This April's Top Exhibitions

Sustainability,

emotion & AI

In January, these salient three words were forecasted to define the art market of 2024. So far, galleries have risen to the occasion, with the ICA offering Aria Dean’s meditations on death, the Serpentine presenting Refik Anadol's take on AI and the ecosystem, while the Tate Modern brought us Yoko Ono's bricolage of politics, performance and photography. This month promises to keep on giving, and we've scoured the globe to bring you the highlights.

 



Expressionists - Kandinsky, Münter and the Blue Rider

25 April - 20 October. Tate Modern, London
 Tiger by Franz Marc, 1912. Tate Modern

The major Tate Modern retrospective will tell the story of a syndicate of international friends who pioneered the modern art movement in the early 20th century. The show includes celebrated artists like Wassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter, Franz Marc and Paul Klee, along with a diverse network of artists called The Blue Rider (Der Blaue Reiter), who were connected by a desire to express personal experiences and spiritual ideas. It will celebrate their radical experimentation with form, colour, sound and performance; shedding a light on previously overlooked figures like Wladimir Burliuk and Maria Franck-Marc.

 

Roni Horn

4 April - 28 June. Hauser & Wirth, New York

Pisslar by Roni Horn, 2023. Hauser & Wirth

Exploring themes of identity, meaning and perception, Roni Horn is widely acclaimed for her engagement in humanity’s relationship to the natural world. The artist will debut her latest series of works on paper and never before exhibited cast-glass sculptures at Hauser & Wirth on April 4th. Drawing for nearly 40 years, Horn’s oeuvre includes stark mark-making, sculpture, watercolours and deconstructing and reconstructing images and texts. Her multimedia collages are textural works that compels the mind into a state of corporeal contemplation.

 

Guy Ferrer - Assemblages

5 April - 1 May. Everard Read, London

Extase by Guy Ferrer. Everard Read

Curious about life and the search for beauty, multimedia artist Guy Ferrer will mark his fourth solo presentation at London's Everard Read with an intimate collection of paintings and sculptures. Enriched with his signature symbolism, the show will expose the spirituality of the every day. Ferrer's small-scale works incorporate found objects imbued with a sacred ethos, from holy iconography to the application of precious materials. ”Gold, sacred and mythical, is more and more present in my work”, says Ferrer. “For me, gold evokes the Orient and eternity.” With a career spanning some 35 years, the artist's work is a glorious celebration of life and its enigmas.

 

Hiroshige’s 100 Famous Views of Edo

(with Takashi Murakami)
5 April - 4 August. Brooklyn Museum, New York

Plum Estate, Kameido (Kameido Umeyashiki), no. 30 from 100 Famous Views of Edo by Utagawa Hiroshige. Brooklyn Museum

The seminal Japanese artist Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) is considered to be the last great master of the ukiyo-e tradition. For the first time in twenty-four years, his 100 Famous Views of Edo—one of the Brooklyn Museum’s greatest treasures—returns to public display. The complete set of these celebrated prints is among the world’s finest. The exhibition concentrates on the series’ urban aspects- which was originally published in 1856–58. Exploring the evolving socioeconomic and environmental landscape of the city that would become Tokyo, it features all four seasons with scenes of picnics beneath cherry blossoms, summer rainstorms, falling maple leaves, and wintry dusks. Visitors will be able to visualise the industrial evolution of 19th century Tokyo by comparing Hiroshige's stunning landscapes with modern photographs of the city.


 

Takesada Matsutani

6 April - 19 May. Hauser & Wirth, Paris

On A Slope by Takesada Matsutani, 2021. Hauser & Wirth

For over five decades, Ōsaka-born artist Takesada Matsutani, has developed a unique visual language spanning from sculpture and printmaking to painting and installation. From the early 1960s until the 1970s, Matsutani was a key member of the influential post-war Japanese art collective the Gutai Art Association. As part of the Gutai group, Matsutani experimented with vinyl glue using fans and his own breath to manipulate the substance. His bulbous and sensuous forms are reminiscent of human curves and features. Matsutani has lived and worked in Paris for the past 60 years, and this exciting exhibition will feature a selection of new and historic works by the artist; showcasing the breadth of his career and development of his practice.



Ed Ruscha - Now Then

7 April - 6 October. LACMA, Los Angeles

Standard Station by Ed Ruscha, 1966 © Museum Associates/LACMA

For those who missed last year's Ed Ruscha Now Then exhibition at MoMA, will have the opportunity to catch it again on April 7th. A first comprehensive, cross-media retrospective in over 20 years, the acclaimed presentation has moved to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). Ruscha's work holds a microscope to American society by making the country's urban landscape, consumer culture and popular entertainment his subjects. Since 1956 (when he left Oklahoma City to study commercial art in LA), the artist has honed an oeuvre of abstracting architectural landscapes, and colloquial language.




Georg Baselitz - A Confession Of My Sins

10 April – 16 June. White Cube, Bermondsey

Georg Bazelitz. White Cube

For the first time in eight years, the painter Georg Baselitz returns to the White Cube gallery in Bermondsey to present a selection of his new works. Inspired by Art Brut, Dada, Surrealism and Existentialist literature, the artist specialises in emotive works infused with human psychology and introspection. The exhibition features memory-based portraits of himself and his wife Elke, his own ageing process, and allusions to artists he admires. From displaying his pieces upside down in 1969 to 'remixing' his earlier works in 2005, Baselitz has mastered the practice of emphasising his subjects' abstract qualities and figurative subject matter.

 

Jean Cocteau - The Juggler’s Revenge

13 April - 9 September. Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

Jean Cocteau by Philippe Halsman. NYC, USA. 1949. © DACS / Comité Cocteau, Paris 2018. © Philippe Halsman | Magnum Photos

Accompanied by a vibrant paperback, the exhibition is Italy's largest retrospective ever dedicated to Jean Cocteau (1889–1963), the enfant terrible of the French 20th century art scene. Organised by the eminent Cocteau specialist Kenneth E. Silver, the exhibition highlights the artist’s versatility, and the multiple juggling acts that distinguished his production. Often drawing criticism from his contemporaries, the artist's broad portfolio include drawings, graphics, jewellery, tapestries, historical documents, books, magazines, photographs, documentaries, and films. Loaned from prestigious institutions, such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Phoenix Art Museum and the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, they trace the development of his unique and highly personal aesthetics, alongside the highlights of his tumultuous career.

 

Edvard Munch - Horizons

13 April. Munch Museum, Oslo

Edvard Munch. Munch Museum

Merely three years since its inception, Oslo’s Munch Museum (which houses more than 26,000 works by Edvard Munch) will host Edvard Munch: Horizons. The Norwegian painter and printmaker (1863-1944) most known for The Scream, witnessed huge strides toward modernity during the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. As a result, he was exposed to an increasingly disoriented and disconnected society and, like his contemporaries, he went in search of different ways to represent both the visible world and inner life. Munch veered towards the abstract; experimenting with "unnatural" colours, unconventional materials and simplified forms and lines. Covering a period from around 1880 to 1950, the exhibition locates Munch’s work within the history of modernising European art.

 

Willem de Kooning & Italy

16 April - 15 September. Galleria dell’Accademia, Venice

Two Women with Still Life by Willem de Kooning, 1952. Galleria dell’Accademia

An abstract expressionist, Willem de Kooning (1904-1997) was greatly influenced by his visits to Italy in 1959 and 1969. This anthology will be explored at the Galleria dell’Accademia in time for the Venice Biennale. According to the organisers, it will be the first show to truly examine Italy’s influence on the artist, and how his adventures inspired "a new way of looking and activating his medium." Notable pieces on display include  a series of black and white drawings known as the Romes (1959) and three of the so-called Pastoral Landscapes that De Kooning painted while dreaming of Italy.


 

Boris Lurie - Life With The Dead

20 April - 24 November. Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista, Venice

NO with Jacqueline Kennedy by Boris Lurie, 1963. Kunstmuseum

A holocaust and concentration camp survivor, Boris Lurie (1924-2008) first caught national attention in 1959, when along with Sam Goodman and Stanley Fisher, he founded the NO!art movement. Advocating for self-expression and social involvement, the group excelled at the March and Gertrude Stein galleries respectively, with exhibitions entitled Doom, Involvement, and Vulgar. Their works dealt with a range of subjects including war, genocide, violence, racism, nuclear proliferation, consumerism, pornography, and the emerging art economy. On the advent of his 100th birthday, Life With The Dead celebrates the artist's impressive legacy of memoirs, writings and rejection of the status quo and art market. According to the organisers (the Boris Lurie Art Foundation & Museum Center for Persecuted Arts), the exhibition "could hardly be more relevant at this time, with anti-Semitism, racism and right-wing populism growing worldwide."