The 8 Must-See Art Exhibitions of 2017
With 2016 ending, and the major art shows of the year wrapping up, it’s time to get ready for the must-see art exhibitions trending in 2017! Hot off the press, the hippest galleries in North America, the UK, and Europe have just unveiled their upcoming lineups for 2017. With the promise of several amazing art shows on the horizon, below are 8 not-to-be-missed exhibitions of modern and contemporary art handpicked for you. From the Gothic to the picturesque, these carefully crafted shows, by the most sophisticated international curators, will have you uncovering hidden stories, discovering overlooked artists, and re-evaluating what you thought you knew about art history. Get ready to be pleasantly surprised, teased, and perhaps even outraged. Without further ado…
#8, The Must-See Art Exhibitions of 2017: Bernard Buffet
October 14th 2016 – February 26th 2017
Buffet’s name was once as recognized as Picasso’s, much to the latter’s chagrin. Buffet was wholeheartedly against abstraction even as it grew to new heights. Buffet’s works could be found not only in major museums and magazines, such as Paris Match, but in advertisements and even Hollywood film sets (How to Marry a Millionaire). Buffet’s work, resonant with themes of politics, contemporary events, death, sexuality and popular culture, appealed to mainstream audiences as well as critics. But his his star power dwindled in the 60s, when Picasso and others dubbed Buffet’s work as fleeting and commercial. For years, the tide of public opinion was against Buffet, and it is only recently that museums like the Museum of Modern Art have begun to re-evaluate his work. After creating over 8,000 works, Buffet took his own life in 1999, following a long battle with Parkinson’s which had left him unable to paint.
#7, The Must-See Art Exhibitions of 2017: Visionaries
Opens Feb 10th, 2017
Next year marks the 80th anniversary of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. To celebrate, the institution has curated over 170 modern works from their collections in New York and Venice intended to pay homage to the foundation’s past successes and future endeavors. Six patrons, including Solomon R. Guggenheim (1861-1949) and his advisor Hilla Rebay (1890-1967), will be highlighted for their revolutionary departure from traditional art to more radical, avant-garde works. Alongside pieces from the several of the biggest names in modern art (Alexander Calder, Paul Cézanne, Marc Chagall, Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Vincent van Gogh), the Guggenheim will feature lesser known artists who represent the ongoing changes in modern art.
#6, The Must-See Art Exhibitions of 2017: Adiós Utopia
This painting by Raúl Martínez, Rosas y Estrellas (1972), will be featured in a much-anticipated exhibition of Cuban painters this coming spring in Houston.
March 2nd– May 21st, 2017
After decades of isolation, Cuba has tentatively reopened its doors, allowing for U.S. audiences – most for the first time – a glimpse at the Cuban artists who remained in Cuba following Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution. The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston has collected over 100 paintings, photographs, graphic designs, videos and installations created by more than 50 Cuban artists and designers. No collection of Cuban art this size has been shown outside of Cuba in over 50 years (the last being the New York MOMA’s Modern Cuban Painters in 1944 – prior to the revolution). Adiós Utopia will tell the story of the changing perspectives of Cuban “utopia” through six decades, up to artists’ current reception abroad.
#5, The Must-See Art Exhibitions of 2017: Zaha Hadid
December 8th, 2016 – February 12th, 2017
Beginning in December, the UK’s Serpentine Sackler gallery will present the seldom viewed drawings and paintings of architect Zaha Hadid following her unfortunate passing in March 2016 – a fitting task since the Serpentine Sackler Gallery itself was one of Hadid’s first architectural accomplishments in London. In the architectural field, Hadid is world famous; she was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004, and is the recipient of the Stirling Prize in both 2010 and 2011. Hadid is responsible for her groundbreaking parametricism and neo-futurism, which can be found in every completed structure – the aquatic center for the London 2012 Olympics and the Guangzhou Opera House in China being two of the most recognizable examples. This exhibition, however, will highlight a different side of the artist, one not attached to the confines of physics and gravity.
#4, The Must-See Art Exhibitions of 2017: The Art of Margaret Clarke
May 10th – August 20th, 2017
Margaret Clarke, a student of William Orpen and previous recipient of silver and bronze medals from the BBE National Art Competition (1911, 1913) for figure painting and female nudes, as well as the Tailteann gold, silver and bronze medals (1924, 1928, 1932), was considered a premiere portraitist of her time. She was a member of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art, and her list of commissions included portraits – primarily charcoal and oil – of Dermod O’Brien, President of the Royal Hibernian Academy (1935), Dr. Edward Sheridan, President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin (1946), and “St Patrick Climbs Croagh Patrick.” Her portraits have been praised for their economical lines, but her reputation grew most profoundly after she began to develop landscapes and smaller, often floral, images. In the years since her passing, Margaret Clarke’s work has drifted from the public eye. The National Gallery of Ireland, however, plans to re-discover the artist by creating an exhibition which will follow Margaret’s development as an artist through her studies at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art, her marriage and later family life, and finally, her life as a widow beginning in 1931. A series of paintings, drawings, sketchbooks, photographs and further materials will be included.
#3, The Must-See Art Exhibitions of 2017: Provoke
January 28th-April 30th, 2017
Provoke is an international traveling show, but its appearance at the Art Institute of Chicago will be one of its finest – and the only North American venue location for the series. The Art Institute of Chicago will be adding over 100 of its own Japanese postwar photographs and photobooks to the collection, nearly doubling the exhibition which highlights not only the highly regarded Provoke Magazine (a 9 month endeavor which has come to represent much of the cultural criticism and progressive photography of postwar Japan) and its main photographers Nakahira, Takanashi, and Moriyama, but also work by well-known photographers of the time, Shomei Tomatsu, Eikoh Hosoe, and the still controversial Nobuyoshi Arakki.
#2, The Must-See Art Exhibitions of 2017: Wim Delvoye
Nov 30th, 2016- March 19th, 2017
Delvoye is a Belgian artist most recognized for his Gothic-style work, much of which is focused on the simultaneous beauty and revulsion of the body. He’s a multi-talented artist whose succeeded with traditional photography, as well as tattoo work, foundry work, x-rays, 3D images, tapisdermy, and more – all of which can be sampled at Montreal’s DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art beginning in November. Delvoye is not just a skilled artisan who has mastered mediums across the board (his extended list also includes weaving, stained glass, steel and ceramics), he is considered a pioneer artist whose work centers on, in his words, “a counter-attack for visual pollution.”
#1, The Must-See Art Exhibitions of 2017: Monochrome
November 1st, 2017 – February 18th 2018
Black and white painting has been a fascination for many artists, dating as far back as the Middle Ages and continuing through the 21st century. It’s often been said that depriving a work of color forces the artist to concentrate more deeply on composition, value, lighting and form, but this alone seems too simple an explanation to justify the multitudes of work by well-known artists which are clearly efforts beyond strengthening technique. Black and white painting has been considered derivative of calligraphy, inspired by early photography, or even a response to an excess of color. No exhibitions have made serious inquiries on the nature of black and white paintings – that is, until now. UK’s National Gallery intends for Monochrome to be the first exhibit to not only collect and display black and white works by Leonardo, Rembrandt, Degas, and Picasso side-by-side, but also to thoroughly analyze the motivations behind colorless painting.