Exhibitions Pick of the year

Museums the world over organized exhibitions to commemorate the anniversary of the death of some great artists this year.

Hieronymus Bosch died 500 years ago for this reason “Het Noordbrabants Museum” in the town of his birth Den Bosch organized the exhibition: Visions of Genius. Donating museums included the Louvre, the Prado, the Accademia in Venice, the Metropolitan New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Unfortunately  the most famous work, The Garden of Earthly Delights was not loaned.


Robert Mapplethorpe died 70 years ago he had LA shows in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Known for his highly stylized black and white photographs crudely but consciously treating controversial subject-matters. The work shows the New York underground of the 60s and 70s portraying celebrity s, himself, nudes, BDSM, and still-life images of flowers. 


Marcel Broodthaers, who’s death was 40 years ago, had a show at MoMA, the Reina Sofía and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (KNW) in Düsseldorf. The Retrospective was the first of his work to take place in New York. It gathered about two hundred works, mostly made in the sixties and seventies.


Georgia O’Keeffe 30 death this years ago, had exhibitions together with Charles Sheeler and Arthur Garfield Dove, Stuart Davis  and Marsden Hartley at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. The Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach showed her work among with Florine Stettheimer, Helen Torr and Marguerite Thompson Zorach. She had a Solo at Tate Modern in London. Her work consists mostly of erotic looking flowers however she always denied that her paintings were in any way sexual.


Still very much alive is Grayson Perry. His exhibition “Hold Your Beliefs Lightly” was shown at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht and the ARoS Museum in Aarhus. A great chronicler of contemporary life, Perry draws us in with humorous nostalgia as well as anger and fear. He deals with identity, sexuality, gender, social status, religion, his childhood and his alter ego Claire.


Matthew Barney meanwhile displayed his work at the Astrup Fearnley in Oslo. Known for making sculptural installations combined with video and performance, he created a new narrative and layout for this exhibition. With the title Bildungsroman Barney reflects on how the constellation of works can be read as a journey in the shaping of his work.


William Kentridge showed at Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, London’s Whitechapel Gallery and at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery. As a white ethnically Jewish South African with lawyer parents defending victims of apartheid, he has a unique position as a third-party observer. He uses this in his prints, drawings, animations and films.

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Also at Martin-Gropius-Bau was “Mach Dich hübsch!” by Isa Genzken after it was on display at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam earlier. Genzken; Gerhard Richter’s wife is a very influential and important artists in her own right. Her work includes three-dimensional work, paintings, drawings, films, photographs, collages, artist’s books and public sculptures.


Rachel Maclean’s show “Wot u 🙂 about?” could be seen at Home in Manchester and Tate Britain, London. Maclean has acquired a reputation for skewering sociopolitical tendencies with works that are cute and creepy at the same time. Just a few years after she graduating from Edinburgh College of Art, her work is now in great demand. She will represent Scotland at the Venice Biennale in 2017.


Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirror rooms where on show in the Louisiana Museum in Denmark, the Moderna Museet Stockholm and the HAM (Helsinki Art Museum). They will be on a US tour next two years going to the Hirshhorn Washington, the Seattle Art Museum, the Broad LA, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Cleveland Museum of Art.


Manifesta 11 in Zurich was great but Julian Rosefeldt’s “Manifesto” makes it as the last on this list. Cate Blanchett in the guise of a school teacher, factory worker, choreographer, punk, newsreader, scientist, puppeteer, widow, and a homeless man presented artists-manifestos. They were presented on massive screens at the Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart Park Avenue Armory in New York .


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