Year Ahead 2017
Year Ahead 2017
Year Ahead 2017

Must-see shows this autumn

From Basquiat at the Barbican to Michelangelo at the Met, these exhibitions will get you through the rest of the year

by Jane Morris, Hannah McGivern, Pac Pobric, Aimee Dawson  |  29 August 2017
Must-see shows this autumn
Jean-Michel Basquiat on the set of Downtown 81 (© New York Beat Film LLC. By permission of The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Photo: Edo Bertoglio)
Basquiat: Boom for Real
Barbican, London
21 September-28 January 2018 

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (Pablo Picasso) (1984) (© The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, licensed by Artestar)
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (Pablo Picasso) (1984) (© The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, licensed by Artestar)
The last Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition in London was, remarkably, a 1996 show at the Serpentine Gallery of around 20 works. Now, the one-time graffiti artist who became a star in the 1980s (and died of a drug overdose in 1988) is the subject of a much grander survey. Around 100 of his major works, accompanied by an extensive film and live programme, come to the Barbican Centre in September. Among the items in the show are small works referring to Duchamp, Jackson Pollock and Roy Lichtenstein, among others, which reveal how he “ate up every image, every word, every bit of data that appeared in front of him”, as the late American writer Glenn O’Brien once said. The show also puts an emphasis on his interest in jazz and television through new research to be published in the exhibition’s catalogue. 

Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth
Royal Academy of Arts, London
23 September-10 December

Jasper Johns’s 0 through 9 (1961) (© Jasper Johns/VAGA/DACS)
Jasper Johns’s 0 through 9 (1961) (© Jasper Johns/VAGA/DACS)
More than 150 paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints—including some of his most famous works—are due to be included in this major Jasper Johns exhibition. Edith Devaney, the Royal Academy’s contemporary art curator, says the show will start with his familiar flags, targets, maps and numbers—what Johns called “things the mind already knows”—but aims to reveal the degree to which he revisited themes over a 60-year period. Devaney began considering a show when she saw some of his more recent work in New York. “I went to talk to him in 2013 and realised he was still working hard in the studio every day,” she says. The exhibition will look at his use of symbols and language, his musings on paintings as physical objects, and on time, transience, memory and mortality. Although Johns has rarely discussed his relationship to other artists, the show will examine works referencing (through words and titles) artists and poets from Alfred Lord Tennyson and Samuel Beckett to Vincent van Gogh. 
Being Modern: MoMA in Paris
Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
11 October-5 March 2018

Bruce Nauman’s Human/Need/Desire (1983) is one of the 200 MoMA works that will appear in Being Modern (Image © Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society, digital image © MoMA)
Bruce Nauman’s Human/Need/Desire (1983) is one of the 200 MoMA works that will appear in Being Modern (Image © Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society, digital image © MoMA)
Following two major historical exhibitions—Keys to a Passion in 2015 and the Shchukin Collection last year—the Fondation Louis Vuitton is flexing its borrowing muscles again in a collaboration with New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). With 200 works drawn from all seven of the museum’s curatorial departments, Being Modern will be a “kind of manifesto of the future MoMA”, says Suzanne Pagé, the Vuitton’s artistic director. To coincide with the completion of its $400m extension in 2019, the New York museum is planning a radical rehang that will expand the Modernist canon that was defined by its founding director, Alfred Barr. “Nowadays, interdisciplinarity is the established model and [it] involves new parameters of openness—geographical, cultural, social and technological,” Pagé says. The show in Paris, organised by MoMA’s chief curator of photography, Quentin Bajac, is a taste of things to come. Alongside works by the European and US greats, from Cézanne to Cindy Sherman, will be pieces by artists from Eastern Europe, Turkey and Egypt, as well as industrial design, Disney animation, digital art and even the original emoji (acquired by MoMA last October). 

Camille Henrot’s installation The Pale Fox (2014-15) (© ADAGP, courtesy of the artist/Kamel Mennour/König Galerie/Metro Pictures; photo Thorsten Arendt)
Carte blanche to Camille Henrot: Days are Dogs

Palais de Tokyo, Paris
18 October-7 January 2018

Camille Henrot’s dizzying 13-minute video Grosse Fatigue, which won her the Silver Lion at the 2013 Venice Biennale, whipped through computer screenshots of the vast collections at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, to tell the history of the universe. This autumn, the New York-based French artist is bringing her exhaustive research process to the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, where she will stage the third carte blanche exhibition, filling the 13,000 sq. m space (after Philippe Parreno in 2013 and Tino Sehgal last year). Encompassing sculpture, drawings, films, installations and ikebana flower arrangements, as well as works by six guest artists, the show is “an opportunity to demonstrate the outreach of her vision”, says the curator Daria de Beauvais. Henrot will divide the space into seven parts, each representing a day of the week with its own mood and associations, from melancholic Monday through to spiritual, domestic Sunday. 

Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer
Metropolitan Museum of Art
13 November-12 February 2018

Michelangelo’s Portrait of Andrea Quaratesi (around 1532) (Image: The British Museum)
Michelangelo’s Portrait of Andrea Quaratesi (around 1532) (Image: The British Museum)
Around 150 drawings by Michelangelo will carry this exhibition of the artist's work in New York. The show, which also includes three marble sculptures, his earliest painting and works by other artists to provide context, draws on 54 public and private collections in the US and abroad. It focuses attention on Michelangelo’s draftsmanship and his abilities as an architect and designer, and includes his model for a chapel vault. Other highlights include a colossal cartoon made for a fresco at the Vatican. The exhibition is organised by Carmen Bambach, the museum's curator of Italian and Spanish drawings. She has also written an essay on the work to be published by the museum in a scholarly catalogue. 

Amedeo Modigliani's Reclining Nude (1919) (Museum of Modern Art, New York)

Tate Modern, London
23 November-2 April 2018

A flurry of excitement and controversy foreshadows the Tate’s blockbuster survey of the Italian Modernist Amedeo Modigliani, with a high-profile bust of 21 alleged forgeries of his works at a show in Genoa in July and another major exhibition of early drawings coming up at the Jewish Museum in New York (15 September–4 February 2018). The Tate show will feature almost 100 works from 30 private collections and 40 institutions, including ten of the artist’s infamous nudes—the largest group ever seen in the UK—that were deemed “indecent” when he first showed them. The exhibition will also use virtual reality technology to recreate scenes from 20th-century Paris, where Modigliani spent the latter half of his tragically short life. “Modigliani is a hugely well-loved and well-known artist, and he has never before been the subject of a major retrospective in this country,” says Emma Lewis, the show’s assistant curator. “It feels timely to introduce him to a new generation.” 

• For the full Year Ahead, see the September issue

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