19 Major Exhibitions That Actually May Open in Europe This Fall, From a Hito Steyerl Retrospective to Manifesta 13

We combed through exhibition listings so you don't have to.

Artemisia Gentileschi, Susanna and the Elders (1610–11). Courtesy of the Schloss Weißenstein collection, Pommersfelden, Germany.
Artemisia Gentileschi, Susanna and the Elders (1610–11). Courtesy of the Schloss Weißenstein collection, Pommersfelden, Germany.

It’s been a weird year. We won’t bore you with the details, you know just as well as we do what’s going on.

But lockdown measures are lifting across Europe and art institutions are starting to reopen, which means art lovers keen to get back to museums are probably wondering what they can see in the second half of 2020.

Wonder no longer. Here are 19 shows across the continent and UK that you should keep your eye on (and that we hope will actually open).

 

Barbara Walker: Place, Space and Who” at Turner Contemporary

Installation view, Barbara Walker "Place, Space and Who" at Turner Contemporary, Margate. Photo by Stuart Leech.

Installation view, Barbara Walker “Place, Space and Who” at Turner Contemporary, Margate. Photo by Stuart Leech.

WHAT: Throughout a four-month residency at Turner Contemporary in Margate, British artist Barbara Walker created larger-than-life portraits of women from the African diaspora living in the local area. The portraits of women from across generations are informed by stories and experiences they have shared with Walker, and are drawn directly on the 45-foot-tall walls of the Sunley Gallery, which looks out to the North sea.

WHERE: Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK

WHEN: Through September 6

 

Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Paris!” at Centre Pompidou

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Wall of Oil Barrels - The Iron Curtain (1961–62), Rue Visconti, Paris. Photo by Jean-Dominique Lajoux, ©1962 Christo.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Wall of Oil Barrels – The Iron Curtain (1961–62), Rue Visconti, Paris. Photo by Jean-Dominique Lajoux, ©1962 Christo.

WHAT: Christo unfortunately died before this tribute to his life in Paris and the works he made in and around the city, alongside his artistic collaborator and wife Jeanne-Claude, could open at the Centre Pompidou. Paris was central to the Bulgarian artist’s development: it was here that he turned away from painting to the concept of “wrapping,” the idea that he’s best know for. His dream of wrapping the Arc de Triomphe is finally due to be realized this year.

WHERE: Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

WHEN: Through October 19

 

Robert Morris: The Perceiving Body” at Saint-Étienne Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

Exhibition view of Robert Morris’s show “The Perceiving Body” at Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Saint-Etienne. Copyright: Aurélien Mole / MAMC+.

WHAT: The celebrated American sculptor is the subject of a posthumous survey that takes a different approach to his work, in that it will seven different rooms will each have one monumental installation, or a singular group of related objects.

WHERE: Saint-Étienne Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Saint-Étienne, France

WHEN: Through November 1

 

Franz Erhard Walther: Shifting Perspectives” at Haus der Kunst

Franz Erhard Walther. “Shifting Perspectives.” Installation view of activation with Franz Erhard Walther of Form Z (1991) Haus der Kunst, 2020. Foto: Maximilian Geuter. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

WHAT: A major survey dedicated to the 71-year-old German artist (and the Venice biennale’s 2017 Golden Lion winner) already found critical acclaim. Now, due to calendar switch-ups, this crowd-favorite is getting an extended run. Walther has become well-known for pioneering a new understanding of sculpture and painting that sees the viewer as an actor.

WHERE: Haus der Kunst, Munich

WHEN: Through November 29

 

Otobong Nkanga: There’s No Such Thing as Solid Ground” at Gropius Bau

Otobong Nkanga in front of her work Double Plot Otobong Nkanga: There’s No Such Thing as Solid Ground, Gropius Bau, Berlin (2020). Courtesy Otobong Nkanga, Foto: Laura Fiorio

WHAT: After her one-year residency at the Berlin institution, Nkanga has opened a solo exhibition that explores key elements of her practice, including her interest in how natural resources (like stone, coal, and minerals) are imbued with different meanings in different cultures.

WHERE: Gropius Bau, Berlin

WHEN: Through December 13

 

Petrit Halilaj: To a Raven and Hurricanes That From Unknown Places Bring Bring Back Smells of Humans in Love” at Reina Sofia

Petrit Halilaj. Photo by Alex Moltó. Museo Reina Sofía's archive.

Petrit Halilaj. Photo by Alex Moltó. Museo Reina Sofía’s archive.

WHAT: This sprawling exhibition at Madrid’s Palacio Cristal, organized by the Museo Reina Sofia, is the Kosovar artist Petrit Halilaj’s first solo exhibition in Spain. Halilaj has transformed the space into a giant nest, inviting birds inside to feed freely, and filled it with sculptures relating to his biography, which includes his experiences during the 1998 Kosovo War and life as a refugee.

WHERE: Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain

WHEN: Through February 28, 2021

 

Kader Attia: Remembering the Future” at Kunsthaus Zürich

Kader Attia, Culture, Another Nature Repaired (2014) Installation view "The Injuries are here," at Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, 2015. Courtesy of the artist, Kunsthaus Zürich, Musée Cantonal des Beaux- Arts, Lausanne, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Kunstmuseum Bern, Galerie Nagel Draxler; photo: Nora Rupp, © 2020 ProLitteris, Zurich.

Kader Attia, Culture, Another Nature Repaired (2014) Installation view “The Injuries are here,” at Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, 2015. Courtesy of the artist, Kunsthaus Zürich, Musée Cantonal des Beaux- Arts, Lausanne, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Kunstmuseum Bern, Galerie Nagel Draxler; photo: Nora Rupp, © 2020 ProLitteris, Zurich.

WHAT: The French-Algerian artist Kader Attia is showing sculpture, photos, videos, and installations that interpellate Europe’s colonial history and its legacy. A highlight is a new video installation in which Attia addresses the question of restitution of African objects from European museums by inviting a diverse range of figures, from historians to economists, to share their views on the matter.

WHERE: Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland

WHEN: August 21–November 15

 

Manifesta 13 at various locations in Marseille

Espace Manifesta 13 in Marseille. Courtesy Manifesta 13.

WHAT: After a postponement from June to late August, the roving exhibition is forging ahead with a gradual opening that includes part of the curatorial biennial program, “Traits d’unions.” Participating artists include Hannah Black and Jana Euler.

WHERE: Various locations across Marseille, France

WHEN: August 28–November 29

 

11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art” at KW Institute for Contemporary Art and other locations

exp. 3: Affect Archives. Sinthujan Varatharajah – Osías Yanov. 11th Berlin Biennale c/o ExRotaprint, Installation view. Photo: Mathias Völzke

WHAT: The biennial, which was originally set to take place in June, is curated by María Berríos, Renata Cervetto, Lisette Lagnado, and Agustín Pérez Rubio, an “intergenerational, female-identified team” of South-American curators have been curating the biennial as a series of “lived experiences” since last September. Next month’s main event is seen a the epilogue.

WHERE: KW Institute for Contemporary Art, daadgalerie, Gropius Bau and ExRotaprint

WHEN: September 5–November 1

 

Isa Genzken: Works 1973–1983” at Kunstmuseum Basel

Isa Genzken in her studio in Düsseldorf (1982). Photo: Andreas Schön, Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York, © 2020, Pro Litteris, Zurich

WHAT: The exhibition focuses on the first decade of the German conceptual artist’s career, including her “Ellipsoids” and “Hyperbolos” sculptures and her computer printouts on continuous paper that informed their creation, among other exceptional early works.

WHERE: Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland

WHEN: September 5–January 24, 2021

 

Kapwani Kiwanga: New Work” at FKA Witte de With

Ceramic replicas of rice grains called Oryza glaberrima (African rice) (2020). Courtesy Kapwani Kiwanga.

WHAT: For her first solo exhibition in the Netherlands, the Paris-based artist is creating a new body of work that examines the balance between the philosophical concept of “pharmakon” and poison, and protection and aggression.

WHERE: FKA Witte de With, Amsterdam

WHEN: September 20, 2020–January 17, 2021

 

Échelle Humaine” at Lafayette Anticipations

Mette Ingvartsen, Manual Focus (2003).

Mette Ingvartsen, Manual Focus (2003). © Eike Walkenhorst.

WHAT: The third edition of the gallery’s Échelle Humaine (human scale) performance festival will explore the human body and all of its possibilities, with theater, dance, and art performances taking over the whole space. The festival includes works from artists Tino Sehgal, Sourour Darabi, Simon Senn, and Mette Ingvartsen, among others.

WHERE: Lafayette Anticipations, Paris, France

WHEN: September 21–27

 

Isaac Julien: Lina Bo Bardi. A Marvelous Tangle” at MAXXI

Isaac Julien, Tecnologia pré-histórica / Prehistoric Technology (Lina Bo Bardi - A Marvellous Entanglement) (2019). Endura Ultra photograph facemounted. ©Isaac Julien. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro.

Isaac Julien, Tecnologia pré-histórica / Prehistoric Technology (Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement) (2019). Endura Ultra photograph facemounted. ©Isaac Julien. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro.

WHAT: The British artist and filmmaker has created a nine-channel video installation work and photographic series in tribute to the great Brazilian modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi. The title of the exhibition, “A Marvelous Entanglement,” is taken from one of Bo Bardi’s letters when she wrote: “Time is not linear, it is a marvelous tangle in which, at any moment, ends can be chosen and solutions invented, without beginning or end.”

WHERE: MAXXI, Rome

WHEN: September 23, 2020–January 17, 2021

 

Hito Steyerl at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen

This is the FutureHito Steyerl (2019). Courtesy the artist, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York and Esther Schipper, Berlin, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2020, Film still © Hito Steyerl.

WHAT: The first comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the artist Hito Steyerl will span early and recent works that show the Berlin-based artist’s critical eye on documentary and image-making.

WHERE: Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf

WHEN: September 26, 2020–January 10, 2021

 

Artemisia” at the National Gallery

Artemisia Gentileschi, <i>Judith and her Maidservant</i> (about 1615-17). Galleria Palatina, Palazzo Pitti, Florence. Courtesy National Gallery, London.

Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith and her Maidservant (about 1615-17). Galleria Palatina, Palazzo Pitti, Florence. Courtesy National Gallery, London.

WHAT: The centerpiece of this long-awaited exhibition of the most famous female artist of the 17th century, Artemisia Gentileschi, will be a recently rediscovered painting by the artist that the National Gallery acquired in 2018. The 35 works in the show trace her life in Rome from apprenticing her father, the artist Orazio Gentileschi, through the harrowing circumstances of her life, which included surviving rape and a subsequently horrific trial before finally establishing herself as an independent artist.

WHERE: National Gallery, London

WHEN: October 3, 2020–January 24, 2020

 

Zanele Muholi” at Tate Modern

Zanele Muholi, Bona, Charlottesville (2015). Courtesy of the Artist and Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York. ©Zanele Muholi.

Zanele Muholi, Bona, Charlottesville (2015). Courtesy of the Artist and Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York. ©Zanele Muholi.

WHAT: This full-career survey of the visual artist and activist Zanele Muholi’s works will include their well-known intimate photographs of LGBTQ+ people in South Africa as well as their ongoing series of dramatic self-portraits addressing issues of race and representation.

WHERE: Tate Modern, London

WHEN: November 5, 2020–March 7, 2021

 

Jennifer Packer” at Serpentine Gallery

Jennifer Packer, <i>Say Her Name</i> (2017). Courtesy: The Artist, Corvi-Mora, London and Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York. Photo by Matt Grubb.

Jennifer Packer, Say Her Name (2017). Courtesy: The Artist, Corvi-Mora, London and Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York. Photo by Matt Grubb.

Jennifer Packer, <i>Say Her Name</i> (2017). Courtesy: The Artist, Corvi-Mora, London and Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York. Photo by Matt Grubb.

Jennifer Packer, Say Her Name (2017). Courtesy: The Artist, Corvi-Mora, London and Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York. Photo by Matt Grubb.

WHAT: This survey is the New York-based painter’s first European solo, and includes paintings and drawings from the past 10 years. It includes figurative portraits of friends and family, as well as more abstract floral still lifes and vessels of personal grief Packer says she makes in response to racially motivated violence against Black Americans.

WHERE: Serpentine Gallery, London

WHEN: November 18–Spring 2021

 

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly in League With the Night” at Tate Britain

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, <i>To Improvise a Mountain</i> (2018). Private Collection ©Courtesy of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Photo by Marcus Leith.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, To Improvise a Mountain (2018). Private Collection ©Courtesy of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Photo by Marcus Leith.

WHAT: Yiadom-Boakye is a rising star painter known for her contemporary portraits of Black figures, often infused with European art-historical references. More than 80 paintings and works on paper by the British painter and writer will be included in this landmark show at Tate Britain.

WHERE: Tate Britain, London

WHEN: November 18, 2020–May 9, 2021

 

 “The Disquieted Muses. When the Biennale Meets History” at the Central Pavilion in Venice

The Central Pavilion. Courtesy La Biennale.

WHAT: To mark its 125th anniversary, the Venice Biennale is organizing an unprecedented archival group show that is curated by six artistic directors. The show will look at how the exhibition and festival overlapped and confronted major historic world events.

WHERE: The Central Pavilion, Venice, Italy

WHEN: August 29–December 8


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