17 Blockbuster Summer Shows Worth Traveling For

Must-see museum exhibitions across the USA.

Edgar Degas, Russian Dancers (1899). Courtesy of a private collection/Getty Center.

1. “Degas: Russian Dancers and the Art of Pastel” at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, Los Angeles

The Getty has based this exhibition of late 19th-century pastels on a temporary loan of Russian Dancers, a spirited 1899 work by Edgar Degas. The women, engaged in a traditional Ukrainian folk dance, make for a fascinating departure from the more demure ballerinas for which the artist is traditionally known.
May 3–October 23, 2016

"Joel Shapiro" installation view at the Nasher Sculpture Center. Courtesy of the Nasher Sculpture Center.

“Joel Shapiro” installation view at the Nasher Sculpture Center. Courtesy of the Nasher Sculpture Center.

2. “Joel Shapiro” at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas
Brightly-colored geometric forms are magically suspended from the ceiling in Joel Shapiro‘s show at the Nasher, challenging viewer’s notions about balance and weight. The site-specific installation was created specially for the museum’s Renzo Piano-designed galleries.
May 7–August 21, 2016

James Rosenquist, <em>Time Dust - Black Hole</em> (1992). Courtesy the Judd Foundation, © 2016 James Rosenquist/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

James Rosenquist, Time Dust – Black Hole (1992). Courtesy the Judd Foundation, © 2016 James Rosenquist/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

3. “James Rosenquist” at the Judd Foundation, New York
Since transforming Donald Judd‘s Soho home and studio into a museum in 2013, the Judd Foundation has quietly begun an exhibition series exploring influences on the artist’s practice. The latest show features five works by James Rosenquist, including the 35-foot-long billboard Time Dust – Black Hole, paired with Judd’s writings about his contemporary.
May 13–August 6, 2016

László Moholy-Nagy A II (Construction A II) (1924). Courtesy © 2016 Hattula Moholy-Nagy/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

László Moholy-Nagy
A II (Construction A II) (1924). Courtesy © 2016 Hattula Moholy-Nagy/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

4. “Moholy-Nagy: Future Present” at the Guggenheim, New York
Artist László Moholy-Nagy, who taught at Germany’s famous Bauhaus school in Weimar and at its Chicago outpost, has always been a major part of the Guggenheim’s collection. Here, the museum presents a chronological look at the artist’s work in kinetic sculpture, abstract painting, and experimental photography. (artnet News’s Ben Davis was disappointed by the curation, but remains a champion of the artist’s intentions.)
May 27–September 7, 2016

Burk Uzzle, <em>White Water Nash</em> (2010). Courtesy of the Nasher Museum of Art.

Burk Uzzle, White Water Nash (2010). Courtesy of the Nasher Museum of Art.

5. “Burk Uzzle: Southern Landscapes” at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
North Carolina-based photographer Burk Uzzle, a former president of Magnum Photos who shot for LIFE magazine, has spent the last five decades capturing views of the American South. The Nasher has teamed up with the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the North Carolina Museum of Art to showcase Uzzle’s work in a trio of exhibitions  highlighting different aspects of his career.  
May 28–September 18, 2016

Installation view of "Bettina Pousttchi: World Time Clock." Courtesy of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Installation view of “Bettina Pousttchi: World Time Clock.” Courtesy of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

6. “Bettina Pousttchi: World Time Clock” at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
Over the course of the last seven years, German-Iranian artist Bettina Pousttchi has traveled around the world, photographing clocks in public places around Mexico City, Bangkok, Auckland, New Zealand, and Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Installed here for the first time as a complete set, in a circular gallery that recalls the shape of a clock, each of the 24 photos freezes the hands at exactly 1:55.
June 9–October 2, 2016

Pablo Picasso, Costume for the Chinese Conjuror from <em>Parade</em> (1917). Courtesy the Barnes Foundation, from the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Pablo Picasso, Costume for the Chinese Conjuror from Parade (1917). Courtesy the Barnes Foundation, from the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

7. “Picasso: The Great War, Experimentation and Change” at the Columbus Museum of Art
If you missed this one at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, you have a second chance to dive into Pablo Picasso‘s World War I-era work in Ohio. Curated by Simonetta Fraquelli, the exhibition spans 1912 to 1924, beginning with some of the artist’s first Cubist works. Some 50 pieces, including oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, and a quartet of 1917 ballet costumes, have been brought together from private collections and museums across the US and Europe.
June 10–September 11, 2016

Stuart Davis, <em>Owh! in San Pao</em> (1951). Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, © estate of Stuart Davis/licensed by VAGA, New York.

Stuart Davis, Owh! in San Pao (1951). Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, © estate of Stuart Davis/licensed by VAGA, New York.

8. “Stuart Davis: In Full Swing” at the Whitney Museum of American Art
Catch the pop-infused painting of Stuart Davis, which offer a more easily-digestible take on abstract art, at the Whitney Museum this summer. It’s a rare chance to experience the whole breadth of his career, including Davis’s more mature works.
June 10–September 25, 2016

Jacob Jordaens, <em>Marriage of Peleus and Thetis</em> (1636–38). Courtesy of Jacob Jordaens, Archivo Fotográfico, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.

Jacob Jordaens, Marriage of Peleus and Thetis (1636–38). Courtesy of Jacob Jordaens, Archivo Fotográfico, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.

9. “Splendor, Myth and Vision: Nudes From the Prado” at the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts
Canvases by Titian, Peter Paul Rubens, Jan Brueghel the Elder, and Diego Velázquez are among the 28 Old Master works included in this exhibition. The works are on loan from the collection of the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, which was amassed by the Spanish royal family the late 16th to early 19th centuries; most have never been shown in the US before.
June 11–October 10, 2016.

Installation view of "Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life." Courtesy of photographer Ben Gibbs/the Broad.

Installation view of “Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life.” Courtesy of photographer Ben Gibbs/the Broad.

10. “Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life” at the Broad, Los Angeles
The first temporary exhibition at Eli and Edythe Broad’s new museum is a comprehensive survey of the work of photographer Cindy Sherman, who hasn’t had a major museum show in LA in 20 years. Among the artist’s first collectors, the Broads have paired key loans from other institutions with selections from their own holdings to fully explore Sherman’s thought-provoking work and its questions about identity, gender, and the role of images in contemporary society.
June 11–October 2, 2016

Walker Evans, <em>Truck and Sign</em> 1930). Courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery.

Walker Evans, Truck and Sign (1930). Courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery.

11. “Walker Evans: Depth of Field” at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta
The High Museum is the only US venue for this comprehensive retrospective of the career of photographer Walker Evans, which previously appeared at the Josef Albers Museum Quadrat in Bottrop, Germany, and will travel this fall to the Vancouver Art Gallery. The show features 120 black-and-white and color prints taken between the 1920s and the 1970s, including Evans’s iconic Depression-era photos of the American South, taken for the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s.
June 11–September 11, 2016

 Elaine de Kooning, <em>Bullfight</em> (1959). Courtesy of the Denver Art Museum, Vance H. Kirkland Acquisition Fund, © Elaine de Kooning Trust.


Elaine de Kooning, Bullfight (1959). Courtesy of the Denver Art Museum, Vance H. Kirkland Acquisition Fund, © Elaine de Kooning Trust.

12. “Women of Abstract Expressionism” at the Denver Art Museum
You probably know the work of Jay DeFeo and Elaine de Kooning, but for the first survey of woman Abstract Expressionists painters, curator Gwen Chanzit has also tapped a number of other formidable artists. More than 50 major paintings are included in the first-of-its-kind exhibition, which brings long-overdue recognition to Sonia Gechtoff, Judith Godwin, Ethel Schwabacher, and other overlooked female Ab Ex greats.
June 12–September 25, 2016

John Jabez Edwin Mayall, <em>George Bancroft</em> (circa 1847. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

John Jabez Edwin Mayall, George Bancroft (circa 1847. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

13. “Double Take: Daguerreian Portrait Pairs” at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC
The National Portrait Gallery shows off the versatility of photography through this selection of daguerreotypes from its collection. Pairing different photographers’ portraits of 19th-century notables such as Frederick Douglass, Jefferson Davis, Daniel Webster, and John Quincy Adams, the exhibition showcases the widely different results photographers can achieve even when working with the same subject.
June 17, 2016–June 4, 2017

Francisco de Goya, <em>Portrait of the Matador Pedro Romero</em> (circa 1795–98). Courtesy of the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas.

Francisco de Goya, Portrait of the Matador Pedro Romero (circa 1795–98). Courtesy of the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas.

14. “Goya: Mad Reason” at the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin
Thanks in large part to a loan from the Yale University Art Gallery‘s Arthur Ross Collection, the Blanton presents nearly 150 paintings and prints by Spanish Old Master Francisco de Goya. Greatly influenced by the tumultuous time period in which the artist lived (1746–1828), Goya’s work explores the instability of reason, with works depicting war, bullfighting, and the allure of power.
June 19–September 25, 2016

Georgia O'Keeffe, <em>The White Calico Flower</em> (1931). Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Georgia O’Keeffe, The White Calico Flower (1931). Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

15. “O’Keeffe, Stettheimer, Torr, Zorach: Women Modernists in New York” at the Portland Museum of Art, Maine
This exhibition from the Portland Museum of Art identifies parallels in the careers of pioneering American modernists Georgia O’Keeffe, Marguerite Thompson Zorach, Florine Stettheimer, and Helen Torr. The show aims to present, as the press release states, “valuable perspectives on the meaning of modernism, the life of a working artist in New York in the early 20th century, and the shared and differing experiences of being women at a crucial moment in first-wave feminism.”
June 24–September 18, 2016

Installation view, "Nalini Malani: In Search of Vanished Blood." Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York, © Nalini Malani.

Installation view, “Nalini Malani: In Search of Vanished Blood.” Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York, © Nalini Malani.

16. “Nalini Malani: In Search of Vanished Blood.” at Institute of Contemporary Art Boston
Woman’s rights activist Nalini Malani, perhaps India’s most famous video and installation artist, brings work on paper and her multimedia installation In Search of Vanished Blood to the ICA. Named after a poem by renowned revolutionary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, the piece projects six 11-minute videos through clear Mylar cylinders hand-painted by the artist.
July 1–October 16, 2016.

Willie Cole, <em>How Do You Spell America? #2</em> (1993). Courtesy of the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Willie Cole, How Do You Spell America? #2 (1993). Courtesy of the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

17. “Art AIDS America” at the Bronx Museum of the Arts
Billing itself as “the first exhibition to examine the deep and ongoing influence of the AIDS crisis on American art and culture,” the Bronx Museum brings together more than 125 works made in response to the epidemic between 1981 and the present day. Featured artists include Félix González-Torres, Annie Leibovitz, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Martin Wong.
July 13–September 25, 2016


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