Summer Art Preview: 19 Travel-Worthy Museum Exhibitions to See Around the Globe This Season

As we already know, 2017 is one of the busiest years for art on record. But if you’re not partaking in the traditional art tour of Europe (the Biennale in Venice, Documenta in Kassel and Athens, and Skulptur Projekte Münster), there’s plenty of other noteworthy exhibitions to see across the globe.

Anselm Kiefer, Ghost over the Waters. Courtesy of photographer Charles Duprat, © Anselm Kiefer.

1. “Anselm Kiefer, for Velimir Khlebnikov: Fates of Nations” at the State Hermitage Museum, May 30–September 9, 2017
The German artist Anselm Kiefer (1945–) gets his first Russian solo show, featuring 30 new works inspired by Russian futurist-poet Velimir Khlebnikov. Based on Khlebnikov’s theory that history’s major battles often repeat themselves, the works often feature rusted vehicles, relics of war that speak to themes of war and peace.

The Hermitage is located at Dvortsovaya Naberezhnaya (Embankment) 34 in St. Petersburg, and is open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10:30 a.m.–5 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday, 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m. General admission is 700 rubles ($12).

Carolee Schneemann, Sir Henry Francis Taylor (1961). Courtesy Carolee Schneemann, P.P.O.W Gallery, New York, Hales Gallery, London, Galerie Lelong, Paris and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017.

2. “Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting” at the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, Sabatini Building, May 31–September 24, 2017
Fresh off her receipt of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2017 Venice Biennale, pioneering performance artist Carolee Schneemann (1939–) gets her due at an exhibition at Frankfurt’s MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst. Her unprecedented use of the female body in her work allowed Schneemann to eschew traditional gender roles, embrace sexuality, and generally serve as a trailblazer for the generations of women artists who would follow in her footsteps. (If you’re stuck stateside this summer, note that it’s also heading to New York’s MoMA PS1 this fall.)

The MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst is located at Domstraße 10 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and is open Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; and Wednesday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. General admission is €16 ($18). 

Lee Lozano, Untitled (1964). Courtesy of the Kaws Collection.

3. “Lee Lozano: Pulling Out the Stops” at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Sabatini Building, May 31–September 25, 2017
American conceptual artist Lee Lozano (1930–1999) had a brief but intensely rigorous career before abruptly ceasing her artistic practice with her Drop Out Piece (1972), which saw her completely extricate herself from the art world, refusing to participate in the system. The Reina Sofía’s exhibition includes Lozano’s erotic drawings, more minimal energy paintings, and her mathematically charged “Wave Series,” exploring electromagnetic waves.

The Reina Sofía is located at Calle de Santa Isabel, 52, Madrid, and is open Monday and Wednesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. General admission is €10 ($11). 

Raphael, Study for Charity (circa 1519). Courtesy of the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.

4. “Raphael: The Drawings” at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology at the University of Oxford, June 1–September 3, 2017 
The Ashmolean deploys its impressive collection of Raphael (1483–1520) drawings, bolstered by loans from the likes of the Louvre in Paris and the Uffizi in Florence, in this exhibition exploring the extraordinary influence of an artist who died at just 37 years old. Because these fragile drawings are extremely sensitive to light, they are rarely on public view. If that’s not incentive enough, the show is being touted as the biggest exhibition of Raphael drawings since 1983.

The Ashmolean is located at Beaumont Street, Oxford, and is open Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. General admission is £12 ($15.50).

5. “Derain, Balthus, Giacometti: An Artistic Friendship” at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, June 2–October 29, 2017
Three great modernists, André Derain (1880–1954), Balthus (1908–2001), and Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966), and their strong friendships with one another make up the backbone of this exhibition at Paris’s Musée d’Art moderne. The show brings together over 350 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and photographs, mainly dating from the 1930s–1960s.

The Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris is located at 11 Avenue du Président Wilson, Paris, and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. General admission is €15 ($17).

Barbara Crane, Private Views (1981). © Barbara Crane.

6. “The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology” at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, June 3–September 3, 2017
Kicking off an internationally traveling exhibition, Amon Carter Museum will host “The Polaroid Project,” a survey of the revolutionary technology that changed not only the medium, but also the cultural understanding of pictures and picture-taking. The ubiquity of Polaroid—the company, and the movement it began in 1943, is documented in this exhibition as an enduring landmark of science and art.

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art is located at 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, Texas, and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; and Sunday 12 p.m.–5 p.m. Admission is free.

Richard Barnes, Man with Buffalo (2007). Courtesy Palais de Tokyo.

7. “Dioramas” at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, June 14–September 10, 2017
A startling roster of artists in this show have explored the format of the diorama, from Cao Fei and Joseph Cornell to Isa Genzken, Fiona Tan, and Jeff Wall. Curators Claire Garnier, Laurent Le Bon, and Florence Ostende have found a remarkably rich vein to mine in studying a presentation style invented by Louis Daguerre and now best known for its use in natural history museums.

Palais de Tokyo is located at 13 Avenue du President Wilson, 75116 Paris, and is open everyday except Tuesday, 12 p.m.–12 a.m. General admission is €12 ($13).

Charles Howard, Prescience (1942). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

8. “Charles Howard: A Margin of Chaos” at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), opening June 21–October 1, 2017
Groundbreaking abstract painter Charles Howard (1922–2007), who helped bring European modernism to the US, sees his first museum exhibition in more than 60 years. Over 50 rarely seen works by the artist track his work from his Surrealist beginnings to later Abstract works.

BAMPFA is located at 2155 Center St, Berkeley, and is open Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 11 a.m.–7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. General admission is $25. 

Jimmie Durham, Cortez (1991–1992). Courtesy of the Walker Art Center.

9. “Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World” at the Walker Art Center, June 22–October 8, 2017
The first retrospective from American artist Jimmie Durham (1940–) features nearly 175 works dating from 1970 to the present. (After an extensive restoration and expansion project, the museum’s famed garden will also reopen on June 10.)

The Walker Art Center is located at 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, and is open Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.–6 p.m. General admission is $14.

Beverly Semmes
Beverly Semmes, Blue Gowns (1993). Courtesy of Rubell Family Collection, Miami.

10.Revival” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), June 23–September 10, 2017
In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the NMWA presents a survey of its collection featuring contemporary sculpture, photography, and video by 16 women artists, including Louise Bourgeois, Petah Coyne, and Alison Saar.

NMWA is located at 1250 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC, and is open daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m.–5 p.m. General admission is $10. 

Andrew Wyeth, Winter (1946). North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh. © 2017 Andrew Wyeth/Artists Rights Society (ARS).

11. “Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect” at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, June 24–September 17, 2017
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Andrew Wyeth (1917–2009), the Brandywine River Museum of Art will hold his first major survey show in more than four decades. Bringing together over 100 works, the exhibition will range from early watercolors and rarely exhibited studies to Wyeth’s very last painting, Goodbye, completed shortly before he died in 2009.

The Brandywine River Museum of Art is located at 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and is open daily, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. General admission is $18.

Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin, Arii matamoe (The Royal End), 1892. Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

12. “Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist” at the Art Institute of Chicago, June 25–September 10, 2017
This overarching look at the career of Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) includes 240 works, many of which demonstrate his embrace of unconventional media. Organized by the Art Institute with the Musée d’Orsay, and the Réunion des musées nationaux–Grand Palais, both in Paris, the exhibition boasts the largest collection of the artist’s ceramics ever shown together.

The Art Institute is located at 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, and is open daily 10:30 a.m.–5 p.m., and Thursday 10:30 a.m.–8 p.m. General admission is $25. 

Michael Nichols.png
Michael Nichols, Mrithi, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda (1981). Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

13. “Wild: Michael Nichols at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, June 27–September 17, 2017
Michael Nichols (1952–) has documented wild animals in some of the most remote regions of the planet for more than 30 years. In his images Nichols, named the 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year by London’s Natural History Museum, captures both the power and fragility of the natural world.

The museum is located at 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130. Hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Wednesday, and Friday, 10 a.m.–8:45 p.m. General admission is $20. 

David Hockney
David Hockney, Pearblossom Hwy., 11 – 18th April 1986, #2 (1986). © David Hockney, courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

14. “Happy Birthday, Mr. Hockney” at the Getty Center, June 27–November 26, 2017
The Tate Britain’s big birthday bash for David Hockney (1937–) is over, but the Getty has a show that will actually be open when the artist celebrates his 80th on July 9. The museum is focusing on his wide-ranging self portraits, as well as Hockney’s well-known photo collages—your chance to finally see Pearblossom Hwy., 11–18th April 1986, #2, part of the Getty collection, in person—and composite Polaroids.

The Getty Center is located at N Sepulveda Blvd and Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, and is open Tuesday–Thursday, and Sunday 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. General admission is free.

Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei, Trace (2014), detail. Courtesy of the artist/the For-Site Foundation.

15. “Ai Weiwei: Trace at Hirschhorn” at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, June 28, 2017–January 1, 2018
If you missed Ai Weiwei’s (1957–) 2014 exhibition at the former Alcatraz prison in San Francisco, you can catch his installation Trace, which immortalizes 176 social and political activists in murals made of thousands of LEGO pieces, at the Hirshhorn. The museum’s third floor Outer Ring galleries will also feature a new piece called The Plain Version of the Animal That Looks Like a Llama but Is Really an Alpaca, which incorporates surveillance cameras, handcuffs, and the Twitter bird into a seemingly decorative 360-degree wallpaper design.

The Hirshhorn is located at National Mall at the corner of 7th Street SW and Independence Avenue and is open 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Krzysztof Wodiczko
Krzysztof Wodiczko, Homeless Vehicle (1988). Image courtesy of the artist.

16. “Krzysztof Wodiczko: Instruments, Monuments, Projections” is on view at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, July 5–October 9, 2017
Polish artist Krzysztof Wodiczko’s (1943–) art-fueled activism was way ahead of its time. The professor in residence at Harvard University has used his nearly 50-year-long career as a platform for expressing opinions that often challenge the status quo. His “Homeless Vehicles” project was a commentary on the gross disparity between the excesses of the Reagan-era economy, and the simultaneous surge in homelessness.

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea is located at 30 Samcheong-ro, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, and is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; and Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. General admission is 4,000 KRW ($3.50).

Sarah Lucas
Sarah Lucas, Pauline (2015). © Sarah Lucas, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London/the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

17. “Sarah Lucas: Good Muse” at the Legion of Honor Museum, July 15–October 1, 2017
In January, the Legion of Honor marked the 100th anniversary of the death of renowned sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) with the opening of “The Centenary Installation.” In conjunction with that exhibition, the museum has invited contemporary sculptor Sarah Lucas (1962–), in her first major US show, to counterbalance Rodin’s tendency to objectify and eroticize the female body with her own unabashedly sexual works, which confront the notion of an idealizing male gaze.

The Legion of Honor is located at Lincoln Park, 100 34th Avenue, San Francisco, and is open Tuesday–Sunday, 9:30 a.m.–5:15 p.m. General admission is $15.

Jim Henson
Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog on the set of The Muppet Movie. Courtesy the Jim Henson Company.

18. “The Jim Henson Exhibition” at the Museum of the Moving Image, opening July 22, 2017
Following the Museum of the Moving Image’s leg of the the hit traveling Jim Henson (1936–1990) exhibition in 2011, which offered a fascinating peek into the fertile imagination of the creator of the Muppets, Henson’s family made a major donation to the New York museum of over 500 objects from his archives. A permanent exhibition was in the works for four years, and will finally open its doors following a successful Kickstarter campaign this spring that raised over $144,000. Among the highlights will be the chance to see 47 of the puppets for Henson’s iconic characters in person, including Big Bird, Elmo, Kermit and Piggy, the Swedish Chef, and characters from Fraggle Rock and The Dark Crystal.

The Museum of the Moving image is located at 36-01 35 Ave, Astoria, Queens, and is open Wednesday–Thursday, 10:30 a.m.–2 p.m.; Friday, 10:30 a.m.–8 p.m.; and Saturday–Sunday, 11:30 a.m.–7 p.m. General admission is $15. 

Dana Schutz
Dana Schutz, Big Wave (2016). Image courtesy of the artist © Dana Schutz.

19. “Dana Schutz” at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, July 26–November 26, 2017
Dana Schutz (1976–) was embroiled in controversy earlier this year, over the inclusion of her painting of murdered African American teenager Emmett Till in the Whitney Biennial. Here is an inquiry into the artist’s robust painting practice. This exhibition of the artist’s recent work focuses on her large-scale depictions of abstracted narratives that are bursting with color and expression.

The ICA is located at 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA 02210 and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. General admission is $15.

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