(Bloomberg) — The remarkable thing about major museum shows is that they can transcend the objects themselves to become global cultural phenomena. You might not be in Paris for the Louvre’s record-breaking Leonardo da Vinci show (on now through Feb. 24), but you’ll certainly have heard of the waiting list, not to mention the multiple controversies.
So while you may not be in New York in March, Paris in May, or Madrid in October, we’ve compiled a list of what should be the biggest and/or most influential shows of the year.
Check them out in chronological order. Or wait a few months, and they’ll be clogging your social media feeds on their own.
“Furusiyya: The Art of Chivalry Between East and West” at the Louvre Abu Dhabi
Feb. 19–May 30In a textbook example of what the two year-old Louvre Abu Dhabi set out to achieve, a sweeping show of more than 130 historic objects from France, Iraq, Spain, and Syria will tell the story of knighthood in the medieval ages. The artworks have been culled from a series of French museums including France’s national museum of the Middle Ages in Paris, the Musée de Cluny, and they combine objects in the permanent collection of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Expect lots of swords.Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi
“Gerhard Richter: Painting After All” at the Met Breuer
March 4–July 5Richter is a fantastically interesting artist who, through no fault of his own, has principally become known for the prices his art achieves at auction. In 2015 a very large abstract work he painted in 1986 sold for $46.3 million at Sotheby’s in New York. But once you move past the prices (the highest of which, not incidentally, go to some of his most boring paintings), you’ll discover one of the 20th century’s most interesting painters. His art manages to blur the lines between photography and painting to evoke memory, loss, and repression. Now, 100 works, which comprise Richter’s first major U.S. show in more than 20 years, will allow viewers to see his genius for themselves. The Met Breuer, New York
“Niki de Saint Phalle” at MoMA PS1
April 5–Sept. 7Saint Phalle, who was born in 1930 and died in 2002, was something of a late bloomer. She didn’t start to make art professionally until she was in her 30s, after her first career as a model ended. She quickly became famous for her ebullient sculptures of flying women, Gaudi-esque architectural monuments, books, paintings, jewelry, and women’s- and LGBTQ-rights activism. This show, her first in New York, will include 100 objects that convincingly make the case for her continuing relevance and visual potency. The Museum of Modern Art, New York
“Body and Soul: Sculpture in Italy from Donatello to Michelangelo” at the Louvre
May 6–Aug. 17Once the dust has settled from the Louvre’s Leonardo show, visitors will be able to turn their sights onto a new exhibition of Italian masterworks, assembled in collaboration with the Castello Sforzesco museum in Milan. The exhibition is a sequel, of sorts, to the 2013 show “Springtime in the Renaissance,” which outlined the genesis of arguably the most important sculptural period of the last 1,000 years. The show will be more triumphant than its predecessor, with an emphasis on sculptures that highlight bodily movement and contortions and others that demonstrate sculptors’ ability to evoke heightened emotion. It might not get the crowds that the Mona Lisa does, but that means you’ll be left alone with one of the most interesting exhibitions in recent memory. The Louvre, Paris
“The Princely Collections, Liechtenstein: Five Centuries of Painting and Sculpture” at the National Gallery of Canada
June 5–Sept. 7Even royal families can fall on hard times, and the Princely House of Liechtenstein is no exception. After the Second World War, the Soviets annexed their vast landholdings in then-Czechoslovakia. In an effort to make themselves whole, the family sold off a trove of artworks including a painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Now these and other works will be reunited in a traveling exhibition comprised of 86 paintings and sculptures. Masterpieces in themselves, the exhibition will be particularly fascinating as seen through the lens of a single collecting family.National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
“Marina Abramović: After Life” at the Royal Academy of Arts
Sept. 26–Dec. 8This solo exhibition will be Abramović’s first major survey in the U.K. and, more astounding, the Royal Academy’s first female solo show in its 250-year history. Most people know Abramović for her endurance-style performance art, and understandably so. When someone spends more than 730 hours staring at strangers in the Museum of Modern Art, it’s hard to forget. But Abramović’s 50 year-career has entailed much more than mere endurance, and the survey will include photos, video, and work she’s made specifically for the exhibition that have nothing to do with performance. Don’t worry, though, there will be plenty of performances, too.Royal Academy of Arts, London
“Raphael” at the National Gallery
March 5–June 14Next year will mark the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death at age 37. There will be multiple exhibitions to honor the painter, who created a spectacular amount of paintings, drawings, and frescoes in a relatively short period. Among others, the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin has already opened a show of five of the artist’s paintings of the Virgin Mary, and the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome will put on a sweeping exhibition in the spring. In the fall the National Gallery will put on its own major show, with its 10 Raphaels augmented by loans from the Vatican, Louvre, and Uffizi. The National Gallery, London
“Gego” at the Guggenheim
Oct. 9–March 21Gertrud Goldschmidt (1912-1994), who went by the name Gego, is famous for her hanging wire sculptures. At the work’s best, its spidery lines and disorienting asymmetry give viewers the impression of having tripped and stumbled into a computer simulation. She produced much more than sculpture, and the Guggenheim’s retrospective, which will include about 200 artworks from her very long, storied career, should have something for everyone. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York
“The Morozov Collection” at the Fondation Louis Vuitton
Oct. 13–March 15Four years ago, the Fondation Louis Vuitton put together an unprecedented exhibition of modern masterworks that once belonged to the industrialist Sergei Shchukin, a man whose fortune (and art) were confiscated by the Russian state after the revolution. Now, in a sequel of sorts, the Fondation is resurrecting another prewar collection assembled by Moscow philanthropists Mikhail and Ivan Morozov, with work lent from museums including the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. The Morozov brothers amassed a spectacular impressionist and modern collection with art by Monet, Van Gogh, Matisse, and Picasso, all of which was dispersed into the aforementioned Russian museums. For anyone unwilling or unable to schlep to see individual works in those individual museums, this exhibition is a rare treat. The Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
“The Magritte Machine” at the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum
Oct. 27–Feb. 28In 1950 the surrealist painter Rene Magritte wrote out a thought experiment where he conceived of a “universal machine for making paintings” in an attempt to automatize artistic creation. Now the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum is taking Magritte at face value with an exhibition that attempts to connect the artist’s work to the so-called Magritte Machine. Shaky as the exhibition’s premise might sound, the organizers have stacked the deck with about 65 canvases in an effort to ensure the execution is a slam dunk. The Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, Madrid
To contact the author of this story: James Tarmy in New York at email@example.com
In Conversation With French Art Gallery Owner, Nathalie Obadia – Forbes
Nathalie Obadia, founder of her eponymous gallery with spaces in Paris and Brussels representing artists such as Fiona Rae, Laure Prouvost, Benoît Maire, Valérie Belin, Fabrice Hyber, Roland Flexner, Lorna Simpson, Sarkis, Manuel Ocampo, Wang Keping and Xu Zhen, discusses the pros and cons of online art fairs.
During the age of COVID-19, do you believe we’ll see more online art fairs worldwide in the future?
Online fairs were very important last year, but we already feel a weariness. Collectors do not visit all online viewing rooms. Some collectors said they are already tired of it. Since the ’60s, fairs and their success rely on the possibility to gather galleries, collectors, curators, press and artists. Nothing will change the physical perception of a work and meeting all the different actors of the art world. If in 2021, international art fairs cannot be organized, there will be less online visits. Nevertheless, it will strengthen local business in galleries in New York, Paris and London.
How has the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns worldwide affected the way in which you support your artists, collectors, curators and visitors, instituting new online content?
Until now and since March, we are lucky as this period went well. We sold several artworks online and at the gallery thanks to loyal collectors. We will have to adapt to a longer, and therefore structural change: less travels, less art fairs, less exhibitions of non-European artists, as they cannot come to France. We will focus on artists living in Europe.
What was the percentage of your online sales in 2019 versus 2020?
Our online sales grew by 30 % in 2020 compared to 2019.
Will you continue to participate in as many art fairs as before (whether physical or digital), or reduce the number?
Of course we will participate in fewer art fairs in 2021, as fewer art fairs will occur. Nevertheless, we will work on the French and Belgian markets, which are stronger than people are used to admitting. We will participate in international and strategic art fairs if they aren’t canceled, such as Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Basel Miami and more. Moreover, we will participate for the first time at Asia Now, which is a small and specialized fair in Paris that takes place the same week as FIAC contemporary art fair.
Why did you decide to participate in the physical edition of Art Paris 2020 last September, after the fair had been postponed then canceled?
Nothing will replace a meeting at a booth and a collector looking at an artwork. Nothing replaces an exchange, a spontaneous discussion in front of a work or around art. It is also an opportunity to meet many people that we have not seen for months. We were very happy about Art Paris, which was a test. We learned to work wearing a mask for 10 hours and to recognize our collectors despite that. We concluded more than 20 sales, mostly to French collectors. That is a good sign and means that we have collectors in France despite what we usually hear. A third of our sales were made to new collectors.
How has your vision of the future of the art world changed? Does COVID-19 spell the end of massive physical art fairs, or do you believe that they will be able to survive now and in the future and remain relevant?
Already before the pandemic, there was a sign of the system of fairs running out of steam: too many, too large. On one hand, we saw the big global international fairs like the three Art Basels, the three Friezes and the FIAC being organized, and already the energies of some of these big fairs were starting to run out because too many exhibitors put forward globalized international art. On the other hand, smaller boutique fairs like Art Genève, or more specialized like African art in 1-54, are becoming more interesting and will now perhaps be those that will be possible to organize and that will have more visitors.
Works in group show at London art gallery examine year of pandemic – London Free Press (Blogs)
A new exhibition at a city art gallery features works by more than 20 London-area artists exploring their experiences during the pandemic.
Westland Gallery is hosting the annual gallery artists’ group exhibition until Feb. 13 that includes works by artists who will be featured at the gallery this year.
Artists in the exhibition include Catherine Morrisey, Erica Dornbusch, Donna Andreychuk, Johnnene Maddison, Paul Lambert, Jane Roy, Carol Finkbeiner Thomas, Kim Harrison, Sheila Davis, Lisa Johnson, Denise Antaya, Andrew Sookrah, Brent Schreiber, Dana Cowie, Sharon Barr, Pat Gibson, Geoff Farnsworth, Eleanor Lowden, Jeanette Obbink and Jill Price.
“This year we encouraged our artists to submit artwork that reflected on their experiences during 2020,” said Danielle Hoevenaars, the gallery’s associate director.
“The artistic responses we received are as unique as each individual experience of this unprecedented year has been. Contrasting themes play a big role in this exhibition: loss of public spaces alongside reflections of the home, feelings of isolation alongside the pursuit of meaning, happiness and justice.”
Cape Breton woman's COVID-19 inspired public art show features face masks and personal sentiments – TheChronicleHerald.ca
SYDNEY MINES, N.S. —
Bailee Higgins hopes her public art project will help promote an important public health measure while connecting people in the community.
I Wear A Mask For Sydney Mines is a series of digital portraits of people who live or work in Sydney Mines wearing masks, which are designed to reflect their personalities. Included with each portrait is a comment from the subject about why they wear a face mask or a little about their experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a project that’s meant to bring people together since we can’t get physically together,” said Higgins, who is in the art education program at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax.
“And it’s a project that can encourage people to wear a face mask as a way to help protect everyone during the pandemic, which I think is an important message.”
Created for a public art class Higgins is taking at NSCAD University, the Sydney Mines native received a Rising Youth grant so she could continue the project until March 1.
During the last week of February, she is planning a virtual livestreaming show of all the portraits she’s completed to this point. But the artist, who has a bachelor of fine arts degree from Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B., plans to continue doing portraits until the end of the pandemic.
“I want to get as many people as possible involved so we can get as many people’s experiences included,” she said.
One participant who is a COVID-19 survivor living off-island wrote a statement that Higgins calls “powerful.”
In it, the woman said her health will never be the same again and that she wants to live in a world where people care about protecting people around them.
“Our cases have been pretty low here. So hearing from someone who has had it and is still suffering from the lasting effects is really powerful,” Higgins said.
Alex Cormier saw Higgins’s Facebook post looking for subjects for the I Wear A Mask series and the mother of two said she wanted to participate in the project because protecting others is a message that hits close to home.
“It’s affected our family directly, the COVID pandemic. My mother had COVID and now she suffers long-term effects from COVID. Her lungs are permanently damaged,” Cormier said about her decision to be a model in the series.
“If by helping promote the message that face masks work, if we can protect anyone else’s mother or grandmother or father or someone else in the community by wearing masks, then we should do what we can to get that message across.”
Each digital portrait takes about an hour and a half to complete and is done on an iPad with a special pen which allows the artist to draw right on the screen.
To date, Higgins has completed 40 portraits and hopes to finish at least 100 by the time the pandemic is over.
Anyone interested in being a model in the I Wear A Mask For Sydney Mines series can contact Higgins by email at [email protected], through Facebook messenger on the project page or by phone at 902-578-9444.
Nicole Sullivan is an education, enterprise and diversity reporter for the Cape Breton Post.
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