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The Top 10 Art Exhibitions to See in 2020 – Financial Post



(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

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Art Toronto art fair returns in person to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre – The Globe and Mail



Maria Hupfield’s Truth Machine _ Lie Detector, 2017 (Galerie Hugues Charbonneau).Hugues Charbonneau

A year ago, on a dark October evening, Canadian art lovers got all dressed up, cracked open the Champagne, plated the nibbles and sat down at their computers to pretend they were attending the opening night of an art fair. Art Toronto, the annual fair that normally fills the Metro Toronto Convention Centre with 100 gallery booths and thousands of visitors, tried hard to offer a virtual version featuring viewing rooms and video interviews. There was a certain atmosphere – if you tried equally hard – but without the circulating crowds and the continuous chatter, it didn’t really feel like a fair.

This year, the chatter may be somewhat inhibited by masks but Art Toronto is back with an in-person event at the convention centre. More than 60 galleries are participating with physical booths as well as an online presence; another two dozen are offering simultaneous shows in their own premises for those who want to avoid any crowds.

You’ll need proof of vaccination to enter the convention centre and tickets are timed to the half-hour. Meanwhile, the swank opening-night preview, traditionally a fundraiser for the Art Gallery of Ontario, has been postponed until 2022.

Still, from Friday to Sunday, there will be real art in real physical spaces; for the digital skeptic or the neophyte collector, browsing is back.

Jason Baerg’s Oyasiwewina, The Law, 2021 (FAZAKAS Gallery).Fazakas

And from all this, there emerges a theme too: Indigenous art. About a third of participating galleries happen to be showing work by Indigenous artists, from veterans such as the Anishinaabe artist Rebecca Belmore to mid-career figures such as Maria Hupfield, an Anishinaabe artist now working in Brooklyn, N.Y., or the Toronto artist Jason Baerg, who is Cree and Métis and teaches at the Ontario College of Art & Design University. This is coincidental, reflecting the interests of Canadian gallerists and collectors, rather than any specific direction from Art Toronto. It is a trend that includes fair stalwarts such as Montreal dealer Pierre-François Ouellette who has shown work by Meryl McMaster and Kent Monkman for years and the arrival of more galleries that specialize in First Nations art including the Indigenous-owned K Art from Buffalo, N.Y., and Vancouver’s Ceremonial Art.

It also happens to dovetail with the fair’s panel on decolonizing public collections, moderated by National Gallery of Canada curator Greg Hill. That is an online event, one of a series of interviews and discussions that can be watched at home. You can also visit the exhibitors online: Their VR booths on the Art Toronto website will remain up for a week after the physical event closes.

Toronto’s Stephen Bulger Gallery offers a slice of normal – with a side of weirdness – at mini art fair

Another in-person option, however, is being offered by some of the participating galleries in Toronto who have banded together to produce a city-wide gallery week to coincide with the fair. Last year, photography dealer Stephen Bulger couldn’t stomach the idea of online-only and organized a small pop-up fair, inviting four galleries from across the country into his Dundas Street West headquarters and allowing masked visitors to step carefully inside. That idea has taken hold and, alongside Bulger, several more Toronto venues have visiting galleries in their spaces: the Olga Korper Gallery welcomes Calgary’s VIVIANEART; Robert Birch Contemporary hosts Montreal’s Art Mûr and Feheley Fine Arts has Vancouver’s Fazakas Gallery.

Meryl McMaster’s When The Storm Ends I Will Finish My Work, 2021 (Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain/Stephen Bulger Gallery).Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain/Stephen Bulger Gallery

Although not officially affiliated with Art Toronto, the friendly art-week idea meshes with the cross-Canada scope of a fair that has always positioned itself as a national rather than metropolitan event. For example, this year, almost a third of the participating galleries are from Montreal. One of those galleries is Hugues Charbonneau’s, and that dealer is arriving already sold out of work by two artists, both of whom address issues of Black history and identity, the Haitian-Canadian Manuel Mathieu and the Congolese-Canadian Moridja Kitenge Banza.

You can’t really put a dollar figure on Art Toronto’s activity because sales are handled by the individual galleries: The barometer of its success is simply the number of galleries that choose to come back year after year. The pandemic may have hurt museums badly but as Charbonneau’s example shows the art market itself has prospered in recent months. In 2021 Art Toronto is exhibiting resilience.

Art Toronto runs Oct. 29-31 in person at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and online to Nov. 7. See for details.

Toronto Gallery Week runs Oct. 26-31. See for details.

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Golden Butterfly Studios features ancient art of filigree – Greenville Journal



By Allison Wells

Exquisite European art has made its way to Greenville with Golden Butterfly Studios. Handmade, fine silk filigree artwork is presented by Alek Kocevski in a tradition that’s thousands of years old.

Filigree art was started in the Middle East millennia ago and has been a time-honored tradition throughout eastern Europe, including Kocevski’s home country of North Macedonia. It was there he first encountered the intricate craftsmanship and decided to learn the trade. Fascinated by both the art itself and the art of making the filigree pieces, Kocevski decided to apprentice with a master in Macedonia before returning to South Carolina.

A Greenville resident for the past 20 years, he realized the art form was unknown in the United States and sought to showcase such mastery in the Upstate. 

“I thought this would be a great thing to bring to the United States and it was a side job while I was in undergrad at Clemson,” Kocevski said. 

After majoring in Biomedical Sciences at Clemson, he had planned to go to medical school but found he was unable to attend. That, Kocevski said, led him to pursue his passion for beautiful art. 

Traditionally, filigree is made with silver and gold wire, taking up to a month to make a single piece and costing thousands of dollars. At Golden Butterfly Studios, the pieces are made using fine silk instead. 

“This newer version with silk gives you the same elegance … but it’s more cost-effective and quicker,” Kocevski said. 

Smaller pieces can be done in under 24 hours with larger ones taking less than a week. It’s also less expensive, making this long-standing European art more attainable.

Each design is sketched by hand before silk ever gets laid over the template. Then the silk is laid out in a precise pattern requiring a steady hand and an eye for detail. After the artist has completed the design, it’s shaped to give it a more 3-D look and placed inside a shadowbox for display.

According to Koceviski, his studio offers exclusive designs in butterflies and flowers right now as they are traditionally timeless and beautiful. He likened the life of a butterfly to that of a person: Both go through similar changes and transformations in life and butterflies represent the fragility of life.

“Simply put, they bring a smile to your face,” he said.

While a permanent storefront is not available at this time, Golden Butterfly Studios offers their pieces at events and art markets around Greenville. More info can be found at or on their social media pages.

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25-foot column of sculpted vehicles towers above Kelowna Art Gallery – Kelowna Capital News – Kelowna Capital News



After three years of secrecy, the Kelowna Art Gallery unveiled its latest project Wednesday morning (Oct. 27) — a public art sculpture standing 25 feet tall outside of the gallery’s entrance.

Canadian artist Jed Lind’s Gold, Silver & Lead art piece is located at the corner of Water Street and Cawston Avenue and consists of seven sculptural vehicles — all modelled after the 1979 Honda Civic — stacked on top of one another.

“Our hope is that it will become a landmark within the downtown public space and that it will stimulate lively conversations about the visual arts in our community,” said Nataley Nagy, the Kelowna Art Gallery’s executive director.

Originally presented at the Toronto Sculpture Garden’s 30th-anniversary exhibit in 2011, the sculpture was donated to the Kelowna Art Gallery in 2019. In the piece, the cars deteriorate and disassemble as they climb up the sculpture.

“Like a stack of stones marking a trail, it represents a fork in the road where humanity could’ve chosen a simpler existence, yet here we are today,” said Lind.

Lind said he got the idea for the sculpture over a decade ago when he stumbled across an old print ad that featured American architect Buckminister Fuller standing in front of a white geodesic dome and a white 1979 Honda Civic, with a tagline that read, “The man who simplified housing bought a Honda Civic. We make it simple.”

“It is a quintessentially American idea that the automobile as the embodiment of freedom, power and escape,” said Lind. “The Honda Civic became popular in America after the 1973 oil crisis when the idea that resources were finite became to take root in the culture.”

He added that he hopes that the sculpture will further conversations about the environment, consumption and collective responsibility.

People gather for the unveiling of the Kelowna Art Gallery’s latest project - Jed Lind’s Gold, Silver & Lead public sculpture - on Oct. 27. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)

People gather for the unveiling of the Kelowna Art Gallery’s latest project – Jed Lind’s Gold, Silver & Lead public sculpture – on Oct. 27. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)

“Amidst the social and cultural awakening, and the material shortages that we now face, I hope that some viewers see the piece as a reminder that our resources are not infinite, nor are our emotions,” he said.

READ MORE: Public art, top floor of Kelowna’s One Water Street tower revealed

READ MORE: Friends of victims urge construction pause at deadly Kelowna crane collapse site


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