Winter is usually a sleepy season for museums across the world. Fall exhibitions remain on view with the hope of luring visitors during the cold months while curators typically prep big retrospectives for the spring. But that will not entirely be the case this time around.
In Germany, a year-long celebration devoted to Caspar David Friedrich, the Romantic painter born 250 years ago, is set to kick off, and Latin America is set to get one of its biggest shows ever devoted to the Chilean-born artist Cecilia Vicuña in Buenos Aires. Retrospectives are also in the offing for Yoko Ono, Emily Kam Kngwarray, and more.
New additions to the canon will also share the limelight. The little-known Renaissance master Pesellino is getting a fresh look in London, and Anu Põder, an Estonian sculptor who appeared in last year’s Venice Biennale, will receive a survey in Switzerland. And a blockbuster exhibition at the Met devoted to the Harlem Renaissance looks to initiate new understandings of African American art history.
These shows and more figure on the list below, featuring 33 must-see museum shows and biennials opening across the world between the beginning of December and the end of February.
“Entangled Pasts, 1768–now: Art, Colonialism and Change” at Royal Academy of Arts, London
A spread of London art institutions have begun to place due attention on their role in British colonialism, most notably Tate Britain, whose rehang earlier this year put a focus on the country’s painful conquests in Africa and the Caribbean—a topic that had rarely made it into the permanent collection galleries previously. The latest museum to do so is the Royal Academy of Arts with this 100-work show, whose checklist spans multiple centuries and artists of many nations. On view will be J. M. W. Turner’s paintings of disturbed seas, Kara Walker’s provocative meditations on slavery, and Hew Locke’s Armada (2017–19), an installation composed of 45 suspended models of boats, some of which are accompanied by sculptures of Portuguese colonialists.
February 3–April 28, 2024