10 Art Exhibits to Discover This Summer

4 minute read

The summer season is the perfect time to catch up on art: gallery and museum openings are slow, which gives art aficionados a chance to visit all the shows they might have missed.

Here are 10 exhibits throughout the U.S. and beyond worth seeing:

1. Jeff Koons: A Retrospective, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Through Oct. 19

Koons’ first full scale retrospective in a New York City museum features almost 150 works from over three decades, including his vacuum cleaners in lucite vitrines, his oversize renditions of gift shop kitsch and his stainless steel balloon animals. The exhibition, the last to open in the Whitney’s Marcel Breuer-designed building on Madison Ave. before the museum moves to its new location in Manhattan’s Meatpacking district, will also travel to the Centre Pompidou in Paris (Nov. 26, 2014–Apr. 27, 2015) and to the Guggenheim Bilbao (Jun. 5–Sep. 27, 2015).

2. Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

Through Sept. 1

An exploration of 25 years in the career of a multi-faceted American artist who has worked in drawing, photography and objects made from mirrors, light bulbs and glass.

3. Looking at Buddhist Statues: Statues of the Kamakura Period, Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo

Through Aug. 31

The Tokyo National Museum is hosting a show that rounds up Buddhist sculpture from the Kamakura period (1192–1333) — statues whose expressions make them look almost alive, a feature not found in examples from earlier periods. “Please look closely at each statue, or compare two statues standing next to each other, while paying attention to their facial expressions, postures, colors and overall mood,” the museum advises.

4. Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, Tate Modern, London

Through Sept. 7

This exhibit focuses on Matisse’s last works—the cut-outs he produced when ill health prevented him from painting. By cutting into painted paper, the artist created forms such as dancers, snails, and snowflakes. The show, which features 120 works, will also travel to the Museum of Modern Art in New York in the fall.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954). Memory of Oceania (Souvenir d’Océanie), summer 1952–early 1953. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, and charcoal on paper, mounted on canvas. 112 x 112 7/8” (284.4 x 286.4 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mrs Simon Guggenheim Fund, 1968. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954). Memory of Oceania (Souvenir d’Océanie), summer 1952–early 1953. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, and charcoal on paper, mounted on canvas.Jonathan Muzikar—Digital Image 2013 (c) MOMA, New York/Scala, Florence

5. Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392–1910, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles

Through Sept. 28

The exhibit, comprising over 150 works produced during the world’s longest ruling Confucian dynasty, features many Korean national treasures that have never before been displayed in the U.S. It’s organized around five themes: the role of the king and his royal court; the hierarchies of class and gender; the production of metal and ceramic objects used in ancestor worship; the religions of the era and the influence of western civilizations.

6. Garry Winogrand, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Through Sept. 21

Garry Winogrand, the renowned rambling chronicler of postwar New York City and American life, and pioneer of the “snapshot aesthetic”, is considered one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. The Met show is the first retrospective of his work in 25 years, featuring over 175 images, including many that were never printed in his lifetime. His subjects included politicians, anti-war demonstrators, construction workers and the ordinary man and woman in the street.

7. Unsettled Landscapes, SITE Santa Fe

Through Jan. 11, 2015

This group exhibition is the first installment of what will be a biennial examination of work by contemporary artists from across North and South America. By focusing on themes of landscape, territory, and trade, the show aims to highlight the connections among artists from different parts of the two continents.

8. Carpeaux (1827-1875), a Sculptor for the Empire, Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Through Sept. 28

Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, an important figure in French sculpture in the second half of the 19th century, was the son of a stonemason and a lace maker from Valenciennes. His career as an artist spanned sculpture, painting and illustration. The show is the first retrospective of his works in all three fields since 1975.

9. Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia

Through Dec. 7

The exhibition showcases around 80 ensembles created by the late African-American fashion designer Patrick Kelly, whose used his career in the fashion industry to challenge racial and cultural boundaries. Alongside his designs, it features videos of his fashion shows and photographs by artists such as Pierre et Gilles and Oliviero Toscani.

10. Cairo Under Wraps: Early Islamic Textiles, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

Through Jan. 25, 2015

A show featuring textiles from the Early Islamic period, dating from the 7th to the 14th century. Many were meant to be used by the royal household, some bearing inscriptions in Arabic that invoke Allah.

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