The most exciting exhibitions around the world in 2022


Written by The Art Newspaper

This article was originally published by The Art Newspaper, an editorial partner of CNN Style. You can read their full Year Ahead 2022 articles here.

This year’s must-see exhibitions include the return of the Venice Biennale and Documenta, blockbuster shows of Donatello and Cézanne, and a sculpture festival for the Qatar World Cup. Because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, please check exhibitions are going ahead before you travel.

“Yves Saint Laurent aux Musées”

Where: Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Orsay, Musée National Picasso Paris, Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, Musée du Louvre

When: January 29-May 15 (closes April 15 at Musée Picasso)

Six decades ago, the first fashion show under the Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) name hit the runway. To celebrate this milestone, six Parisian museums where the French designer sought inspiration have collaborated on a city-spanning exhibition. Each will pair YSL creations with works by artists including Mondrian, Picasso, Matisse, Bonnard and Dufy. For example, at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, next to Dufy’s “La Fée Electricité” (“The Electricity Fairy,” 1937) will stand three spectacular silk dresses, while the Musée d’Orsay will focus on his fascination with Marcel Proust, which probably inspired Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking, the first tuxedo for women. Meanwhile, the Musée National Picasso will explain how influential the Spanish master was on Saint Laurent, from the fashion designer’s tribute to Picasso’s “Ballets Russes” sets and costumes (1976) to his 1988 Cubist collection. –Sarah Belmont

“The World of Stonehenge”

Where: British Museum, London

When: February 17-July 17

This Bronze Age sun pendant, from 1000-800 BC, will be part of the British Museum's major Stonehenge exhibition.

This Bronze Age sun pendant, from 1000-800 BC, will be part of the British Museum’s major Stonehenge exhibition. Credit: © The Trustees of the British Museum

Constructed more than four millennia ago, Stonehenge is one of the most famous yet mysterious monuments in the world. Who were the people who built it and inhabited prehistoric Britain? “The World of Stonehenge” will show they were more developed than is widely thought, with established trade links to mainland Europe. One of the undoubted highlights of the show will be the 3,600-year-old Nebra Sky Disc, the oldest existing depiction of the cosmos, which was discovered in present-day Germany and will be exhibited in the UK for the first time. -José da Silva

“Faith Ringgold: American People”

Where: New Museum, New York

When: February 17-June 5

Ringgold created United States of "Attica" (1972) to honor the men who died in the Attica prison demonstration.

Ringgold created United States of “Attica” (1972) to honor the men who died in the Attica prison demonstration. Credit: © Faith Ringgold/ARS, NY and DACS, London/Courtesy of ACA Galleries, New York

This is the first retrospective of the pioneering American artist Faith Ringgold in her hometown of New York. The exhibition will span six decades of the 91-year-old artist’s prolific career, from works created in response to the civil rights era, to autobiographical pieces that tell stories of the Harlem Renaissance. -Gabriella Angeleti

“Donatello: the Renaissance”

Where: Palazzo Strozzi and Museo del Bargello, Florence; Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

When: March 19-July 31 (Florence); September 2-January 8, 2023 (Berlin)

Donatello's marble bas relief "Madonna and Child (1420-25)."

Donatello’s marble bas relief “Madonna and Child (1420-25).” Credit: © Antje Voigt/SMB Skulpturensammlung

In his own time, the 15th-century Florentine sculptor Donatello was regarded as “the master of masters.” Despite this, there has been no major exhibition devoted to the sculptor’s work for nearly 40 years. That is set to change in March when a sweeping survey of Donatello’s work opens in Florence at Palazzo Strozzi and at the nearby Museo Nazionale del Bargello, which houses the most important collection of works by the sculptor, including “David” (circa 1440). Smaller incarnations of the show will be seen at the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin in September and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London next year. -Cristina Ruiz

“150 years of Mondrian”

Where: Kunstmuseum den Haag, the Hague, Netherlands; Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland; K20, Düsseldorf

When: April 2-September 25 (the Hague); June 5-October 9 (Riehen); October 29-February 10, 2023 (Düsseldorf)

Piet Mondrian, "Lozenge Composition with Eight Lines and Red (Picture no. III)," 1938.

Piet Mondrian, “Lozenge Composition with Eight Lines and Red (Picture no. III),” 1938. Credit: © Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International Warrenton, VA USA

With just three primary colors (plus black and white) and two ordinal directions, Piet Mondrian took painting to new levels of abstraction. His influence on Modernism was immense — in the visual arts as well as design, architecture and fashion. To mark 150 years since his birth in the Netherlands town of Amersfoot, several museums are putting on big surveys of his work. A show at Switzerland’s Fondation Beyeler and K20 in Düsseldorf will start with his early paintings, which were influenced by Dutch landscape painting and Post-Impressionism. It will then trace his development as he left representation behind completely, ending in his right-angled wonders. -Lee Cheshire

Venice Biennale

Where: Venice

When: April 23-November 27

The Venice Biennale will return this spring.

The Venice Biennale will return this spring. Credit: Andrea Avezzù/La Biennale di Venezia

A global pandemic, the catastrophic effects of climate change, and developments in artificial intelligence are just some of the major threats to the future of humanity that artists will be tackling for this year’s main exhibition at the 59th Venice Biennale. “Despite the climate that forged (the show), it aspires to be an optimistic exhibition,” said its curator, Cecilia Alemani, in a statement. For all the latest news on the national pavilions, see Venice Biennale 2022: All the National Pavilions, Artists and Curators. -José da Silva

World Cup sculpture festival

Where: Qatar

When: Throughout the year

Tom Classen's "Falcon," 2021.

Tom Classen’s “Falcon,” 2021. Credit: Courtesy of Qatar Museums

Football fans flying into Doha for this year’s controversial World Cup (starting on November 21) will be greeted by this monumental gold sculpture of Qatar’s national bird, the falcon. Created by Dutch artist Tom Claassen, it is one of more than 40 new public works that will spring up across the small peninsula state. The “outdoor museum” program is overseen by Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the sister of the ruling Emir and the high-spending head of Qatar Museums. Other works include pieces by Bruce Nauman, Isa Genzken, Subodh Gupta, Mark Handforth and Katharina Fritsch. -Lee Cheshire

“Cézanne”

Where: Art Institute of Chicago; Tate Modern, London

When: May 15-September 5 (Chicago); October 6-March 12, 2023 (London)

"Still Life with Apples" (1893-94) will be one of the 90 oil paintings by Cézanne on show in Chicago.

“Still Life with Apples” (1893-94) will be one of the 90 oil paintings by Cézanne on show in Chicago. Credit: Courtesy of The J Paul Getty Museum

The Art Institute of Chicago and London’s Tate Modern are organizing the greatest Paul Cézanne exhibition for a generation. Called simply “Cézanne,” it will span the full career of the artist. In Chicago, where the show opens, it will comprise 90 oil paintings, 40 works on paper and two sketchbooks, although it will be slightly reduced in London (70 oils and 18 on paper). Cézanne (1839-1906) has always been regarded as an “artist’s artist” and was a great influence on later painters, including Monet, Pissarro, Matisse and Picasso. He remains an inspiration, and among the exhibition lenders will be Jasper Johns, the American abstract expressionist, who will be sending three key watercolors (plus an oil painting of a nude to Chicago only) from his personal collection. Technical analysis of the artist’s palette, compositional construction, and mark making will deepen our understanding of how Cézanne created his paintings. Chicago promises that the show will “reframe Cézanne, a giant of art history, for our own time.” –Martin Bailey

Documenta Fifteen

Where: Kassel, Germany

When: June 18-September 25

Indonesian arts collective Ruangrupa with members of the Documenta team.

Indonesian arts collective Ruangrupa with members of the Documenta team. Credit: Nicolas Wefers

Organizing the world’s largest and most influential contemporary art exhibition in the middle of a pandemic has been challenging, but after some doubts about whether it could go ahead as scheduled, Documenta Fifteen is to take place in Kassel this summer. Curated by the Indonesian arts collective Ruangrupa, it promises to be as much of a reflection of our times as previous editions of this sprawling show that takes place every five years. The artists who have been invited to take part are mostly from the global south, and many are activist collectives, rather than individuals. They include The Nest Collective of Kenya, La Intermundial Holobiente of Argentina, Keleketla! Library of South Africa and Sa Sa Art Projects of Cambodia. Venues will include a former department store and a former wine depot, as well as more traditional locations such as the city’s Fridericianum museum. -Catherine Hickley

“The Space Between: The Modern in Korean Art”

Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art

When: September 11-February 19, 2023

The painting "Family" was created by Pai Unsung between 1930 and 1935 when Korea was under Japanese rule.

The painting “Family” was created by Pai Unsung between 1930 and 1935 when Korea was under Japanese rule. Credit: Courtesy of the City of Daejeon

Last year there was a surge in interest in South Korean film and TV, and Western art galleries are rushing to open in Seoul. But the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) has been exploring Korean art for several years now, with a run of major exhibitions. “The Space Between” spans the critical but often overlooked period 1897 to 1964, dating from the close of the Joseon period, the last Korean dynasty, through the colonial period (1910-45) when Korea was under Japanese rule, and the Korean War (1950-53), which brought strong American cultural influences, particularly Abstract Expressionism in the visual arts. Artists in the latter period were also influenced by the European Art Informel movement. The exhibition closes with a look at Modern and the beginnings of contemporary art, including such artists as Youn Myeong-Ro, Lee Sangbeom, and Park Rehyun. It is a big story, told through the work of 90 artists and 140 paintings, photographs and sculptures. -Scarlet Cheng

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