From Keith Haring to Marina Abramović, take a look through some of our highlights for the year ahead
From the rebellious women making art in the hostile decades of the 1970s and 1980s to the impact of hip hop, Keith Haring’s life-affirming message of love, and Marina Abramović’s long-awaited retrospective, here are a selection of some of the big exhibitions to look out for in the year ahead...
ZANELE MUHOLI, THE MEP, PARIS
Describing themselves as a “visual activist”, Zanele Muholi’s captivating portraits amplify the visibility of Black LGBTQIA+ community. Using their camera as a means of redressing the lack of representation of queer and racialized people, confronting prevailing narratives and stereotypes, and challenging discrimination, Muholi’s extraordinary portraits are powerful, dignified, and abundantly beautiful.
“In my world, every human is beautiful… Talking about photography specifically and the need to capture images of ourselves, of our lives, is not necessarily about beauty per se, it’s about the need of documenting realities of people who deserve to be heard, who deserve to be seen and whose lives are often excluded as part of the Canon,” the South African artist and activist told Dazed back in 2020. “I want people to understand our existence and presence, to say, 'we exist’. So that existence comes with a visibility that is positive.”
This major retrospective surveys the renowned artist and activist’s entire career to date, bringing together over 200 works and extensive archival material.
Zanele Muholi at The MEP, Paris, runs from February 1 to May 21 2023
ACTION, GESTURE, PAINT: WOMEN ARTISTS AND GLOBAL ABSTRACTION 1940 – 1970, WHITECHAPEL GALLERY, LONDON
This major exhibition surveys the artwork of a disenfranchised generation of international women artists working in the predominantly white, machismo realm of abstract expressionism in the aftermath of WW2. Action, Gesture, Paint, as the title suggests, highlights the dynamic and vital potential of this static medium. Featuring Lee Krasner, Marta Minujín, Helen Frankenthaler, Behjat Sadr, and Janet Sobel, this expansive exhibition brings together over 150 works made by women from all over the world, all working to expand and advance the visual language of the painting.
Action, Gesture, Paint: Women Artists and Global Abstraction 1940 -1970 is showing at Whitechapel Gallery from February 9 until May 7 2023
SONIA BOYCE, FEELING HER WAY, TURNER CONTEMPORARY, MARGATE
Initially exhibited at the British Pavillion as part of the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in 2022, Sonia Boyce’s Feeling Her Way is the immersive and captivating exhibition in which visitors move through a sonic landscape shaped by the audio of five pioneering Black female singers all singing acapella. The artwork, which was distinguished by winning the Biennale’s Golden Lion prize, presents the wordless, emotive performances on a series of high-definition television screens alongside geometric structures and wallpaper emblazoned with images a hundreds of Black British female vocalists. Clarrie Wallis, Director of Turner Contemporary, has commented: “This joyful, ambitious installation celebrates female creativity and collaboration – of finding a voice.”
Sonia Boyce’s Feeling Her Way will be showing at the Turner Contemporary in Margate, Kent, from February 4 until May 8 2023
ALICE NEEL: HOT OFF THE GRIDDLE, BARBICAN, LONDON
Few painters can animate a canvas with such tender humanity and psychological realism as Alice Neel. “For me, people come first,” the American painter once explained. “I have tried to assert the dignity and eternal importance of the human being.” This resolution permeates her prolific portraits, in which she chose to depict individuals who might not ordinarily be chosen as subjects by other painters. Spending many years living in Spanish Harlem, New York, Neel’s portraits immortalise pregnant women, labour leaders, Black and Puerto Rican children, civil rights activists, and queer performers from among her neighbourhood. Alice Neel: Hot Off The Griddle at London’s Barbican will be the largest exhibition of her work in the UK to date, bringing together 70 of the artist’s most evocative paintings.
Alice Neel: Hot Off The Griddle will run at the Barbican, London, from February 16 until May 21 2023
SLEEPLESS NIGHTS: FROM THE 1980S IN THE MODERNA MUSEET COLLECTION, MODERNA MUSEET, STOCKHOLM
Including work by internationally renowned art world stars such as Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, and Robert Mapplethorpe alongside a broad range of established and obscure Swedish artists, Sleepless Nights brings together artwork being made against the fraught backdrop of the late 20th century. Characterised by financial crisis, the Cold War, and the Aids epidemic, the concerns of artists making work during these fraught decades are not too dissimilar from some of the dominant concerns shaping the present moment.
Sleepless Nights is running at Stockholm’s Moderna Museet from February 28 2023 until January 14 2024
GEORGIA O’KEEFFE: TO SEE TAKES TIME, MOMA, NEW YORK
“…in a way – nobody sees a flower – really it is so small – we haven’t time – and to see takes time like to have a friend takes time," Georgia O’Keeffe once remarked. As the first major exhibition to focus on O’Keeffe’s work on paper, To See Takes Time highlights the preparatory, exploratory works that shed light on this seminal American artist’s practice, and the process, over time, by which she developed and refined her ideas.
Displaying over 120 artworks made over a period of four decades using charcoal, watercolour, pastel and graphite, the exhibition allows valuable insight into the process by which O’Keeffe created her most celebrated works and, while some of the pieces on display may be embryonic, giving rise to more famous paintings, they are in their own right extraordinary works of art.
Georgia O’Keeffe: To See Takes Time is running at MoMA in New York from April until August 12 2023
THE CULTURE: HIP HOP AND CONTEMPORARY ART IN THE 21ST CENTURY, BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART
The undoubted influence of hip hop across swathes of contemporary culture is profound. The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century traces the impact of this phenomenon on music, visual and performing arts, fashion, and technology since the 1970s. Through artworks and artefacts, the expansive show not only demonstrates how the influence of hip hop has manifested itself in the worlds of art and music, streetwear, the runway, and design, the exhibition also underscores the rebellious and revolutionary spirit that characterises this non-conformist movement.
The Culture: Hip Hop and the Contemporary Art in the 21st Century is running at the Baltimore Museum of Art from April 2023 until July 2023
KEITH HARING: ART IS FOR EVERYBODY, THE BROAD, LOS ANGELES
Featuring over 120 artworks and archival materials, The Broad’s Keith Haring: Art is for Everybody will be the first ever museum exhibition in Los Angeles to present Haring’s vast body of work. Including video, sculpture, drawing, painting, and graphic works alongside representations from the artist’s enormous output of public projects – including subway drawings and public murals – Art is for Everybody embodies the potent message of love and inclusion at the heart of Haring’s life-affirming artworks.
Keith Haring: Art is for Everybody at The Broad in Los Angeles is running from May 27 to October 8 2023
CARRIE MAE WEEMS, BARBICAN, LONDON
Since she emerged in the early 1980s, multidisciplinary artist Carrie Mae Weems has, among many other things, sought to interrogate gender politics, systemic violence and discrimination, and the existing dominant representations of Black subjects.
Kitchen Table Series (1990) – which dramatises imagined, intimate domestic scenes from the life of a fictive protagonist – is undoubtedly one of her most seminal works and sets the tone for some of the vital themes that recur throughout this diverse and radical artist’s vast oeuvre.
This upcoming exhibition at the Barbican is the first major British survey of Weem’s work, encompassing photography, film, objects and installations created over three decades, most of which have never been seen before in the UK.
In a statement about the exhibition, Weems explains: “My responsibility as an artist is to work, to sing for my supper, to make art, beautiful and powerful, that adds and reveals; to beautify the mess of a messy world, to heal the sick and feed the helpless; to shout bravely from the roof-tops and storm barricaded doors and voice the specifics of our historic moment.”
Carrie Mae Weems is running at the Barbican from June 21 until September 3 2023
A WORLD IN COMMON: CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN PHOTOGRAPHY, TATE MODERN, LONDON
This expansive exhibition will attempt to trace the ways in which generations of artists have worked across different mediums to explicate and articulate Africa’s vast cultures and historical narratives.
From dream-like utopias to frenetic cityscapes, the exhibition will guide visitors through a rich and complex constellation of visions and interpretations of Africa, past, present, and future.
A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography will be showing at Tate Modern from Jul 6 2023 until Jan 14 2024
SARAH LUCAS, TATE BRITAIN, LONDON
Sarah Lucas is renowned for her provocative, irreverent artworks interrogating assumptions about gender, sex, power, and class. Frequently transforming ordinary objects in extraordinary ways, Lucas is perhaps the most consistently inventive and groundbreaking of the Young British Art world from which she emerged in the 1990s.
This exhibition, which is narrated in her voice, highlights the sheer diversity of her practice, bringing together her unique work across sculpture, installation and photography.
Sarah Lucas’s exhibition will be running at Tate Britain, London, from September 28 2023 until January 14 2024
MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ, ROYAL ACADEMY, LONDON
Deferred due to the pandemic, the Royal Academy’s long-awaited major Marina Abramović show is finally almost upon us. Known for creating work which pushes the artist and her collaborators to the outer limits of their physical and psychological endurance, this exhibition spans five years of Abramović’s provocative artworks and promises to offer visitors “the sort of intense, physical encounter for which she has become known”.
Marina Abramović at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, will run from September 23 until December 10 2023
WOMEN IN REVOLT! TATE BRITAIN, LONDON
Focusing on the febrile years of 1970 to 1990, Women in Revolt! will be a major survey of work by women making art amid the harsh political and economic climate that defined the latter decades of the 20th century.
Spanning the punk scene, Greenham Common and the peace movement, Section 28, the AIDs pandemic, the British Women’s Liberation movement, and the visibility of Black and South Asian Women artists, this landmark exhibition will display the seminal artworks which crucially contributed to the feminist movement. From now-revered art world names to more and obscure artists, this show traces the lineage of art by women in revolt, celebrating “the work and lived experiences of women who, frequently working outside mainstream art institutions, were largely left out of the artistic narratives of the time.”
Women in Revolt! will be running at Tate Britain from Nov 8 2023 until April 7 2024