From Frida Kahlo in London to Casanova in Boston, Here Are 29 Museum Shows Worth Traveling for This Summer
See our top picks around the globe.
There’s art to be seen all over the world this summer, so why not plan a vacation with an exhibition or two in mind? We’ve scoured the globe to bring you this list of the 29 most tantalizing art shows going on view in the next few months.
“Deconstruction: A Reordering of Life, Politics, and Art” at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami
We’re intrigued by this exhibition of work by 12 Miami-based artists, which takes its title from Guy Debord’s 1967 book The Society of the Spectacle. The author predicted that in-person interactions would decline due to technology, and now artists including Frida Baranek, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Pepe Mar, Sandra Ramos, Frances Trombly, and others build on this timely, if loosely developed theme.
July 10–September 30
“Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele: 1918 Centenary” at the Neue Galerie, New York
July 12–September 4
There are shows all over the world this year dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the deaths of Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, but only one of them features the famed “Woman in Gold,” Klimt’s gilded masterpiece Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. It’s the jewel of the Neue Galerie’s collection, and if you haven’t seen it yet, the museum’s upcoming show, which examines the two artists’ work in light of the so-called “joyous apocalypse”—the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War I—is the perfect opportunity to do so.
“Susan Meiselas: Mediations” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
July 21–October 21
Since the 1970s, photographer Susan Meiselas has documented occurrences as wide-ranging as the armed conflict in Central America to the Kurdish genocide to carnival strippers. Timed here to the release of her new book, Mediations, an exhibition of the same name comes to SFMOMA from the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, and the Jeu de Paume, Paris.
“Joana Vasconcelos. I’m Your Mirror” at the Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain
Through November 11
Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos named her current show after a Velvet Underground song, as a tribute to Nico, who sang vocals on the track. The title work, a massive carnival mask sculpture made of bronze and mirrors, is joined by some of the artist’s greatest hits, as well as new works.
“Rauschenberg: In and About L.A.” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
August 11, 2018–February 10, 2019
LACMA makes the case that Robert Rauschenberg, who lives between New York and Florida, is actually a Los Angeles artist. He was inspired to pursue a career in the arts after being stationed with the Navy at California’s Camp Pendleton in 1944 and ’45, and later worked closely with the LA print workshops Gemini G.E.L. and Styria Studio. The exhibition also touches on Rauschenberg’s work with scientists and engineers from Teledyne Technologies as part of LACMA’s Art & Technology program, as well as his 1981 photography project In + Out City Limits, and 1998 screenprint series LA Uncovered, both of which feature views of the city.
“Lee Friedlander in Louisiana” at the New Orleans Museum of Art
Through August 12
New York-based photographer Lee Friedlander made his first trip to New Orleans in 1957 and has been visiting ever since. Now, the New Orleans Museum of Art has brought together some of the artist’s earliest streetscapes, self-portraits featuring reflections and shadows, and documentation of jazz culture. The latter work captures not only the musical greats and second-line parades, but also New Orleans’s lesser-known jazz musicians.
“Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer” at the Denver Art Museum
Through August 12
Choctaw-Cherokee painter and sculptor Jeffrey Gibson destroyed much of his early work before recommitting to his artistic practice in 2011. That date marks the starting point for this exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, which is known for its commitment to showing Native American art. Gibson’s colorful wall hangings, beaded punching bags, rawhide paintings, sculptures, and videos draw parallels between the Native American experience and the Civil Rights movement, all while reflecting the influence of the history of contemporary art. The show will later travel to the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
“Gabriele Münter” at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen
Through August 19
The Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen will exhibit some 130 works by the late German Expressionist Gabriele Münter, many of which are being shown for the first time, in the artist’s first comprehensive retrospective in decades. A founding artist of the Blaue Reiter group (Blue Rider) with her romantic partner Wassily Kandinsky and artist Franz Marc, Münter has—surprise, surprise—long been overshadowed by her male contemporaries. With an oeuvre of more than 2,000 paintings, and some 1,200 photographs, watercolors, stained glass works, and prints—not to mention thousands more drawings—it’s hopefully just a start to an overdue reassessment of her career.
“Robert Delaunay and the City of Lights” at the Kunsthaus Zürich
August 31–November 18
A master of light and color, Robert Delaunay was a major figure of the Parisian avant-garde in the early 20th century. For its upcoming comprehensive show, the Kunsthaus Zürich has amassed 80 paintings and works on paper by the artist to complement two major Delaunay canvases from its permanent collection: Circular Forms (Sun and Moon) (1913–31) and the monumental Circular Forms (1930).
“Spellbound: Magic, Ritual & Witchcraft” at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, London
August 31, 2018–January 6, 2019
In this historical exhibition, the Ashmolean Museum examines the way our lives are influenced by superstition and so-called “magical thinking.” Objects on view will include engraved rings meant to ensure another’s love and mummified cats.
“Laure Prouvost: Ring, Sing, and Drink for Trespassing” at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris
Through September 9
For her first Paris museum show, 2013 Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost—on tap to represent France at the 2019 Venice Biennale—presents a world overrun by nature, a possible vision of the future inspired by global warming. Visitors enter through a corridor of woven tapestries, and can drink from the centerpiece, a large fountain of breasts.
“Surface/Depth: The Decorative After Miriam Schapiro” at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York
Through September 9
Pioneering feminist artist Miriam Schapiro, who died in 2015, was a founding member of the Pattern and Decoration movement. The Museum of Arts and Design pairs 29 works by Schapiro, including her signature collage-painting hybrids, which she dubbed femmages, alongside 28 works by contemporary artists, such as Sanford Biggers, Jeffrey Gibson, and Sara Rahbar. The show reveals her widespread influence and her willingness to embrace disciplines traditionally relegated to the realm of craft and women’s work.
“Anna Torma: Book of Abandoned Details” at the Esker Foundation, Calgary
Through September 2
Blending traditional Hungarian textile techniques with contemporary art influences—as well as the feminist art movement of the 1960s and ’70s—Anna Torma’s vibrant embroidered multimedia works straddle the line between domesticity and fantasy.
“Mike + Doug Starn: Big Bambú” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Through September 3
Brothers Mike and Doug Starn have created a new version of their massive interactive project Big Bambú, which was a hit when it appeared on the rooftop of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2010. They’ve now built a multi-story installation of 3,000 bamboo poles at the MFA Houston, the first indoor edition of the piece. Guests who want to climb onto the upper levels should plan ahead and wear flat, rubber-soled, enclosed footwear.
“The Guerrilla Girls” at the Dallas Museum of Art
Through September 9
In the wake of the #MeToo movement there couldn’t be a better time to revisit the work of the anonymous female art collective the Guerrilla Girls, known for their searing critiques of the art world. The Dallas Museum of Art has brought together 109 posters, books, videos, and ephemera created by the group between 1985 and 2016.
“Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg: A Journey Through Mud and Confusion With Small Glimpses of Air” at Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Through September 9
Nathalie Djurberg’s darkly fantastical stop-motion animated films are scored by Swedish producer Hans Berg. In their latest show, the duo will present new sculptures and installations, as well as their recent efforts in virtual reality.
“Chillida in the Rijksmuseum Gardens” at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Through September 23
The Rijksmuseum has secured loans of nine of Eduardo Chillida‘s monumental steel sculptures for an impressive outdoor exhibition. The Spanish artist is known for blending traditional artisanal iron-forging techniques with the innovations of Modernist abstraction. Don’t miss his Homenaie a Calder, inspired by the mobiles of Alexander Calder.
“The Music of Color: Sam Gilliam, 1967–73” at the Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland
Through September 30
The Kunstmuseum Basel revisits the most radical period in the career of American artist Sam Gilliam, who, in 1967, began painting on unstretched canvases and then folding and crumpling the wet paintings to create works that border between sculpture and painting. The show also highlights Gilliam’s signature drape painting series, which he began in 1968.
“Viviane Sassen: Hot Mirror” at the Hepworth Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England
Through October 7
The Hepworth Wakefield showcases the work of Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen, who cites Surrealism as a major influence on her work. The exhibition is presented as a series of “image poems” in the tradition of Surrealist collage, featuring photography series from the last decade as well as the artist’s new work.
“Judy Chicago’s Birth Project: Born Again” at the Pasadena Museum of California Art
Through October 7
For the follow up to her ground-breaking installation The Dinner Party, the pioneering feminist artist Judy Chicago set about creating works of art that depicted the miracle of birth—an act rarely pictured in the history of art. (Chicago has argued if men delivered babies, art museums would use much more space emphasizing this essential part of the human experience.) In making these bold female symbols, Chicago continued championing woman-centric art traditions historically denigrated as craft, working with professional textile artists—as she did with The Dinner Party—to help execute her vision. Works from the series will appear this fall at the ICA Miami, but see them in Pasadena first, as the museum has sadly announced its imminent closure.
“Casanova’s Europe: Art Pleasure, and Power in the 18th Century” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Through October 8
The adventures of Italian autobiographer Giacomo Casanova have become reduced in the popular imagination to his famed exploits with women. But his writings offer an unparalleled account of everyday life and customs in 18th-century European society. The MFA takes a look at Casanova’s world—and the persistently relevant issues of political, social, economic, and sexual power—presenting a selection of 250 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, decorative arts, furniture, costumes, and musical instruments.
“Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography, 1911–2011” at the Getty Center, Los Angeles
Through October 21
The Getty presents 198 fashion-related objects, from magazine covers and ad campaigns to garments and photographs, in this in-depth survey of the history of fashion photography, which rarely gets institutional attention. The show takes as its starting point Edward Steichen, who took the first artistic photographs back in 1911. It then traces the century since, ending in the digital (but still pre-Instagram) age of 2011. The show includes some of the field’s most famous photos, as well as lesser-known masterpieces and experimental work by the likes of Man Ray and Dora Maar, which contributed to the art form’s development and challenge the notion that fashion photography is merely commercial.
“Winslow Homer and the Camera: Photography and the Art of Painting” at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine
Through October 28
The Bowdoin College Museum of Art makes the case that landscape painter Winslow Homer was heavily influenced by the burgeoning art of photography. The exhibition presents photographs, paintings, and prints, as well as a professional-grade dry plate camera that was once owned by the artist.
“Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up” at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Through November 4
Perhaps art history’s most celebrated female artist, Frida Kahlo became an icon on the strength of her self-portraits, in which she often wore richly embroidered Mexican garb and colorful flowers in her hair. The Victoria and Albert Museum explores her work and identity through the lens of her fashion, bringing together her clothing and personal possessions, many of which have never been publicly shown before. Her famous wardrobe has remained untouched in the 50 years since her death.
“Paula Crown: The Architecture of Memory” at Studio Cannaregio, Venice
Through November 26
Timed to the 16th Venice International Architecture Biennial, the Dallas Contemporary presents an exhibition of work by artist Paula Crown, who has turned the simple red solo cup into an architectural building unit.
“Germinal” at the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology in Lisbon
Through December 31
The eminent sculptor Pedro Cabrita Reis was a great champion of emerging Portuguese artists in the 1990s and amassed a collection of more than 400 artworks. This is the first time that the public will have access to a selection of his treasure trove.
“Catwalking: Fashion Through the Lens of Chris Moore” at the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham, England
Through January 6, 2019
Over the last 60 years, Chris Moore has become known as the king of catwalk photography, shooting fashion shows from all the major designers: Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, John Galliano, Comme des Garҫons, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Vivienne Westwood, and many more. In the Bowes Museum’s current exhibition, Moore’s historic images ae paired with garments on loan from the world’s foremost fashion houses.
“Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color” at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York
Through January 13, 2019
From Pantone color swatches to Sir Isaac Newton’s 18th-century color treatise, this show is a delightful romp through both the worlds of science and art. The San Francisco sensation Color Factory is participating in the exhibition with a chromatic-walkway that extends from the museum show into the garden, and corresponds with real-life colors encountered in New York City.
“Constantin Brancusi Sculpture” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York
Through February 24, 2019
Modernist master Constantin Brancusi transformed the field of sculpture with his sleek, elegantly simple forms, which often bordered on abstraction. MoMA has mined its own collection to present 11 sculptures by the artist as well as drawings, photographs, and archival materials.
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