Ready for Your European Holiday? Here Are the Exhibitions You Can’t Miss in 5 Cities Across the Continent

From Paris to Venice, here are the must-see shows to hit while you're on the road this summer.

It is HOT in Europe. Cool off in a museum. And maybe see a show if ya feel like it. Photo: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images.

Art! History! Europe’s got it all, and world-class museums to boot. And luckily, for all you Americans out there, you don’t even need to think too hard about your next jaunt through the old country. That’s because artnet News has put together a must-see list of summer shows you won’t want to miss.



Van Gogh and the Sunflowers” at the Van Gogh Museum
Through September 1, 2019

Vincent van Gogh, <i>The Yellow House (The Street)</i> (1888). Image courtesy Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation).

Vincent van Gogh, The Yellow House (The Street) (1888). Image courtesy Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation).

Van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers will be the centerpiece of this exhibition, which will also present new research and a partial reconstruction showing what the painting would have looked like when it was originally created. Also on view will be 22 other works, including rare sketches and examples by other artists, including Paul Gauguin’s portrait of Van Gogh.

On view at the Van Gogh Museum, Museumplein 6, Amsterdam


Maria Lassnig: Ways of Being” at the Stedelijk Museum
Through August 13, 2019

Maria Lassnig, Dame mit Hirn (Women With Brain) (1990) Maria Lassnig Stiftung. Courtesy Stedelijk Museum.

The late, great Austrian painter Maria Lassnig has her first major retrospective in the Netherlands this spring. The artist, who died in 2014, is well known for her groundbreaking “body awareness paintings”—a series in which she painted only the parts of her body she could feel while she was working—as well as for her expressive and provocative self-portraits. A pioneer of her time, Lassnig often painted older female nudes with a vibrant pastel palette and powerful, brushy strokes.

On view at the Stedelijk Museum, Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ Amsterdam



Garden of Earthly Delights” at Gropius Bau
Through December 1, 2019

Pipilotti Rist’s Homo sapiens sapiens (2005). © Pipilotti Rist, Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Luhring Augustine.

For their summertime show, the Gropius Bau will look at the garden as a metaphor for human life. “Garden of Earthly Delights” includes a variety of artists, from John Cage to Yayoi Kusama, and even includes a work from the school of Hieronymus Bosch (can you guess which one)? Works on view consider the garden and nature from the perspective of catastrophe, sensuality, politics, and utopian ideals.

On view at Gropius Bau, Niederkirchnerstraße 7, 10963 Berlin


Straying From the Line” at Schinkel Pavillon
Through July 28, 2019

Installation view from “Straying From the Line” at Schinkel Pavillon.

What, really, is feminist art? A show on view at Schinkel provides a critically wide open answer. “Straying From the Line” is incredibly diverse in its aesthetics, narratives, and time periods, and includes artists Heji Shin, Barbara Hammer, and Tony Cokes alongside Maria Lassnig and Eva Hesse, proving how difficult the term is to define.

On view at Schinkel Pavilion, Oberwallstraße 1, 10117 Berlin



Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life” at Tate Modern
July 11, 2019–January 5, 2020

Olafur Eliasson, Din blinde passager (Your blind passenger) (2010). Installation view at ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, 2010. Photo by Thilo Frank / Studio Olafur Eliasson.

In this career survey, 30 of Eliasson’s works will fill the Tate Modern, and the show includes a number of his popular immersive installations such as his blinding tunnel of fog and a room where you can step inside a rainbow. The environmentally conscious artist will also be taking over the museum’s Terrace Bar to serve delicious organic, vegetarian, and ethically sourced food. Yum!

On view at Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG


Frank Bowling” at Tate Britain
Through August 26, 2019

Frank Bowling, <i>Cover Girl</i> (1996). Photo ©Frank Bowling. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2019.

Frank Bowling, Cover Girl (1996). Photo ©Frank Bowling. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2019.

This long-overdue retrospective of the Guyana-born British artist is a must-see this summer. Large-scale paintings from across Bowling’s 60-year career, including his seminal map paintings, poured paintings, sculptural paintings of the 1980s, and more recent productions from the 85-year-old artist, are included in this landmark exhibition.

On view at Tate Britain, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG


“Lee Krasner: Living Colour” at the Barbican
Through September 1, 2019

Lee Krasner, Another Storm (1963). Private Collection. ©The Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Courtesy Kasmin Gallery, New York.

Lee Krasner had to fight to become known as more than just Jackson Pollock’s “plus one.” This exhibition rightfully frames her a key player in the American art scene and pioneer of Abstract Expressionism. The exhibition chronicles Krasner’s colorful life, punctuated with powerful works that capture the hopeful mood of post-war New York.

On view at Barbican Center, Silk St, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DS



Berthe Morisot: Female Impressionist” at the Musee d’Orsay
Through September 23, 2019

Berthe Morisot, Self-Portrait (1885). Courtesy of Musée 4. Marmottan-Claude Monet, Fondation Denis et Annie Rouart, photo by Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, France/Bridgeman Images.

Berthe Morisot, Self-Portrait (1885). Courtesy of Musée 4. Marmottan-Claude Monet, Fondation Denis et Annie Rouart, photo by Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, France/Bridgeman Images.

The female Impressionist, who was a friend and contemporary of Manet, Renoir, and Degas, gets her due as an avant-garde artist. Morisot captured the intimacy of French bourgeois life, trendy tastes in fashion, and female domestic work. If you missed Berthe Morisot at the Barnes in Philadelphia or Dallas Museum of Art, where better place than Paris to see her art?

On view at Musée d’Orsay, 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris


Dora Maar” at Centre Pompidou
Through July 29

Dora Maar, unidentified female model from behind, with bare chest (around 1934). Collection Centre Pompidou, Paris. ©Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI / Dist. RMN-GP. ©ADAGP, Paris.

This exhibition, which travels to the Tate Modern after Paris, shows that Dora Maar cannot be defined only by her relationship with Picasso. Through more than 500 works and documents, this survey traces Maar’s career as she found her own voice as a Surrealist photographer, and later, as a painter.

On view at Centre Pompidou, Place Georges Pompidou, 75008, Paris


Trees” at the Fondation Cartier
Through November 10, 2019

Salim Karami, Untitled. Copyright the artist. Courtesy Fondation Cartier.

A tree-inspired sculpture by the late artist Agnès Varda, conceived shortly before her death, is one of the highlights of an ambitious group show that includes the work of indigenous communities, including the Yanomami who live in the heart of the Amazonian forest. Co-organized by the anthropologist Bruce Albert, “Trees” includes contributions from the neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso, a specialist in “plant intelligence,” among other experts.

On view at Fondation Cartier Pour l’Art Contemporain, 261, Boulevard Raspail, 75014 Paris



Helen Frankenthaler: Pittura/Panorama” at Museo di Palazzo Grimani
Through November 17, 2019

Helen Frankenthaler, Open Wall (1953). © 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS) NY. Photo: Rob McKeever, Courtesy Gagosian.

Helen Frankenthaler, Open Wall (1953). © 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS) NY. Photo: Rob McKeever, Courtesy Gagosian.

Helen Frankenthaler‘s paintings haven’t been shown in Venice since she represented the US at the 1966 Biennale. In this exhibition set in the elegant Palazzo Grimani, 14 paintings from a 40-year span of the American painter’s 60-year career focus on her influential transition from the Abstract Expressionism to Color Field painting.

On view at Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Castello, 4858A, Venice


Luc Tuymans, La Pelle” at Palazzo Grassi
Through January 6, 2020

Luc Tuymans, Schwarzheide, 2019, Fantini Mosaici, Milano, Installation View at Palazzo Grassi, 2019 © Palazzo Grassi, Photography by Delfino Sisto Legnani e Marco Cappelletti.

More than 80 of Tuymans’s figurative paintings from 1986 until today are included in this major survey of the Belgian artist’s work. Not to be missed is the new, site-specific, mosaic on the floor of the palazzo’s central atrium.

On view at Palazzo Grassi, San Samuele 3231, Venice, through January 6, 2020


May You Live in Interesting Times” at the 58th Venice Biennale
Through November 24, 2019

Sun Yuan and Peng You, Can’t Help Myself (2016). Image courtesy Ben Davis.

Sun Yuan and Peng You, Can’t Help Myself (2016). Image courtesy Ben Davis.

A list of shows to see in Venice would be useless without including the art event of the year, the 58th Venice Biennale. The two legs of curator Ralph Rugoff’s main exhibition include a roll call of the most influential artists of our time, from the emerging to the established. Not to be missed elsewhere are the brilliant national pavilions, from Lithuania’s Golden Lion-winning Sun & Sea (Marina) to Laure Prouvost’s striking French Pavilion.

On view at the Giardini and the Arsenale, and various sites throughout the city

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