Summer 2023 is in full swing and you are looking for a list of the most important and must-see trade museum shows of the year. And you have come to the right place! Here is a summary of art exhibitions that you should definitely visit.
Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 26 March-16 July
Seattle Art Museum, 19 October 2023-21 January 2024
Hokusai (1760-1849) has been admired throughout the world for more than a century. And the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, with its outstanding Japanese collection, is well positioned to put his work in context. The exposition includes more than 90 works of the master and more than 200 works of his contemporaries and followers from all over the world.
Among the surprises of the art exhibition will be one of Hokusai’s waterfall prints, as well as a 1925 watercolor by American artist Lois Milu Jones.
Tate Britain, London, 6 April-24 September
The luminous visions of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his fellow Pre-Raphaelites are quite familiar to visitors to art galleries in Britain and other countries. Their intense emotional life even made it to mainstream television in the 2009 BBC series Desperate Romantics. The current Tate Britain art exhibition continues where the TV show left off, focusing for the first time on the Rossetti family and their tangled relationships with the likes of Jane and William Morris.
About 90 works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti are featured in the artist’s first-ever retrospective at the Tate Gallery, which already features many of his most famous paintings, including The Annunciation (1849–1850), Beata Beatrix (1864–70) and Proserpine” (1874).
Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 5 May-16 July
German-born, Paris-based fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld began working in the 1950s and never stopped redesigning entire fashion houses, most notably Chanel, while also transforming the couturier profession itself.
An intellectual, collector, philanthropist and entrepreneur, not to mention a designer and a curmudgeon, he died at the age of 85 in 2019, and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute immediately began planning this massive study of his entire career.
Lagerfeld, who considered fashion to be a craft rather than an art, is famous for believing that fashion is needed everywhere except in art museums. Curator Andrew Bolton raises the bar for a highly intellectual approach, rooting Lagerfeld’s achievements deeply in the history of aesthetics, referring in the show’s title as well as its organization to William Hogarth’s 18th-century treatise The Analysis of Beauty.
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, 8 June-22 October
Louisiana has been looking forward to Ragnar Kjartansson’s career for years, and their calendars have finally aligned. Curator Tine Kolstrup describes the Icelandic artist’s first major exhibition in Denmark as a sophisticated portrait of contemporary Western culture.
The art exhibition features a wealth of video art, paintings, sculptures and drawings, including some of the artist’s most beloved works. Among them is his breathtaking nine-channel video installation The Visitors (2012), in which Kjartansson and a group of his musician friends perform in a dilapidated mansion formerly owned by the Astor family in upstate New York.
Remedios Varo: Science Fictions
Art Institute of Chicago, 29 July-27 November
Remedios Varo and her friends, the British painter Leonora Carrington and the Hungarian photographer Kati Horna, were known as the “three witches”. Part of a circle of exiled European Surrealists in post-war Mexico, they shared a fascination with alchemy and the occult.
This summer, some 25 paintings from her peak in the 1950s and early 60s, as well as drawings and archival material, will be reunited at the Art Institute of Chicago in the first US solo show since 2000. The show, titled “Science Fiction”, aims to highlight the contradiction between modern science and mysticism in Varo’s imagination, as well as the “combination of precise planning and random operations” that shaped her meticulous technique.
The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century
Baltimore Museum of Art, 5 April-16 July
Saint Louis Art Museum, 25 August-1 January 2024
Since its emergence as a new cultural form in 1970s America, hip hop has had an inextricable link of mutual influence with the visual arts. Combining painting, sculpture, photography, poetry, film and fashion, this show from the Baltimore Museum of Art and the St. Louis Art Museum explores the development of hip hop as an art form over the past 50 years.
The art exhibition features around 70 objects from artists including Nina Chanel Abney, Derrick Adams, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Arthur Jaf and Dina Lawson to fashion designers like Virgil Abloh, streetwear brand Cross Colors and luxury handbag.