospective honoring American land artist Nancy Holt in Berlin. There is also the opening of a shiny new museum dedicated to Nordic modernism in Kristiansand, a coastal city in southern Norway.

Our European team has hand-picked what they are most excited to see in 2024.

 

“Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind”
Tate Modern, London
February 15—September 1, 2024

Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono, Half-A-Room, from Half – A Wind Show at Lisson Gallery London. Photo by Clay Perry ©Yoko Ono

London played a tremendous role in the life and artistic career of Yoko Ono (born 1933, Tokyo). During her five-year stay, the U.K. capital was where the Japanese-born artist and activist encountered a web of artists and creative minds that had gathered there in the mid-1960s; it was also a place where she created some of her radical works, and the city where Ono met John Lennon, her future husband and long-time collaborator.

In 2024, London will make a mark on Ono’s artistic trajectory again as Tate Modern stages “Music of the Mind,” the artist’s biggest exhibition in the U.K. to date. The show will feature more than 200 works ranging from installations, films, music, and photography that chart Ono’s path as a multidisciplinary artist and her profound impact on contemporary culture over the decades. Ono’s body of work created during her London years, including installations at Indica and Lisson Gallery such as Apple 1966 and Half-A-Room 1967, will be among the highlights.

—Vivienne Chow 

“Vera Molnár”
Centre Pompidou, Paris
February 28—August 26, 2024

Vera Molnár, Icône (1964). Photo: © Centre Pompidou / Dist. Rmn-Gp.

This pioneer of computer art, who died in December at the age of 99, had a creative vision that was decades ahead of her time. When she began making generative artworks in the 1960s, using the early coding language of Fortran and computers that had mechanical plotters for printers, her peers could not understand it. In their eyes, she had “dehumanized” art, she said in an interview from her Paris nursing home in early 2022.

Much has changed over the past ten years, as the world finally caught up with the significance of Molnar’s experiments with the creative relationship between systems and randomness. This retrospective ranges from drawings produced as early as 1946 to new work made in 2023.

Jo Lawson-Tancred

 

“Roy Lichtenstein”
The Albertina Museum, Vienna
March 8—July 14, 2024

Roy Lichtenstein, Wallpaper with Blue Floor Interior (1992). © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein. Photo Courtesy of Albertina, Vienna.

Roy Lichtenstein, Wallpaper with Blue Floor Interior (1992). © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein. Photo Courtesy of Albertina, Vienna.

In celebration of what would have been Roy Lichtenstein’s 100th birthday in 2024, Vienna’s Albertina Museum (with assistance from the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation and Estate) is putting on a major retrospective of the Pop Art legend’s work. The exhibition will include works on loan from private international collections and major institutions including New York’s Whitney Museum and MoMA, Vienna’s Museum Ludwig, and Madrid’s Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. The show follows the course of the artist’s five-decade career, starring his world-renowned large-scale comic-book inspired paintings from the 1960s. Other works on display include his 1970s mirror series, landscapes, and interiors.

–Verity Babbs

 

“Anselm Kiefer: Fallen Angels”
Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence
March 22—July 21, 2024

Anselm Kiefer

German artist Anselm Kiefer “These Writings, When Burned, Will Finally Give Some Light” exhibition during the preview at Palazzo Ducale on March 25, 2022 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Roberto Serra – Iguana Press/Getty Images)

Anselm Kiefer returns to Italy after his major presentation at Palazzo Ducale in Venice 2022, this time taking over the historic Palazzo Strozzi for his major solo show “Fallen Angels.” Born in 1945 in Donaueschingen, Germany, Kiefer is known for his exploration of intricate emotions, memory, war, myth, and existence through his epic works, whether in the form of painting, or sculpture and installation. Curated by Arturo Galansino, director of the foundation, “Fallen Angels” will feature historical titles and new works, aiming to channel the “vital complexity” embodied in the art of the German artist.

The show opening at the heel of 2023’s release of Anselm, the 3D documentary dedicated to the artist by the acclaimed Wim Wenders, who was also born in the same year as Kiefer and brought up in post-war Germany.

Vivienne Chow 

 

“Nancy Holt: Circles of Light”
Gropius Bau, Berlin
March 22—July 21, 2024

Nancy Holt

Archival image of Nancy Holt’s Holes of Light at the Hayward Gallery’s exhibition “Light Show” in 2013 (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Born in 1938 in Worcester in Massachusetts and grew up in New Jersey, Nancy Holt was a member of the earth, land, and conceptual art movements. She was known for her site-specific installation and moving image through which she explored how we understand our place on earth for five decades. Featuring works including film, video, photography, poetry, sculptures, and installations drawn from over the past 25 years, “Circles of Light” at Gropius Bau is the most comprehensive survey exhibition of the artist in Germany to date. The show will also shine a spotlight on Holt’s working process through the presentation of texts and recordings by the artist.

Vivienne Chow 

 

“Histórias indígenas / Urfolkshistorier”
Kode Art Museum, Bergen
April 26—August 25, 2024

Duhigó, Nepu Arquepu (2019). Photo courtesy of Kode Bergen.

Duhigó, Nepu Arquepu (2019). Photo courtesy of Kode Bergen.

Following its appearance in Brazil at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, ‘Histórias indígenas / Urfolkshistorier’ will arrive at Bergen’s Kode Art Museum for a four-month run. The exhibition explores Indigenous experiences across South America, North America, Oceania, and Scandinavia. Some 285 works by over 170 Indigenous and Indigenous-descent artists are brought together in the show, making sure to recognize the deeply complex and individual experiences of Indigenous people in each of the geographical areas explored in the exhibition. The show is also accompanied by two publications, a catalogue, and an anthology, which further explore the research put into the exhibition.

Verity Babbs

 

“Passions of the North”
Kunstsilo, Norway
Opening May 11, 2024

Franciska Clausen, Contrastes des formes (1927). Photo: © Øystein Thorvaldsen.

Nordic modernism will be put on Europe’s cultural map next spring with the opening of the Kunstsilo in Kristiansand, southern Norway. The unique 1930s silo building has been converted into a state-of-the-art museum to house the expansive collection of Norwegian collector Nicolai Tangen. Its inaugural exhibition offers a greatest hits tour of this new holding, with a mix of avant-garde artists representing not only Norway but Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland.

Jo Lawson-Tancred

 

“When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting”
Kunstmuseum Basel
May 25—October 27, 2024

Zandile Tshabalala, Two Reclining Women (2020). Photo courtesy of the Maduna Collection, © Zandile Tshabalala Studio.

Traveling to Europe after a critically acclaimed debut at the Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa, this survey show brings together over 200 artworks by African artists like Ben Enwonwu and Zandile Tshabalala alongside those from the Diaspora, including Michael Armitage, Amy Sherald, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. It may well be the most comprehensive study of the Black figure in painting to date.

With a title that inverts When They See Us, a Netflix drama from 2019 about the prejudiced incrimination of the Central Park Five, the show celebrates artworks that defy racist assumptions, organizing its exhibits under themes like “Joy & Revelry” and “Sensuality.”

Jo Lawson-Tancred

 

“NAOMI”
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
June 22, 2024–April 6, 2025

Naomi Campbell (2023). Photo by Marco Bahler for V&A.

Naomi Campbell (2023). Photo by Marco Bahler for V&A.

Taking to the runway for the first time at 15 after having been scouted in London’s Covent Garden, Naomi Campbell was just 18 when she became the first Black model on the cover of Vogue Paris, and has since starred on the front cover of more than 500 magazines.

From June, the V&A in London is celebrating the supermodel with an exhibition exploring her 40 year career in fashion. Around 100 outfits from Campbell’s personal wardrobe, including loaned pieces from her illustrious catwalk career and photographs by Tim Walker and Steven Meisel will be on display in this first-of-its-kind exhibition tracking Campbell’s work as a model, activist, and actress. This is a dream exhibition for fans of cultural history.

—Verity Babbs

 

“Art Povera”
Bourse de Commerce, Paris
October 9, 2024–March 24, 2025

Giuseppe Penone, Essere Vento (2014). Photo courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, Giuseppe PENONE © Adagp, Paris, 2023

Giuseppe Penone, Essere Vento (2014). Photo courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, Giuseppe PENONE © Adagp, Paris, 2023

Curated by Arte Povera expert Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the upcoming exhibition at Bourse de Commerce looks back at the history of the Italian “Poor Art” movement. The radical Arte Povera group exhibited together from the mid-1960s through into the ’70s, focused on the boundaries and mutualities between nature and culture, daily life and tradition, and using non-traditional everyday materials. The informal group was made up of artists across Italy, including key figures Alighiero Boetti, Jannis Kounellis, and Mario Merz. This show examines how the movement influenced the course of art history, using works from the Pinault Collection and pieces on loan from major European collections both private and public, including works owned by original Arte Povera artists.

—Verity Babbs

 

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