Top Art Exhibitions in August: What Is Really Worth Seeing

By März 26, 2020 April 17th, 2020 No Comments

Julia Kryshevich

Top Art Exhibitions in August: What Is Really Worth Seeing

Summer is coming to an end — it’s time to harvest! Some rich in flavor exhibitions are waiting for your evaluation. So better have it both ways — savoring the best fruits of the artistic heritage and visiting the most beautiful European art capitals at once. Below is something not to miss this August in the world of arts:


Cindy Sherman / National Portrait Gallery

Until September, 15

Having counted Cindy Sherman among the 15 greatest female artists once, we at Purplehaze just can’t keep our eyes off her art. Sherman’s famous quote I’m disgusted with how people get themselves to look beautiful fully reflects the artistic motif by creating her self-portrait photographic series (which is a living legend today). Sherman doesn’t mind being put in other women shoes (at least, for the sake of art) — she inhabits media female characters, making them sound even shriller and more ridiculous, thus exposing their artifice. Around 150 works from both public and private collections give a viewer a spectacular glance over Sherman’s work starting from the mid-70s, including those that were hardly ever exhibited. Her latest work Flappers is also on show.

What else to see: Lee Krasner: Living Colour at the Barbican Centre; Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life at Tate Modern


Calder-Picasso / Musée national Picasso-Paris

Until August, 25

What do Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder have in common? The most obvious answer might be: they both were striking artists and contemporaries. The current exhibition examines however a more profound resemblance — the Franco-Spanish painter and the American architect had a genuine interest for different dimensions what made them explore space and find new ways to interact with it. Whereas Calder’s pre-kinetic sculptures are full of a scientist’s curiosity and intellectual power, Picasso’s works are introspective and self-expressive at once. 120 works altogether of the two geniuses of the 20th century (shake, but don’t stir, please) are certainly something worth seeing in the city of (art) lovers.

What else to see: Berthe Morisot: Female Impressionist at The Musée d’Orsay; Bernard Frieze. Without Remorse at the Centre Pompidou


Emil Nolde. A German Legend / Hamburger Bahnhof — Museum für Gegenwart

Until September, 15 

A loyal member of the NSDAP and a representative of the Degenerate Art movement at once, is it possible? Yes, Emil Nolde shared the views of the notorious far right party till the last, while his art finally became a victim of the regime. The exhibition features more than 100 expressionist works by Emil Nolde, including those that have never been presented before. Considered to be degenerate at the time, Nolde’s art seeks to be reinterpreted today within the context of the artist’s written memoir left to be disclosed. Emil Nolde. A German Legend promises to be interesting from both artistic and historical points of view, giving a better understanding of Nolde’s personality as a genius and a man.

What else to see: Summer of love: art, fashion, and rock and roll at the Palais Populaire; Gustave Caillebotte: Painter and Patron of Impressionism at the Alte Nationalgalerie


Vertigo. Op Art and a History of Deception 1520-1970 / mumok

Until October, 26 

There is hardly a person in the modern world that hasn’t heard of pop art. Unfortunately, the op art movement couldn’t claim the same — many good things haven’t been said about the art of optical illusions and it’s high time curators took care of that. Playing with our sense of sight, optical works (paintings, installations, films or computer generated art) draw us into delusions… and we seem to be asking for this! Though looking simple, this kind of art is a skillful game. And the best way to realize it is to subject yourself to its gorgeous vertigo, go, go effect. Better do it with mumok, coming to see a largest retrospective of the op art history there.

What else to see: Albrecht Dürer at the Albertina; Vienna Biennale for Change 2019 (various venues)


Shchukin. Biography of a Collection / The Pushkin State Museum
of Fine Arts (Main Building);

Until September, 15 

Occupying almost the whole space of the Museum, the new large-scale exhibition features paintings and sculptures from the private collection of the famous Russian arts patron Sergei Shchukin as well as his brothers Pyotr, Dmitry, and Ivan. The variety of masterpieces by such artists as Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso together with some archival materials (more than 450 items, in total) offers the viewer an extensive view over the history of Modernist art starting from the late 19th century. It’s also worth mentioning that artworks have been reunited after a long separation — over the previous century paintings from the Shchukin Collection were exhibited at different venues in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and even Paris.

What else to see: Collection of Fondation Louis Vuitton: Selected Works at The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (Department of 19th and 20th Century European and American Art); Jaume Plensa at MMOMA


The 58th Venice Biennale / Giardini, Corderie, Arsenale

Until November, 24

Yes, one of the most exciting art shows of the year is still on the air — curated by Ralph Rugoff it runs under a gripping title May You Live In Interesting Times. What is certain about the 58th edition of the Biennale, it’s all about uncertainty, crisis, turning points in the history of arts and just civilization. For the record, la Biennale di Venezia dates back to far 1895. The event consists of different sectors such as Arts, Architecture, Cinema, Dance, Music, and Theatre and takes place at various exhibition spaces at a time. Don’t forget to check the website, in order to see the program and buy tickets in advance.

What else to see: Jannis Kounellis (curated by Germano Celant) at the Fondazione Prada Venezia; Baselitz – Academy at the Gallerie dell’Accademia