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Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024

Catriona Miller 22 January 2024 min Read

A guide to some of the best art exhibitions to see in Europe, the UK, and the United States in 2024.

Paris 1874: The Impressionist Moment

2024 marks the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist exhibition, and arguably the blockbuster show of the year is the joint Musée d’Orsay and National Gallery of Art commemoration. With an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience that promises to carry audiences back to the actual event, this sounds a bit gimmicky, but surely the art will speak for itself.

The exhibition brings together many of the works shown at the original exhibition held in a Parisian photographer’s studio in April 1874. There were 31 participants whose works were widely ridiculed, including Degas, Monet, Morisot, and Pissarro. The exhibition also includes Monet’s Impression, Sunrise, which arguably gave the movement its name.

The show contextualizes the Impressionists with examples of the Salon art they were rebelling against, and other radical artists, like Manet, who chose not to exhibit with them. Finally, it looks at the world they were painting, the new boulevards, and the bourgeois life of contemporary Paris.

Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France, March 25 – July 14, 2024

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., United States, September 8, 2024 – January 19, 2025

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Claude Monet, Impression, Sunrise, 1872, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, France.

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Claude Monet, Impression, Sunrise, 1872, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, France.

Brâncuși, Art Has Only Just Begun

Paris is hosting the Olympics in 2024 and the city is upping its cultural offerings to compete with the sporting extravaganza. The sleek, minimal, organic forms of Constantin Brâncuși are on display at the Pompidou Centre in a major exhibition of over 200 works. It covers his whole career, from his brief period as an apprentice of Auguste Rodin through his development of abstraction.

Brâncuși worked with repeated subjects and forms, and all his major series are represented. His working process is explored in plaster, bronze, and direct stone carving, and through influences like folk culture and ancient Mediterranean art. The centrepiece, however, is the gallery’s recreation of his studio, which like the rest of the Pompidou, is closing for a major renovation in 2025.

Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, March 27 – July 1, 2024

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Brâncuși’s workshop, Paris 1925, Paris. Photo by Edward Steichen.

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Brâncuși’s workshop, Paris 1925, Paris. Photo by Edward Steichen.

Caspar David Friedrich: Infinite Landscapes

Several big anniversaries are not being commemorated this year, for example, 300 years since the birth of George Stubbs and the bicentenary of Jean-Léon Gérôme, but one artist who is remembered is German Romantic landscapist, Caspar David Friedrich. There are big shows in Germany, staggered to give what is effectively a year-long celebration. These include Infinite Landscapes at the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin,  Art for a New Age which recently started in Hamburg, and Where it All Began in Dresden.

Each show takes a slightly different approach. Berlin looks at his rediscovery in the early years of the twentieth century. Hamburg focuses on landscape and includes contributions by contemporary artists. Dresden looks at the historical works which influenced Friedrich during his 40 years in the city. They all include his most iconic landscapes which combine faith and symbolism with precisely evoked nature.

Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany, until April 1, 2024 

Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany, April 19 – August 4, 2024 

Albertinum and Kupferstich-Kabinett, Dresden, Germany, August 24, 2024 – January 5, 2025

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Caspar David Friedrich, Moonrise by the Sea, 1822, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany.

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Caspar David Friedrich, Moonrise by the Sea, 1822, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany.

Van Gogh: Poets and Lovers

Another 2024 anniversary is the 200th birthday of London’s National Gallery. In some ways, it is a low-key celebration: the gallery remains partially closed as the Sainsbury Wing is revamped. We have to wait till September for their big show, but it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser and the gallery’s first-ever dedicated Van Gogh exhibition.

The title is intriguing and the period is limited to his period in the South of France (1888–90) but the tight focus will hopefully provide a new angle on a very familiar artist. There are over fifty works and major loans, as well as the National Gallery’s famous Sunflowers and Van Gogh’s Chair. Heavy impasto, vibrant color, expressive brushwork, emotion, and angst: Van Gogh’s works are always better seen in the flesh.

The National Gallery, London, UK, September 14, 2024 – January 19, 2025

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers, 1888, The National Gallery, London, UK.

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers, 1888, The National Gallery, London, UK.

Käthe Kollwitz

If you are looking for pain and angst then this is the show for you. Nobody expresses the emotional agony of loss, the bonds of motherhood, or the misery of poverty and war better than the German Expressionist Käthe Kollwitz. The New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)’s exhibition is the biggest Kollwitz show in the United States for a generation, and MoMA’s first ever.

With over 120 prints, drawings, and sculptures, this is a pretty straightforward retrospective of an artist who seems to get overlooked. It will cover her career and life and contextualize her within the society and politics of Germany during the First World War and its aftermath.

Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY, United States, March 31 – July 20, 2024

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Kathe Kollwitz, Woman with Dead Child, 1903, The British Museum, London, UK.

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Kathe Kollwitz, Woman with Dead Child, 1903, The British Museum, London, UK.

The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism

The Met is offering arguably the most interesting survey show of the year, a huge multi-media exploration of Black American artists of the early twentieth century. The exhibition promises to look at the changing social conditions of the period, including the Great Migration, and situate art in the broader context of the so-called New Negro. The Harlem Renaissance was not just confined to New York and not just about art: if anything, literature, music, and film were the driving forces in creating a new Black cultural identity.

The Met has a long tradition of collecting Harlem Renaissance artists, augmented here with major loans. The exhibition will position American artists like William H. Johnson, Aaron Douglas, and Augusta Savage alongside European modernists like Picasso and Matisse.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY, United States, February 25 – July 28, 2024

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Augusta Savage, Gamin, 1929, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., USA.

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Augusta Savage, Gamin, 1929, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., USA.

Now You See Us: Women Artists in Britain 1520–1920

The rise of women artists continues in London with a major survey show at Tate Britain. The provocatively titled exhibition features practitioners from 17th-century portraitist Mary Beale to early 20th-century academician Laura Knight.

The exhibition also promises to explore the institutional and social prejudices that these women faced. With 150 works and four centuries to cover, it could all become a bit rambling. However, as Tate Britain proved with their recent rehang, they are not afraid to be controversial or to challenge assumptions.

Tate Britain, London, UK, May 16 – October 13, 2024

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Mary Beale, Portrait of a Young Girl, c. 1681, Tate Britain, London, UK.

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Mary Beale, Portrait of a Young Girl, c. 1681, Tate Britain, London, UK.

Angelica Kauffman

Meanwhile, the Royal Academy finally hosts its Angelica Kauffman show, canceled because of the pandemic in 2020. Kauffman was a founding member of the Academy in 1776, one of only two women, along with flower specialist Mary Moser. Shockingly, it took more than 150 years to elect another female member, and even longer for a woman to be given a big show in the main galleries.

Kauffman, with her emphasis on classical subjects and elegant Neoclassical portraits, might seem an unexciting artist. However, there is no denying that she enjoyed a hugely successful career throughout Europe. She painted mythological and historical subjects which were generally considered unsuitable for women and did so with a female emphasis. And she produced portraits of some of the most famous figures of the 18th century.

Royal Academy, London, UK, March 1 – June 30, 2024

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Angelica Kauffman, Self-portrait of the Artist Hesitating between the Arts of Music and Painting, 1794, Nostell Priory National Trust, West Yorkshire, UK.

Exhibitions to Look Out for in 2024: Angelica Kauffman, Self-portrait of the Artist Hesitating between the Arts of Music and Painting, 1794, Nostell Priory National Trust, West Yorkshire, UK.

Whatever your interests and wherever you live, there is plenty of art to see in 2024. Get out there and enjoy it!

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