BY HETTIE JUDAH
From major solo shows by female artists – including Marina Abramović, Yayoi Kusama, Betye Saar and Alice Neel – to explorations of modern masculinity, photographic retrospectives, biennales and triennales, here are our must-see global exhibitions for the year ahead.
For years we’ve been calling for better representation of women artists; in 2020 museums are coming up to speed. From Yayoi Kusama to Alice Neel, Zanele Muholi to Artemisia Gentileschi, Cao Fei to Marina Abramović, there are worse things you could do than spend the year globetrotting between great exhibitions that are decades (in some cases centuries) overdue.
Modern masculinity is also explored in all its many manifestations in London and Berlin, while New York’s Guggenheim museum asks urgent questions about built and natural enviornments.
Among the new galleries opening in 2020 are the monumental GES-2 in Moscow, designed by Renzo Piano, and the Tadao Ando-designed Bourse de Commerce in Paris. This year, the hands of the international biennale clock stop on Sydney, São Paulo, Helsinki and Marseille (just to mix things up, Yokohama and New Orleans have triennales). Marrakech, meanwhile, sees the start of a new tradition as the first African Capital of Culture.
A shortlist of the exhibitions that are well worth travelling for in 2020:
The most famous female artist of the 17th century, Artemisia Gentileschi was born in Rome and studied with her artist father Orazio. She was the first woman accepted into the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence and defied prejudice to forge a successful career. This is the first major show of works by her in the UK, following the National Gallery’s acquisition of her gorgeous Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria (1615–17).
6 April – 26 July, National Gallery, London, UK
Cao Fei is an observer of social change, using film, photography and online worlds to reframe transformations in China. In the film Haze and Fog she reimagines a zombie movie as social critique; RMB City is a virtual art community in the online world of Second Life, led by her avatar China Tracy; for Rumba II: Nomad she released robot vacuum cleaners into a Beijing construction site. All ask pressing questions about technology and modern life.
4 March – 17 May, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK , 26 September – 27 December, UCCA, Beijing, China
Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things
The dazzle of 1920s and 1930s London society was captured in all its fantasy and glamour by photographer Cecil Beaton. A society favourite himself, Beaton constructed a vision of beautiful people caught in an apparently endless masquerade: an image that informs Vogue photography to this day.
12 March – 7 June, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: https://www.vogue.co.uk/arts-and-lifestyle/article/best-exhibitions-of-2020