Fall Art Preview: 20 Museum Shows in Europe Everyone Should See

Tino Sehgal takes over Paris, Francis Bacon in Bilbao, and Robert Rauschenberg comes to London.

Ahmet Öğüt, Bakunin's Barricade, (2014/ 2016),. Courtesy the artist, Museum Ludwig.
Ahmet Öğüt, Bakunin's Barricade, (2014/ 2016),. Courtesy the artist, Museum Ludwig.

The summer is over and the new art season is officially open, with a host of great exhibitions across Europe coming up to combat your post-vacation blues. The editors at artnet News have sourced the most exciting, long-awaited, and thought-provoking exhibitions this fall, with performance and dance featured ever more prominently in major institutions.

1. “We Call It Ludwig” at Museum Ludwig, Cologne, August 27, 2016 – January 8, 2017.
For the 40th Anniversary of Cologne’s Museum Ludwig, the director and curators put together a special group exhibition titled “We Call It Ludwig.” The show includes works by 25 artists invited by the institution to engage with the museum’s history, its present, and future. The exhibition features representatives from every continent, and includes works endorsing a variety of different political and social perspectives, and takes a cross-generational approach.

Participating artists include: Ge­orges Adéag­bo, Ai Wei­wei, Ei Arakawa & Michel Au­d­er, Min­er­va Cue­vas, Maria Eich­horn, An­drea Fras­er, Meschac Ga­ba, Guer­ril­la Girls, Hans Haacke, Dian­go Hernán­dez, Can­di­da Höfer, Bodys Isek Kin­gelez, Kuehn Malvezzi, Chris­tian Philipp Müller, Mar­cel Oden­bach, Ah­met Ögüt, Claes Ol­d­en­burg, Pratchaya Phin­thong, Alexan­dra Piri­ci & Manuel Pel­muş, Ger­hard Richter, Av­ery Singer, Jür­gen Stoll­hans, Rose­marie Trock­el, Vil­la De­sign Group, and Chris­to­pher Wil­li­ams. Henri Neuendorf

Paul McCarthy. Photo: Courtesy Kunstmuseum St. Gallen.

Paul McCarthy. Photo: Courtesy Kunstmuseum St. Gallen.

2. Paul McCarthy at Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland, September 3 – November 13.
The Kunstmuseum St. Gallen presents a solo exhibition by the influential American artist Paul McCarthy. The show is a survey of McCarthy’s work spanning his early “action paintings”—in which he used his body as the paintbrush and body fluids as paint—up to his critique of mass culture manifested through the depiction of Disney cartoons and Hollywood movies.

The extensive survey includes numerous key loans from the collection of Ursula Hauser, including the complete group of silicone statuettes from the Disney cartoon Snow White. Running concurrently to the exhibition, the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen will also premiere two new films by the artist White Snow Mammoth, and the seven-hour saga White Snow, 4 Channel, Single Projection, 7 Hours. For the most dedicated of fans. Henri Neuendorf

Wassily Kandinsky Blue Mountain (1908/09). Photo: Courtesy Fondation Beyeler.

Wassily Kandinsky Blue Mountain (1908/09). Courtesy Fondation Beyeler.

3. “Kandinsky, Marc & Der Blaue Reiter” at Fondation Beyeler, Basel, September 4, 2016 – January 22, 2017.
The Foundation Beyeler presents a comprehensive exhibition dedicated to Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc’s 1911 manifesto Der Blaue Reiter, which advocated abstraction and revolutionized Western art. Featuring around 60 works by Kandinsky, Marc and other notable artists involved in the manifesto’s creation, the show includes pieces from the Beyerler Collection as well as selected, prized loans.

It is the first time in almost 30 years that an exhibition on this exciting time in modern art comes to Switzerland and promises to give visitors an unparalleled insight into the work of a radical group of avant-garde artists that irrevocably altered the course of art history and continues to influence the practice of artists working today. Henri Neuendorf

Mohamed Bourouissa, Untitled, from: Horse Day (2013). Photo: © Mohamed Bourouissa, courtesy Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Mohamed Bourouissa, Untitled, from Horse Day (2013). Photo ©Mohamed Bourouissa, courtesy Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

4. Mohamed Bourouissa, “Horseday” at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 10 September, 2016 – 1 January, 2017.
Mohamed Bourouissa is an Algerian photographer best known for his unapologetic photographs of young people and the turbulent everyday in Paris’ neglected banlieues. In an installation designed by the artist across two gallery spaces, the Stedelijk Museum will host a series of preliminary studies, photographs, and a video that are part of Bourouissa’s ongoing “Horseday” project.

Bourouissa’s oeuvre is preoccupied with the rituals and objects that hold meaning in specific communities, and “Horseday” emerged from the artist’s fascination with urban horse-riding in a predominantly black community in Philadelphia. The project centers around a “Horse Tuning Expo” arranged by the artist to select the most beautifully decorated horse. The exhibition will also feature the resulting experimental film, which transposes the motifs of classic Western films onto a contemporary urban setting. Naomi Rea

Anne Imhof Angst Kunsthalle Basel (2016). Photo: Philipp Hänger, courtesy Kunsthalle Basel.

Anne Imhof Angst Kunsthalle Basel (2016). Photo Philipp Hänger, courtesy Kunsthalle Basel.

5. Anne Imhof, “Angst II” at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, September 14-25.
Having won Berlin’s Preis der Nationalgalerie for young artists last year, Anne Imhof mesmerized visitors to Art Basel this past June with a triumphant solo show titled “Angst” at the Kunsthalle Basel. For 10 days this September, the main hall of Berlin’s historic train station-turned-museum will become the site of the work’s second cycle, “Angst II,” a slowly unfolding multi-part “exhibition as opera.” The artist evokes the Latin meaning of the word opera, relating to “work” or “care,” rather than a narrative driven, sung performance.

Multiple objects and artworks strewn or installed around the space contextualize the actions carried out by a number of performers, human or animal, who come together, interact, break away, and create new formations that in turn echo captured moments painted by the artist and featured in wall-hung works. After the Berlin performance, Imhof will stage the third part of “Angst” in October at La Biennale de Montreal, which co-commissioned the piece. Hili Perlson

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Venus of the Rags (1967). Photo Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Venus of the Rags (1967). Photo Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art.

6. Michelangelo Pistoletto at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, September 15 – December 31.
In September, Blenheim Art Foundation will present a solo exhibition devoted to the extensive oeuvre of Italian artist and Arte Povera grandfather Michelangelo Pistoletto.

In his most comprehensive UK exhibition to date, a selection of paintings, sculptures, new site-specific works, and a large scale installation will showcase Pistoletto’s diverse range as an artist. The show will take place in the sumptuous building and grounds of Blenheim Palace and will emphasize the blurring of the lines between “high” and “low” art characteristic of the Arte Povera movement. Particularly of note will be his celebrated interactive ongoing series, Mirror Paintings, as well as one of his best known pieces, Venus of the Rags (1967). Naomi Rea

Anthea Hamilton, Vulcano Table (2014). Photo: Aurelien Mole, courtesy Glass Fabrik.

Anthea Hamilton, Vulcano Table (2014). Photo Aurelien Mole, courtesy Glass Fabrik.

7. “Kettle’s Yard Reimagined: Anthea Hamilton” at the Hepworth Wakefield, West Yorkshire, September 15, 2016 – March, 2017.
A new installation by Turner Prize nominee Anthea Hamilton will be unveiled at The Hepworth Wakefield this fall. Hamilton’s latest project will see her reinstall the existing presentation of “Kettle’s Yard at The Hepworth Wakefield” that has been on display at the gallery, while Kettle’s Yard is closed for refurbishments.

The reimagined installation will feature several never-before-seen works created in response to pieces from the Kettle’s Yard Collection. Hamilton will re-appropriate objects and create new, functional, artifacts such as a working display cabinet, and a new “Kimono” piece inspired by a painting by Christopher Wood, in an exploration of her interest in how the choreographing of space and objects shapes our understanding and experience of art.

Several British and international artists have also been invited to contribute to the installation: Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann, Nicholas Byrne, Daniel Sinsel, and the celebrated American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe are among those known to be involved. Naomi Rea

Pina Bausch in Tablet, by Paul Taylor, with constumes by Ellsworth Kelly, performed in Spoleto, Italy, 1960. Courtesy ©Pina Bausch Foundation.

Pina Bausch in Tablet, by Paul Taylor, with costumes by Ellsworth Kelly, performed in Spoleto, Italy, 1960. Courtesy ©Pina Bausch Foundation.

8. “Pina Bausch and the Tanztheater” at Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, September 16, 2016 – January 9, 2017.
Organized in cooperation with the Pina Bausch Foundation, Wuppertal, this retrospective show celebrates the career of one of the most influential choreographers of the second half of the 20th century. A pioneer of the Tanztheater genre, Bausch developed a new artistic language, together with her company, that transgresses the clear-cut boundaries between dance, performance art, and theater, leaving a lasting impact on modern dance.

The show, which was first staged at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, consists of photographs and videos from the Pina Bausch Archives. But, in addition to objects and set designs, the exhibition also recreates the “Lichtburg,” the legendary rehearsal space in an old Wuppertal cinema in which Pina Bausch developed most of her pieces in collaboration with her dancers. In it, members from the company will give visitors the rare opportunity to learn short movement sequences from famous pieces; and performances, dance workshops, public rehearsals, conversations, and film screenings will transform the reconstructed rehearsal studio into a vibrant space for interactions. Hili Perlson

René Magritte, La lampe philosophique (1936). Image: © Photothëque R. Magritte / Banque d'Images, Adagp, Paris, 2016.

René Magritte, La lampe philosophique (1936). Image ©Photothëque R. Magritte / Banque d’Images, Adagp, Paris, 2016.

9. “René Magritte: La trahaison des images” at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, September 21 – January 23, 2017.
René Magritte: La trahaison des images” (the treachery of images) promises visitors to the Parisian modern art hub a novel approach to the works of the celebrated Belgian surrealist painter. The Centre Pompidou will showcase around 100 of the artist’s paintings, drawings, and documents in the latest of a series of monographic exhibitions devoted to key figures of 20th century art.

The exhibition will display some of Magritte’s most recognizable masterpieces alongside lesser known works with a fresh outlook that emphasizes the artist’s interest in philosophy, arguably a driving influence on his art’s turn away from his early surrealist works.

The exhibition captures the “reasoning turn” from the random meetings between sewing machines and umbrellas that defined his surrealism to the precise logic of his search for solutions to what he dubbed “problems,” which would culminate in 1973 with the publication of  Michel Foucault’s Ceci n’est pas un pipeNaomi Rea

Ed Ruscha The Back of Hollywood (1977). Photo: Courtesy Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo.

Ed Ruscha The Back of Hollywood (1977). Photo courtesy Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo.

10. “Los Angeles: A Fiction” at Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, September 23 – January 22, 2017.
A group show split into two parts—one literary, and one visual—as Oslo’s Astrup Fearnley Museum presents a survey of work from Los Angeles artists and writers ranging from established superstars such as Larry Bell, David Hockney, and Ed Ruscha to young contemporary artists such as Alex Israel, Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin, and Jonas Wood.

Alongside the exhibition, the museum is also publishing a book presenting a selection of literature written about Los Angeles over the course of the last 50 years. Featuring quotes and extracts the texts, and the stories they tell, have been chosen to act as an amplification of the artworks. Henri Neuendorf

Ed Atkins. Photo: Courtesy Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea.

Still from work by Ed Atkins. Courtesy Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea.

11. Ed Atkins at Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli, September 27, 2016 – January 29, 2017.
In association with the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, and curated by Caroline Christov-Bakargiev and Marianna Vecellio, the Castello di Rivoli,  located 20km West of Turin, will present a solo exhibition of the multidisciplinary British artist Ed Atkins, whose practice spans the mediums of video, drawing, and writing.

The exhibition is a “retrospective” of sorts, featuring major works from the young artist’s short but impressive career. Spread over five galleries within the museum, the exhibition incorporates images, sound, language and color into an immersive and comprehensive encounter with Atkins’s work. Henri Neuendorf

Marc Camille Chaimowicz: Installation view, Secession, Vienna, 2 November 2009 – 24 January 2010; Courtesy the artist and Cabinet, London.

Marc Camille Chaimowicz: Installation view, Secession, Vienna, 2 November 2009 – 24 January 2010. Courtesy the artist and Cabinet, London.

12. Marc Camille Chaimowicz, “An Autumn Lexicon” at the Serpentine Gallery, London, September 29 – November 20.
Not exactly a retrospective, but close enough, “An Autumn Lexicon” will survey several key pieces in the oeuvre of the Paris-born, London-based artist. Among the re-visited pieces will be a re-staging of his seminal work Enough Tiranny, which was first presented at the Serpentine Gallery in 1972. Described by the artist as a “scattered environment,” it combines art historical references with glam-rock elements in an immersive installation filtered by colored lights and a soundtrack. The show will also feature artworks by guest artists that Chaimowicz has invited to participate.

Chaimowicz’s elegant use of sophisticated cultural references and his talent to create displays that emulate carefully designed interiors have turned him into a hugely influential figure for a younger generation of artists, so this is your chance to discover where the art trend of installations that look like interior spaces actually comes from. Lorena Munoz-Alonso

Donna Huanca Muscle Memory (2015). Photo Peres Projects, Berlin.

Donna Huanca Muscle Memory (2015). Photo Peres Projects, Berlin.

13. “Annual Commission: Donna Huanca” at the Zabludowicz Collection, London, September 29 – November 30.
Donna Huanca will have her first UK solo show at the Zabludowicz collection in North London—the institution’s first show dedicated to performance art— as part of their annual commission, which last year resulted in a highly popular John Rafman exhibition.

Huanca’s work is concerned with the human body and the skin that covers it; for her slowly unraveling pieces, she uses live models painted and draped in fabric alongside sculpture and painting. For this exhibition, Huanca has designed a three story glass structure to fill the high, open ground-floor exhibition space at the Zabludowicz Collection. The structure will function as a performance space for the live models in the show. Huanca has also created sound works and sculptures which will be installed around the structure; the sound works will respond to the movements of the models within the space. Amah-Rose Abrams

Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Crucifixion (1944). Courtesy of Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Crucifixion (1944). Courtesy of Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

14. “Francis Bacon: From Picasso to Velázquez” at the Guggenheim, Bilbao, September 30 – January 8, 2017.
Although a touring show from Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum, where it opened on July 2 under the title “Francis Bacon: Monaco and French Culture, the Spanish branch of the Guggenheim has shifted the focus of this phenomenal exhibition from Bacon’s relationship with French culture to the influence that Spanish masters such as El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, and, most specially, Picasso had on his oeuvre.

The exhibition will feature a selection of nearly 90 works by the Anglo-Irish painter, including many rarely exhibited works that have been painstakingly tracked down in private collections by its curator, the Bacon expert Martin Harrison, who has recently also published the artist’s new catalogue raisonné.

Alongside some of the most compelling paintings that Bacon produced, visitors will be also be able to enjoy works by the artists who influenced his career, from Vincent van Gogh to, of course, Picasso. Definitely a must see. Lorena Muñoz-Alonso

Marcel Broodthaers, Tableau et tabouret avec oeufs (1966). Courtesy Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.

Marcel Broodthaers, Tableau et tabouret avec oeufs (1966). Courtesy Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.

15. “Marcel Broodthaers. A retrospective” at Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, October 5 – January 9, 2017.
The fantastic touring retrospective of Broodthaers’s work that kicked off at New York’s MoMA this past February is finally crossing the pond. Madrid’s superb Museo Reina Sofía is the next destination of this much-needed survey, which artnet News’ Ben Davis found succeeds “in making Broodthaers read as the romantic realist that his widow, Maria Gilissen Broodthaers, insists he always actually was.”

A struggling poet for over 20 years, Broodthaers only began making art around 1963. By the time of his death 13 years later, in 1976, he had created a solid and hugely influential body of work that straddled the movements of institutional critique, surrealism, and conceptualism.

Witty, humorous, critical, and literary-minded, the legacy of Broodthaers’s oeuvre can be traced in many contemporary artists, making him an “artists’ artist,” a celebrated cult figure rather than a museum household name. Which is why this survey is so timely and relevant. Don’t miss it. Lorena Muñoz-Alonso

Palais de Tokyo. Photo: Florent Michel, courtesy Palais de Tokyo.

Palais de Tokyo. Photo: Florent Michel, courtesy Palais de Tokyo.

16. Tino Sehgal at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, October 12 – December 16.
Tino Sehgal has been given carte blanche over the entirety of Paris’ Palais de Tokyo this fall. The British born, Berlin-based artist will showcase an extension of his 2013 presentation Ann Lee, which will be displayed in conjunction with a selection of the artist’s major works and those of other artists Sehgal has invited.

The original Ann Lee saw a live action incarnation of the eponymous manga character break the fourth wall to share her disquieting ideas about her own character and being with visitors. If that wasn’t enough for you, there’s more Sehgal to be seen in Paris as, between September 26 and 9 October, the artist will also be working with the dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet, staging and directing performances as part of a diverse line up in celebration of modernity. Naomi Rea

Pablo Picasso, Buste de Femme (1931). Photo © RMN-Grand Palais, Musée Picasso de Paris / Adrien Didierjean.

Pablo Picasso, Buste de Femme (1931). Photo ©RMN-Grand Palais, Musée Picasso de Paris/Adrien Didierjean.

17. “Picasso Sculptures” at Bozar, Brussels, October 26 – March 5, 2017.
If you missed them at MoMA last year, now’s your chance to see the infamous “Picasso Sculptures” exhibition on this side of the Atlantic. This fall, the Musée Picasso in Paris will bring the sculptures to the Bozar in Brussels, displaying more than 80 works in a range of materials and techniques that demonstrate Picasso’s extensive imagination and engage with themes that both supplement and extend those explored in the rest of his oeuvre.

Resplendent totems and figures dance throughout the show zigzagging through time and materials, from the precise wire of his early constructions and his ceramic works of the 1940s, to the famous sheet metal creations of later years. You might remember the international legal battle over his 1931 Bust of a Woman (Marie Therese) that went on last year, a bronze and a cement version of which will be included in the selection on view at Bozar. Naomi Rea.

James Ensor, The Intrigue, 1890 Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp. Photo ©Royal Museum for Fine Arts Antwerp / www.lukasweb.be - Art in Flanders vzw. Photo Hugo Maertens/©DACS 2015.

James Ensor, The Intrigue (1890). Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp. Photo ©Royal Museum for Fine Arts Antwerp / www.lukasweb.be – Art in Flanders vzw. Photo Hugo Maertens/©DACS 2015.

18. “Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans” at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, October 29 – January 29, 2017.
This next show is a dream for painting lovers. London’s RA is presenting the first major exhibition of the work of James Ensor to be held in the UK in over 20 years. Ensor was one of Belgium’s most prominent modernist artists, and widely considered to be a key precursor of Expressionism.

Crucially, the show has been curated by the renowned Belgian painter Luc Tuymans, who has carefully handpicked over 70 paintings, drawings, and prints by Ensor, the vast majority of which have been drawn from major Belgian collections and therefore rarely seen.

Tuymans is set to bring a fresh perspective to the work of an artist who, because of his long-held interest in the world of carnivals and fairs, was dubbed “the painter of masks” by the Symbolist poet Émile Verhaeren. “The mask means to me: freshness of color, extravagant decorations, wild generous gestures, strident expressions, exquisite turbulence,” Ensor wrote of the recurrent theme of his oeuvre, which allowed him to experiment with form and explore the subjects of life and death. Lorena Muñoz-Alonso

Installation view of Nairy Baghramian, "Scruff of the Neck" at Marian Goodman, London. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman, New York, Paris & London. Photos by Thierry Bal.

Installation view of Nairy Baghramian, “Scruff of the Neck” at Marian Goodman, London. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman, New York, Paris & London. Photo by Thierry Bal.

19. Nairy Baghramian, Déformation Professionnelle, at SMAK, Ghent, November 26 – February 17, 2017.
The German-Iranian artist is one of the most intriguing sculptors working today, constantly pushing the viewer’s understanding of the three-dimensional medium. Some of her strategies include a dismantling of recognized forms and structures to infuse them instead with elements taken from the fields of design or fashion.

Taking its title from a French phrase that describes a change or development in one’s worldview as a result of being overly specialized in one’s specific field, this survey show also speaks to the taking apart and making transparent of the sculptor’s own method. Through her playful take on the retrospective gaze, Baghramian unpacks and interrogates the conceptual, physical, and social aspects of sculpture. The show will travel to Museum der Moderne, Salzburg and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, both co-organizers of the show. Hili Perlson

Robert Rauschenberg, Pelican (1963). First performed at Concert of Dance no. 5, an evening of performances by Judson Dance Theater, Pop Festival, Washington D.C., 9 May 1963. Photo Peter Moore The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York ©Barbara Moore.

Robert Rauschenberg, Pelican (1963). First performed at Concert of Dance no. 5, an evening of performances by Judson Dance Theater, Pop Festival, Washington D.C., 9 May 1963. Photo Peter Moore The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York ©Barbara Moore.

20. Robert Rauschenberg at Tate Modern, London, December 1 – April 2, 2017.
We really can’t wait for what will surely be London’s winter blockbuster: a major retrospective of the work of Robert Rauschenberg at Tate Modern, which the British museum has organized in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art in New York, where it will travel in 2017.

This will be Rauschenberg’s first posthumous retrospective, and the most comprehensive survey of the artist’s six-decade oeuvre in over 20 years. The show will thoroughly survey not just Rauschenberg’s best known works in the media of collage, painting, and sculpture (such as Monogram and Bed), but also his seminal collaborative and performative works, in which he collaborated with range of cultural luminaries, including John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns, David Tudor, Cy Twombly, and Susan Weil.

Curated by Tate’s Achim Borchardt-Hume and MoMA’s Leah Dickerman, with Tate Modern’s senior performance curator Catherine Wood, the exhibition will also explore his pivotal work as founder of the organization Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T). Lorena Muñoz-Alonso


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