10 European Photography Shows You Can’t Miss This Summer

Fashion, art, and life examined through the medium of photography.

Photography by Juergen Teller. Courtesy of Bundeskunsthalle and CFA Berlin
Thomas Struth, <i>Ride, Anheim </i> (2013). courtesy of Berliner Festspiele @Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth, Ride, Anheim (2013). courtesy of Berliner Festspiele @Thomas Struth

With summer in full swing, Europe’s museums and art institutions are gearing up for the flock of tourists and residents eager to explore great art. Interestingly, there’s a remarkable number of great photography shows on view that are worth a visit. Ranging from single-weekend shows to retrospectives spanning several months, these exhibitions honor the beauty and complexity of the photographic medium. Here’s artnet News’ list of tope ten shows you wouldn’t want to miss:

1. Thomas Struth at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
From photographs of industrial production plants to theme parks and aquariums, Thomas Struth often captures spatial realities that convey the extent of of human imagination. In his current exhibition at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Struth is showing 37 of his large-format photographs shot between 2005 and 2016. This selection of works focuses on Struth’s explorations of highly complex devices, architectures, and constructions that define our present, but are usually inaccessible to the public. Inscribed into these structures are dynamics of power and politics that arise when a simple human thought is made into a physical environment.

Thomas Struth Nature & Politics” is on view at Martin-Gropius-Bau from June 11- September 18, 2016.

Anita Corbin, <i>Shelley and Di, in the Ladies, The White Swan, Crystal Palace, </i> (1980). Courtesy of Photographers' Gallery, ©Anita Corbin

Anita Corbin, Shelley and Di, in the Ladies, The White Swan, Crystal Palace, (1980). Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery, ©Anita Corbin

2. Punk Weekender at The Photographers’ Gallery, London (one weekend only!)
Be sure not to miss this single-weekend exhibition taking place in the motherland of the punk movement. This “Punk Weekender” will comprise of an exhibition, a live performance by legendary band The Raincoats, as well as talks and events to celebrate the spontaneity and expression of the punk movement at its peak.

The show includes portraits by Derek Ridgers, Anita Corbin, Janette Beckman, Owen Harvey, and Shirely Baker, as well as archival photographs from the Photographic Youth Music and Culture Archive and the EMI Archive. The focus of the exhibition rests on the ideological, social, and political contexts of the punk movement, as well as its DIY form of personal expression.

“Punk Weekender” is on view at The Photographers’ Gallery for only one weekend, from June 23- June 26, 2016.

Alice Springs photographs in the "Alice Springs: The Paris MEP Show" book courtesy of Taschen.

Alice Springs photographs in the “Alice Springs: The Paris MEP Show” book. Courtesy of Taschen.

3. Helmut Newton/Alice Springs/Mart Engelen at Helmut Newton, Berlin
Currently on view at Berlin’s Helmut Newton Foundation is a rich exhibition consisting of portraits by Helmut’s widow June Newton—also known by her artist name Alice Springs—Amsterdam-based guest photographer Mart Engelen, and Helmut Newton himself. Alice Springs presents strong portraits of fellow photographers such as Richard Avendon and Ralph Gibson as well as prominent figures such as Nicole Kidman and Luciano Pavarotti. Better known for their portrait and fashion photography, Springs and Newton enhance this show with some of their lesser known work, which includes Spring’s documentation of the Californian punk scene of the 1980s and Newton’s “self-appreciation,” a nude series about Lolita for Playboy Magazine.

“Alice Springs: The MEP Show, Helmut Newton: Yellow Press, Mart Engelen: Portraits” is on view at the Helmut Newton Foundation from June 1- November 20, 2016

Helmut Newton, Arielle After a Haircut, Paris, 1982 courtesy of Helmut Newton Estate via Hint Magazine.

Helmut Newton, Arielle After a Haircut, Paris, 1982 courtesy of Helmut Newton Estate via Hint Magazine.

4. Helmut Newton at FOAM, Amsterdam
If you can’t get enough of Newton’s impressive amazons, there’s a Helmut Newton retrospective at FOAM Museum in Amsterdam concurrent to the show at the foundation in Berlin, and organized in collaboration with it. This retrospective features 200 prints ranging from 1920s Berlin to Hollywood in 2004, as well as a film by June Newton, titled “Helmut by June.” The exhibition serves as a tribute to the often overlooked complexity in Helmut’s work, with a focus on his documentation of the changes in sexual morality that accompanied the social changes of the 1970s.

“Helmut Newton Retrospective” is on view at FOAM from June 17 – September 4, 2016.

William Klein, <i>Le petit Magot</i> (1968). Courtesy of Palazzo della Regione

William Klein, Le petit Magot (1968). Courtesy of Palazzo della Regione

5. William Klein at Palazzo della Regione, Milano
World-renowned artist William Klein dabbled with more than just photography in his career. This retrospective on his vast body of work has partly been shown both at London’s Tate Modern and Amsterdam’s FOAM.

The exhibition shows Klein’s mastery of fine art, film, design, and writing as well as photography. The Palazzo della Regione has made changes to its interior in order to accommodate this highly-anticipated show, creating a space fit for the exhibition and viewing of multimedia installations.

“William Klein, Il Mondo a Modo Suo” is on view at Palazzo della Regione from June 17- September 11, 2016.

Photography by Juergen Teller. Courtesy of Bundeskunsthalle and CFA Berlin

Photography by Juergen Teller. Courtesy of Bundeskunsthalle and CFA Berlin

6. Juergen Teller at Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn
Juergen Teller rose to fame in the 1990s with his photographs of prominent figures such as Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. Since then he has been one of the forerunners of music, fashion, and celebrity photography, culminating in the infamously bizarre shoot with Kim Kardashian, styled by her husband Kanye West. While Teller’s work often appears incidental, simplistic, and immediate, a closer look often reveals the depth, composition, and conceptualizations behind his finished pieces.

This classic exhibition at Bundeskunthalle offers a look into Teller’s feel for his subjects and his appreciation for imperfection in the idealized figure. Mainly focused on portraits, as much of his work is too, the show presents an array of works that exist between the realms of art and commercial photography.

“Jurgen Teller, Enjoy Your Life“ is on view at Bundeskunsthalle from June 10- September 23, 2016.

Hans-Peter Feldmann, Haremsdame courtesy of C/O, Berlin.

Hans-Peter Feldmann, Haremsdame. Courtesy of C/O, Berlin.

7. Hans-Peter Feldmann at C/O, Berlin (last chance!)
How can photographs of daily life amaze, outrage, and shock? Considered one of the co-founders of the 1960’s conceptual art movement, Hans-Peter Feldmann is known for his intervention in every-day imagery, allowing emotion to permeate the mundane. On occasion of his 75th birthday, C/O, Berlin is presenting a Feldmann retrospective, which includes around 250 of his photographic works.

The show includes both his own photographs, as well as found material. In his conceptual work, Feldmann asks the viewers to place their own meaning on his slight manipulations to found pictures, allowing varying reactions based on personal understanding, convention, and expectation.

“Hans-Peter Feldmann Retrospective” at C/O is on view from April 30 – July 10, 2016.

Ed van der Elsken, Zwitserland, 1967 courtesy of Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam.

Ed van der Elsken, Zwitserland, (1967). Courtesy of Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam.

8. Ed van der Elsken at Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam
This exhibition is curated by photographer Eddy Posthuma de Boer, who chose several photographs by Ed van der Elsken published in the Dutch Magazine Avenue. This compilation of photographs creates both a tribute to van der Elsken’s work and offers an insight into de Boer’s own practice through commentary on another artist’s work.

De Boer’s selections and personal commentaries create a fascinating interplay between the work of two great minds working with the medium.

“Ed van der Elsken Avenue” is on view at Nederlands Fotomuseum from May 6 – December 31, 2016.

Martin Parr, Cart Making, Guildhall, City of London, 2015 courtesy of Magnum Photos via PORT.

Martin Parr, Cart Making, Guildhall, City of London, (2015). Courtesy of Magnum.

9. Martin Parr at Guildhall Art Gallery, London
Since 2013, Matin Parr has been London’s “photographer-in-residence,” capturing the people and traditions of this great city through his detailed, quirky point of view. Parr has been granted access to various high-profile events, where guests included figures as prominent as The Queen.

In his current exhibition fittingly titled “Unseen City,” Parr offers a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes moments of London’s most important events. His photographs skillfully capture the city and its people during their most unguarded moments, incarnating the eccentricity of both London and his own technique.

“Martin Parr Unseen City” is on view at Guildhall Art Gallery from March 4- July 16, 2016.

Cy Twombly <i>Interior (Picasso) Rome</i> (1980). Cpurtesy of Galerie Bastian, ©Nicola Del Roscio

Cy Twombly Interior (Picasso) Rome (1980). Courtesy of Galerie Bastian, ©Nicola Del Roscio

10. Cy Twombly, Photographs, at Bastian Berlin
Photographs of flowers, interiors, and landscapes shot by the artist best known for his (record shattering) paintings, are currently on view at Berlin’s Galerie Bastian. Taken between 1980-2008 on trips to Rome and Munich, these images offer insights into the unique vision of the great abstract expressionist.

The tranquil, intimate scenes attest a keen interest in the natural world, human creativity, antiquity, and art history, and reveal how the artist looked at the world around him.

“Cy Twombly, Photographs” is on view at Galerie Bastian, Berlin from April 29 – July 23

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics