IRL Spring/Summer 2021 - ART FIX
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IRL Spring/Summer 2021

After a year of lockdown, we’re all eager to meet up, dine out, and — you guessed it — visit art exhibitions. That’s why Art Fix has put together a collection of our favourite exhibitions this season in our 2021 Spring Summer IRL List. This list is packed with all the art tips you’ve got to check out IRL (in real life), if travel and conditions permit. It’ll take you across the globe, from outdoors to indoors and from retrospectives to multi-artist exhibitions. We’ve got a “spring” in our step and already bouncing with excitement about these exhibitions. See you there?

UNITED STATES

Amy Sherald: The Great American Fact

Remember Amy Sherald, the artist behind Michelle Obama’s mesmerising self-portrait? Well if you’re in LA, you’ve got the chance to see her live. Head over to Hauser & Wirth’s Downtown Arts District for ‘The Great American Fact’, presenting five works produced in 2020 that extend the artist’s technical innovations and distinctive visual language. 

KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature

  • 10 Apr – 31 Oct 2021
  • The New York Botanical Garden
  • nybg.org

One of the most-anticipated exhibitions, Yayoi Kusama at the NYBG reveals the artist’s lifelong fascination with the natural world, beginning with her childhood spent in the greenhouses and fields of her family’s seed nursery. Next to the spectacular installations in the gardens, there are also immersive indoor installations and a brand new Infinity Room. New Yorkers and those lucky enough to be visiting the Big Apple: get here soon!

Caroline Walker: Nearby

The inaugural exhibition at GRIMM’s brand new Tribeca space in New York is dedicated to none other than Caroline Walker, Art Fix’s artist of the month. Walker’s new series of paintings were conceived as a reflection on community and how the anonymous people we encounter become characters in our own stories. Her subjects include a neighbour working in her garden, the local dry cleaner and a pharmacy sales assistant, all of whom are connected within a discrete area of the sprawling London metropolis. 

Alice Neel: People Come First

This painter is known as the “collector of souls”, capturing personalities in her portraits like no one else. Neel painted the people around her, including her children, lovers, and even the MoMa curator Frank O’Hara. And now she has a glorious exhibition at the Met! Because we aren’t all lucky enough to see this IRL, check out the Virtual Opening for you to enjoy.

 

Julie Mehretu: Solo Exhibition

  • 25 Mar – 8 Aug 2021
  • Whitney Museum of American Art in New York
  • whitney.org

The Whitney never disappoints, this time with a mid-career survey of one of our favourite artists, Julie Mehretu. This show presents the most comprehensive overview of her practice to date. This artist plays with the parameters of abstraction, architecture, landscape, scale, and, most recently, figuration… meaning there’s something for everyone in this exhibition!

Jonny Niesche & Michael Staniak: Total Vibration

You may have caught this Australian artist on our Instagram: a master of deception and illusions. Now Jonny is coming to one of our fave NY galleries, using paint and sculpture to challenge our viewing experience with space and colour. 

Tschabalala Self: By My Self

  • 28 Mar 19 Sep 2021
  • The Baltimore Museum of Art
  • artbma.org

One of the stars of our ninth episode “These Girls are on Fire”, Tschabalala Self is now showing in a not-to-miss exhibition in Baltimore. Here she explores the cultural representation of the Black female form. A must-see when in Maryland! 

Claes & Coosje: A Duet

All New Yorkers: go go go! Head over to Pace Gallery in Meatpacking District to see Claes & Coosje – a Duet. Among the best-known artist-couples of the post-1960s era, the Swedish born Oldenburg and van Bruggen met in 1971, when van Bruggen worked as a young curator at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Six years later, they got married and began a fantastic career of creating art together. This exhibition promises to be a spectacular show.

Erwin Olaf: New Series – April fool and In the Forest

2021 promises to be an exciting year for famous Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf. On April 8th, Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York will open Erwin Olaf New Series: April Fool and In the Forest, and one week later at the Ron Mandos Gallery in Amsterdam.

KAWS: WHAT PARTY

You’ve probably heard of KAWS, the street artist who’s created everything from art for Kanye West to a work about getting Covid-19. The Brooklyn Museum now takes its turn with the famous artist, showing “KAWS: WHAT PARTY. “The exhibition does a good job taking KAWS seriously but not too seriously”, says Artnet. At Art Fix we definitely enjoy a party, so we say: let’s go.

Limitless! Five Women Reshape Contemporary Art

  • 4 Mar – 19 Sep 2021
  • The McNay Art Museum in San Antonio
  • mcnayart.org

McNay’s exhibition features the artworks of female artists who create without boundaries. The exhibition offers cool installations in different mediums by artists Martine Gutierrez, Letitia Huckaby, Yayoi Kusama, Sandy Skoglund, and Jennifer Steinkamp. Kusama’s Inifinity room is definitely the big attraction in San Antonio! 

Dan Flavin: Cornered Fluorescent Light

After watching episode 10 “Spot On”, you must be curious to see Dan Flavin’s art. Well, now is your chance! The exhibition in Mana is a large-scale installation of works by this master of light. It fills the space of one of Mana’s galleries with radiant colour, and is a truly immersive experience that a phone or computer screen just can’t capture. Go see it for yourself if you can!

Multiple Artists: Superblue Miami

Opening this Spring (with covid measures in place) Superblue is a space dedicated to powerful, large scale, experimental art with an exciting teamLab installation at the heart of the center.

Think Art Fix Episode 3 meets Episode 10, or to translate: New Media meets Light Art. Get ready for a truly 21st century, unforgettable experience.

UNITED KINGDOM

David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy 2020

One year later and we’re still saying it: spring cannot be cancelled! David Hockney returns to the Royal Academy with an uplifting Spring exhibition,  116 new and optimistic works on his iPad  in praise of the natural world. Just what we need after months of lockdown. Please make sure you book your tickets in advance.

Gilbert & George: New Normal Pictures 

In “New Normal Pictures”, the infamous duo Gilbert and George present their surreal vision of the new normal with this exhibition hosted both online and in White Cube’s Mason’s Yard Gallery. Curious about this artist pair? Watch our 11th episode “Eye to I” to learn about how they met and what constitutes the secret Gilbert & George touch. 

Julie Curtiss: Monads and Dyads

On May 14th the quirky French artist will take the walls of White Cube’s Mason Yard location with her exhibition “Monads and Dyads”. From working in the Jeff Koons art factory to acting as the studio assistant to the artist known as KAWS, Curtiss grotesque shapes and vivid colours are not to be missed when in London this spring.

 

Shara Hughes

Shara Hughes’ first UK museum exhibition brings together a group of new site specific paintings and works on paper. A series of large-scale flower paintings which will hang together in the Nave, a vast space at the heart of the Museum.

Henry Taylor: Inaugural Solo Exhibition

Ready for a road trip to the English country side? The amazing Somerset gallery, a renovated farm building incorporating a restaurant and a bookshop, is truly worth a visit on a pleasant spring or summer day.  An incredible range of works by the American painter Henry Taylor awaits you. An extra bonus is the garden designed by Piet Oudolf, who is known for designing the High Line in New York and Museum Voorlinden’s garden in Wassenaar. A true painter with plants! 

Damien Hirst: Fact Paintings and Fact Sculptures

  • Opening 12 April 2021
  • Britannia Street in London
  • gagosian.com

One of the world’s biggest galleries has handed over its keys to one of the world’s most famous artists. Check out Damien Hirst at Gagosian’s Britannia Street location, on show for the entire year with Fact Paintings and Fact Sculptures.

FRANCE

Paris is in Lockdown at least until the end of the month. We do have some exhibitions to look forward to though.

Damien Hirst: Cherry Blossoms

After the lockdown has lifted, Fondation Cartier will unveil a remarkable new series of paintings featuring Cherry Blossoms. This will also be the first museum exhibition of Hirst in France.

Genesis Belanger & Nicolas Party: Collective Exhibition

Genesis Belanger is the new-age still life sculptor we never knew we needed. Sculpting in porcelain and tinted in pastelle hues, her everyday objects take on eerily human features. 

Belanger will be joined by Nicolas Party, the artist who stole our art hearts a long time ago with his blue cats and purple bananas, at the Consortium Museum in Dijon. We simply could not imagine a better art pairing… yes please!

Ann Veronica Janssens: Airs

Remember Ann Veronica Janssen from our tenth episode “Spot On”? This Belgian light artist uses artificial fog and other materials to create experiences that heighten viewers’ perceptions. If you were intrigued by this in our episode, now’s the time to take it one step further: visit the Kamel Mennour show at Rue Saint André des Arts to truly step into Janssen’s fog. 

Daniel Buren & Philippe Parreno: Simultanément, travaux in situ et en mouvement

If you think you know stripe patterns, think again. French conceptualist Daniel Buren has reimagined the use of stripes in art, alternating white and colored stripes on unconventional spaces around the world, from doorways to the courtyard of the Palais Royal. Like what you hear? Head to Kamel Mennour to visit the colourful stripes of Buren until May 15th. 

Yan Pei-Ming: Autoportraits

  • 24 Apr 12 Jun 2021
  • Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris
  • ropac.net

This French-Chinese artist is another master of portraits: often depicting famous politicians, actors and popes. While his works have featured many recognised personalities, like Mao Zedong and Barack Obama, he also includes portraits of his family and himself. This particular exhibition in Ropac will focus on drawing on “Chinese cultural heritage in combination with the Western portraiture tradition”, according to the gallery.

SPAIN

Looking for a little primavera energy? Head over to Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza for Georgia O’Keeffe’s first ever retrospective in Spain. You may recognise the artist’s flower paintings, known not just for copying nature but for abstracting nature, keeping the most important parts and adding her own flavour to create beautiful, sensual shapes. The curators of the show spent almost two decades trying to mount a Spanish retrospective of O’Keeffe’s work, so this is an exhibition you cannot miss.

PORTUGAL

Alberto Giacometti – Peter Lindbergh: Capture the Invisible 

  • 15 April – 24 Sept 2021
  • MMIPO – Museu da Misericórdia in Porto
  •  mmipo.pt

Fascinated from an early age by Alberto Giacometti’s work and personality, the renowned fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh was invited to photograph the collection of the Giacometti Institute in Paris in 2017. Now MMIPO presents these photos alongside more than 110 works by Giacometti. At the end of the exhibition, visitors are invited to taste a glass of Taylor’s Port wine at the museum’s garden bar.

GERMANY

Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė & Lina Lapelytė: Sun & Sea 

Sun & Sea is an award -winning opera that takes place on an artificial beach. The Sun & Sea show that gained fame at 2019 Venice Biennale are coming to Berlin this summer. They will perform their opera on the dangers of climate change at the Bauhaus Stadtbad (city pool) — sure to be the coolest pool of the art world this summer. 

Erwin Olaf: Strange Beauty

The Netherlands’ most famous photographer Erwin Olaf has his first German retrospective this spring. Strange Beauty opens on May 14th at the prestigious  Kunsthalle in Munich. A message to all photography lovers: put this excellent exhibition on your to-visit art list this summer.  

Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective

Planning to visit the German capital this summer? The Art Fix team is already getting excited about “A Bouquet of Love I Saw in the Universe”, the major Yayoi Kusama retrospective, opening on 23 April 2021. Do book your tickets in advance as Kusama exhibitions tend to be very popular. 

Robert Irwin: Light and Space

If you enjoyed our tenth episode on light art, then this exhibition is one for you. Robert Irwin’s ability to transform a space is unfounded. Light and Space (Kraftwerk Berlin) is the artist’s largest set of artwork to date to be exhibited in Europe. Lucky for us it is on show until January 2022. If you’re interested to do some research before you attend the show, check out this fascinating short documentary on his life and work.

THE NETHERLANDS

Kalliopi Lemos: The Plait

Does this sculpture look familiar? This piece was one of the most beloved pieces at FRIEZE Sculpture in London’s Regent Park in November 2019. It has now found a new home: a permanent location in Rotterdam. The Plait is an upright cut off plait of dark brown hair by London-based sculptor Kalliopi Lemos. It raises questions about the role of femininity in modern society and rebels against patriarchal coercion. The piece was unveiled on International Women’s Day.

Juul Kraijer: S

The exhibition ‘S” by Juul Kraijer is all about the snake. For Juul the snake is beauty, elegance and the perfect balance between body and strength. She does not see the fear that many people harbor for snakes, but does see the danger that the animal can pose. For a little taster of the exhibition in Schiedam, check out this video.

Robin Rhode: An Introduction

  • Opening April 2021
  • Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar
  • voorlinden.nl

The magnificent multidisciplinary artist Robin Rhode promises to be the biggest attraction of the summer, headlining a new exhibition at Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar. Reminiscent of practices of Street Art, Rhode uses entire wall surfaces to put static images into motion. We’re already counting down, you too?

Ulay: ULAY WAS HERE

  • 21 Nov 2020 30 May 2021
  • Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam
  • stedelijk.nl

Ulay, one of the stars of our “Eye to I” on self-portraiture, features in an exciting retrospective at the Stedelijk Museum. The exhibition shows that he had an impressive solo oeuvre, both before and after the twelve-year collaboration with Marina Abramovic. Check out this online tour!

Multiple Artists: Mirror | Mirror. Reflect Yourself!

Looking to do a little self-reflection? Head to “Mirror Mirror” in Amersfoort for an exhibition all about these mesmerising reflective surfaces. Totally in line with our eleventh episode “Eye to I” on self-portraits, this exhibition to be a super fun  interactive exhibition for both the young and old. 

ITALY

Anish Kapoor: Solo Exhibition

Don’t we all long for Venice? Art Fix has a great excuse for you to visit this amazing city again after the lockdown: the major Anish Kapoor exhibition in the Accademia focusing on key moments in his career.

JR: The Wound

As soon as we’re able to, we’re traveling down south to see our fave street artist JR in Florence. This time JR has opened up the famous Palazzo Strozzi in Florence with his infamous style of optical illusions, giving us the opportunity to peep inside the Renaissance Palazzo. With this black and white photographic collage, JR is aiming to trigger a debate on the accessibility of culture in the age of Covid-19. Check out this video!

Damien Hirst: Shipwreck

If you missed Damien Hirst “shipwreck” treasure  in 2017 at French collector François Pinault’s two museums in Venice, now is your chance to see these amazing works again in Galleria Borghese in Rome. His work will be shown alongside key works from the gallery’s permanent collection by artists such as Caravaggio, Titian and Bernini. A beautiful collision between classic and contemporary!

BELGIUM

Raphael Adjetey Adjei Mayne: The Joy of My Skin

Get ready for a joyful exhibition that captures and celebrates Black experiences.  Do not miss the sold-out exhibition of Ghanaian artist Raphael Adjetey Adjei Mayne titled The Joy of My Skin at this beautiful gallery in Antwerp. “In a world that focuses on pain and images of brutality and battered bodies, creating joy is truly a radical act,” says the artists. One not to miss!

Daniel Buren: Géométries Colorées

French conceptualist Daniel Buren’s career is defined by his reimagination of the use of stripes in art, alternating white and colored stripes on unconventional spaces around the world, from doorways to the courtyard of the Palais Royal. This promises for an exciting execution at Xavier Hufkens in Antwerp, where high walls will allow Buren’s work to truly come alive — the countdown has begun!

Friedrich Kunath: Solo Exhibition

If you’re in Antwerp this spring, head to Tim van Laere Gallery to see the amazing works by German artist Friedrich Kunath. Born in East Berlin, Kunath moved to L.A. where he found interest in airbrushing his canvases, creating mesmerising paintings filled with blazing sunsets and vibrant colours.

HONG KONG

Multiple Artists: Art Basel

  • May 21 – May 23 2021
  • Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC)
  • artbasel.com

After all the cancelled fairs and the endless viewing rooms, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Art Basel Hong Kong has confirmed it will open a live fair from May 21-23. For those who are able to make it to Hong Kong despite travel restrictions, we urge you to check out the 104 galleries packed with exciting art.