There is always a contemporary art show worth seeing in Europe. With innumerable exhibitions spread across the continent, the choice of programs can feel endless — and also slightly intimidating. Every city is a constellation of museums and instutitutions and, together, they make up a galaxy of options for art lovers looking to find their new favorite artist.
With summer in full swing and the year halfway finished, it’s time to look towards the exhibitions that will define the art calendar through the latter half of 2023. After extensive digging that took us from the major metropolitan locales of Paris and Munich and with Bilbao, for example, to the north of Spain, we’ve compiled eight exhibitions worth seeing. Wher its shows entering their final few weeks or major exhibitions that will open soon, the guide is essential for anyone looking to dive deep into the works of Yayoi Kusama, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sarah Lucas, Yoshitomo Nara, and more.
Scroll through to see what exhibitions we recommended adding to your art calendar for the rest of the year.
A mix of cinema, art, and pop culture flows through Berlin-based artist Julian Rosefeldt’s new exhibition, “When We Are Gone.” Since opening at the Völklinger Hütte World Heritage Site, viewers have explored the sprawling space as they engage with new and old pieces from his oeuvre. A selection of seven works from the past two decades — plus the new film installations “EUPHORIA” and “PENUMBRA” — are spread across more than 6,000 square meters of the Blower Hall.
There is an intoxicating (and must-see) mix of film, dance, text, and music throughout the show that cements Rosefeldt as a key position in Germany’s contemporary art scene. With only weeks left until the exhibition is finished, there is still time for art lovers to add Völklingen to their itinerary.
Five years after staging the impressive “Jean-Michel Basquiat” exhibition, Fondation Louis Vuitton returns yet again to the artist’s oeuvre — this time exploring his collaboration with Andy Warhol. The two titans of contemporary art collaborated on around 160 paintings in the brief span between 1984 and 1985. It is this “à quatre mains” period that is on view for eager audiences; with more than three hundred works and documents on display, the exhibition also features some of the biggest paintings of their respective careers.
Alongside the many must-see pieces by Basquiat and Warhol, the exhibition also evokes the vibe of New York City’s 1980s art scene via a curated selection of works by such artists as Keith Haring, Futura 2000, Jenny Holzer, Michael Halsband, and Kenny Scharf.
“Basquiat x Warhol. Painting Four Hands” is on view until August 28. Fondation Louis Vuitton is open from 11 AM to 8 PM on Thursday, 11 AM to 9 PM on Friday, and 10 AM to 8 PM on Saturday. Click here for more info.
Sculpture lovers, get your walking shoes ready. The acclaimed ARTZUID has returned for its eighth edition. Sprawling across the, 50 sculptures curated by Jasper Krabbé can be found dotting the Apollolaan and Minervalaan streets of Amsterdam-Zuid. The works span decades (60s, 80s, and 2000s) and movements (Pop art, Nouveau Realisme, Arte Povera and Street art), uniting under the theme of “Transfer.”
The exhibition runs through September 22 and, alongside works by major artists of the past, also features ten artists who were commissioned to create new pieces, including famed Amsterdam artist Frankey.
Mark your calendars: Tate Britain is preparing an exhibition of the internationally renowned British artist Sarah Lucas. Beginning September 26 and running through January 14, the new show will celebrate her work in sculpture, installation, and photography.
For over four decades, Lucas has interrogated such themes as sex, class and gender through her work. In a city already packed with art, London promises to be a key destination through the rest of the year for fans of contemporary art.
As the most comprehensive survey to date of the Merdieth Monk, the massive exhibition presents works that span more than sixty years. The American born artist whose oeuvre is guided by an exploration of the human voice has worked tirelessly across media; experimenting with everything from installation and dance to music and video.
The show is a collaboration in two acts between the Haus der Kunst and Amsterdam’s Oude Kerk. Curated by Anna Schneider with assistance by Teresa Retzer, the exhibition gives art lovers more than enough to explore, including a number of multi-sensorial, innovative installations.
With over 1,200 square metres of exhibition space to work with, the Pinakothek der Moderne presents a monumental look at the rise of glitch art. The term “glitch” made its way into the popular lexicon with technical language used by radio and television engineers in the 1950s, as well as the world of computer games. However, these visual malfunctions have roots far deeper; dating back to the early days of photography.
With the focal point of the show centered around this modern movement, the exhibition unites a global array of artists that include Man Ray, Ryoichi Kurokawa, Nam June Paik, JODI, among other. Together, their work in glitch art serves to interrogates reality, media, and the modern world.
“Glitch. The Art of Interference” is on view from December 1, 2023 to March 17, 2024. The Pinakothek der Moderne is open Tuesday to Wednesday and Friday to Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM, and Thursday from 10 AM to 8 PM. Click here for more info.
The “Angry Girls” that have populated Yoshitomo Nara’s oeuvre since the 1990s are instantly recongizable. Heavily stylized, their childlike faces contrast sharply against dour expressions, vampiric teeth, and the sharp knives that some hold in their hands.
With the exhibition “All My Little Words,” the Albertina Modern brings ample attention to the “Angry Girls” while expanding their scope to focus on over four decades of the artist’s work. Presented in the space in a Petersburg hanging arranged by the artist himself, the show features experimental works on paper, paintings, sculptures, and more.
There are few living artists as internationally celebrated as Yayoi Kusuma. The Japanese artist and writer’s work since bursting onto the scene has spanned multiple art movements; her avante-garde approach to art has become instantly recognizable no matter the medium.
Decades of work are on view in the major exhibition at Guggenheim Bilbao, with everything from drawings and sculptures to installation charting her path through the art world. Thematically, the show is split across six themes: Infinity, Accumulation, Radical Connectivity, Biocosmic, Death, and Force of Life. Taken together, they present a clear case for why the Japanese artist has become such a legend.