Already Dreading the ‘Home Alone’ Re-Runs? Here Are 10 Great Exhibitions on View Over the Holidays

If you've had enough family time go see some edifying art.

Pablo Picasso Bull. Cannes (c. 1958) Photo: courtesy MoMA
Pablo Picasso Bull. Cannes (c. 1958)
Photo: courtesy MoMA
Franciso de Goya, Antonia Zárate, (c. 1805) <br> Photo: Courtesy the National Gallery

Francisco de Goya, Antonia Zárate, (c. 1805)
Photo: Courtesy the National Gallery

Even the most ardent art lover can fall out of sync with current exhibitions in the lead up to the holiday season. After three weeks of office parties and around three days straight cooped up with the family, what better antidote to the holiday blues could there be than getting out of the house and seeing some great art?

We at artnet News have compiled a wish-list of shows to see which are open over the next two weeks:

1. “Goya the Portraits” at London’s National Gallery
Few things are as seasonal as London’s Trafalgar Square, decorated with the annual gifted Christmas tree from Norway. This museum visit is guaranteed to evoke those holiday feelings. Those who haven’t seen “Goya The Portraits” only have until January 10 to view the group of seventy portraits assembled from private and public collections around the world. The exhibition highlights Goya’s phenomenal talent for portraiture, unstintingly expressing the personality of his subjects in a manner that was well ahead of his time.

The National Gallery is open over the holidays aside from December 24-26 and January 1 2016; “Goya The Portraits” is on view through January 10, 2016.

Francesca Woodman, Untitled, 1977-1978 © Betty and George Woodman

Francesca Woodman Untitled (1977-1978)
Photo: © Betty and George Woodman

2. “Fancesca Woodman: On Being an Angel” at FOAM Museum, Amsterdam
If you’re in Amsterdam for the holidays, be sure to head over the FOAM Museum and see their wonderful Francesca Woodman retrospective. Woodman left behind a considerable oeuvre despite her tragic suicide in 1981 at the age of 22. Her deeply self-referential, expressive work has influenced many other artists. The exhibition comprises of 102 photographs, and six short videos made and is the result of a collaboration between the Estate of Francesca Woodman and Stockholm’s Moderna Museet.

FOAM is open throughout the holidays including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day; “Francesca Woodman: On Being an Angel” is on view through March 9, 2016.

Hito Steyerl <i> How Not to Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational.MOV File</i> (2013) <br> Photo: courtesy Reina Sofia

Hito Steyerl How Not to Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational.MOV File (2013)
Photo: courtesy Reina Sofia

3. “Duty Free Art” by Hito Steyerl at Reina Sofia, Madrid
Those lucky enough to be in Spain for the holiday season can head over to Reina Sofia and see the critically acclaimed show “Duty Free Art” by Hito Steyerl. The exhibition of the video artist’s work has been brilliantly installed and addresses key issues such as migration, mass surveillance, globalisation and feminism in humorous and approachable ways. This exhibition comes hot on the heels of her equally well-recevied presentation for the German Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale, and a survey show at New York’s Artists Space.

Reina Sofia is open over the holidays aside from December 24-25 and January 1 and 5; “Duty Free Art” is on view through March 21, 2016.

Pablo Picasso <i> Bull. Cannes </i> (c. 1958) <br> Photo: courtesy MoMA

Pablo Picasso Bull. Cannes (c. 1958)
Photo: courtesy MoMA

4. “Picasso Sculpture” at MoMA, New York
This huge survey of Picasso’s work with sculpture could provide the perfect escape from the repeats of Home Alone and A Wonderful Life that are in store for us all over the next week.

The celebrated show, consisting of over 100 sculptural works as well as complementing works on paper, is the first exhibition of this nature to take place in the United States in over fifty years. Picasso never formally trained as a sculptor and kept many of his sculptural works private until his death—it was in fact relatively unknown that Picasso even made sculpture at all until the 1966 exhibition in Paris, “Hommage à Picasso.”

MoMA is open throughout the holidays aside from December 25; “Picasso Sculpture” is on view through February 7, 2016.

Mangaaka figure from Angola as featured in the exhibition <br> Photo: courtesy the Kongo Exhibition Blog metmuseum.org

Mangaaka figure from Angola as featured in the exhibition
Photo: courtesy the Kongo Exhibition Blog metmuseum.org

5. “Kongo: Power and Majesty” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Few things can bring on the holiday spirit like a walk around Central Park and a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Head over to the lauded exhibition “Kongo: Power and Majesty,” exploring the art from the Kongo region of central Africa over the last 500 years, which is in its final weeks.

There has been a market buzz surrounding art from the African continent all year, and this exhibition—comprising work from sixty private and institutional lenders—offers a unique understanding of the history of work from this region.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is open throughout the holidays aside from December 25 and January 1; “Kongo: Power and Majesty” is on view through January 3, 2016.

Cover of the catalog of The World Goes Pop (2015).Photo: via Tate.

Cover of the catalog of The World Goes Pop (2015).
Photo: via Tate.

6. “The World Goes Pop” at Tate Modern
This exhibition could be an ideal family outing: what could better represent a London Christmas than a bracing walk along the River Thames followed by a visit to the Tate?

“The World Goes Pop” has drawn together Pop Art from around the world, expanding on our previous understanding of the movement. The exhibition reveals a picture of Pop Art as a “subversive global language of protest” rather than the exploration of Western consumerism we previously viewed it as. Also, this could be the ideal time to see the show before it closes at the end of January.

Tate Modern is open throughout the holidays aside from December 25-26; “The World Goes Pop” is on view through January 23, 2016.

The Louvre Museum. Photo: Courtesy Flickr via Laura Suarez

The Louvre Museum. Photo: Courtesy Flickr via Laura Suarez

7. “A Brief History of the Future” at the Louvre
If you are in Paris for the holidays you can catch the closing weeks of “A Brief History of the Future”, an exhibition which features work by the likes of Camile Henrot, Ai Weiwei, and Weal Shawky next to works dating back from pre-history. Based on the book of the same name by French economist Jacques Attali, the exhibition attempts to explore how we view the present in terms of the past by showing contemporary interpretations of global problems we face today.

The Louvre is open throughout the holidays aside from December 25 and January 1; “A Brief History of the Future” is on view through January 4, 2016.

Anselm Kiefer <i> Resurrexit<i> (1973) <br> Photo: courtesy Centre Pompidou

Anselm Kiefer Resurrexit (1973)
Photo: courtesy Centre Pompidou

8. Anselm Kiefer” at Centre Pompidou
In the first major retrospective of Anselm Kiefer’s work in France, the Centre Pompidou looks back at the German artist’s career starting from the 1960s to the work he makes today. Some 150 works are on view, with around 60 paintings featured in the exhibition. There are also a number of photographs taken by Kiefer as well as two large scale installations, recreated by the artist.

The Centre Pompidou is open throughout the holidays; “Anselm Kiefer” is on view through April 18, 2016.

Shirin Neshat, <i>Speechless</i> (1996) <br> Photo: courtesy LACMA

Shirin Neshat, Speechless (1996)
Photo: courtesy LACMA

9. “Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art of the Middle East” at LACMA
If you are celebrating a sun soaked season in Los Angeles then why not head down to LACMA. The institution has been buying works by contemporary Arab artists to add to its Islamic art collection and this show is the first of two showcasing contemporary Islamic art. The exhibition contains work by Wafaa Bilal, Mitra TabrizianMona HatoumYoussef Nabil, and Shirin Neshat. In the current political climate it seems ever more important to see what artists living and making work in the Middle East have to say.

LACMA is open throughout the holidays with extended opening hours the week of December 26 but is closed on December 25; “Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art of the Middle East at LACMA” is on view until January 3, 2016.

Frank Auerbach J.Y.M Seated II (1996) Photo: courtesy Marlborough Fine Art

Frank Auerbach J.Y.M Seated II (1996)
Photo: courtesy Marlborough Fine Art

10. “Frank Auerbach” at Tate Britain
As one of the world’s greatest living artists, Frank Auerbach’s show, which also includes new work, has been a smash hit for all the right reasons. The retrospective, curated with Auerbach’s friend and long time subject Catherine Lampert with input from Auerbach himself, is a extensive and thoughtful presentation of the artists’ work.

Tate Britain is open throughout the holidays aside from December 24-26; “Frank Auerbach” is on view through March 13, 2016.


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