David Hockney, *A Bigger Splash,* 1967, on display at the Centre Pompidou this summer.
Photo: © David Hockney Collection Tate, London

15 Must-See Summer Art Exhibitions

From Bill Viola in Spain to nineteenth-century photography in Amsterdam, these Summer exhibitions are not-to-be-missed


Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends | the Museum of Modern Art, New York; through September 17 

This major retrospective celebrates the spirit of artistic collaboration, with works by Rauschenberg and his peers, such as John Cage and Merce Cunningham.

Robert Rauschenberg, Rebus, 1955, oil,mixed media including a drawing by Cy Twombly. Photo: © 2017 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Unpacking: The Marciano Collection | Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles; through December 24 

The inaugural exhibition of the Guess cofounders’ new museum, set in a former Masonic temple, showcases stellar works by Christopher Wool and Sterling Ruby, among others.

Installation view of “Unpacking,” 2017, at Marciano Art Foundation, showing works by Takashi Murakami, Paul McCarthy, and Louise Lawler. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer. Courtesy of the Marciano Art Foundation

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg | Museum of Contemporary Art, ChicagoJune 6–September 24

A psychedelic retrospective spanning three decades of the Japanese cult artist’s career, including his most recent epic murals.

Takashi Murakami, Tan Tan Bo Puking – a.k.a. Gero Tan, 2002. Photo: Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin. © 2002 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd

Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade | Legion of Honor, San FranciscoJune 24–September 24

Art and fashion mingle beautifully in  this imaginative pairing of Impressionist paintings by Degas, Renoir, and Manet with fanciful period hats.

Pierre Auguste Renoir, At the Milliner’s, 1878. Photo: Courtesy of the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard Art Museums, USA

Njideka Akunyili Crosby: The Predecessors | Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, OhioJuly 15–October 1

This timely show features vibrant collagelike paintings by a rising Nigerian-born talent who tackles issues of immigration, Western art history, and colonialism.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Before Now After (Mama, Mummy and Mamma), 2015. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro, London

Clifford Ross: Light | Waves | Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New YorkJuly 16–October 1

The multimedia artist transfers his images of violent waves onto monumental wood panels, while his video installations immerse viewers in virtual oceans.

Clifford Ross, Wave LIV (Wood), triptych, 2015, cured inkjet print on wood. Photo: Courtesy of Clifford Ross Studio

Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical | The Met Breuer New York; July 21–October 8 

Iconic works by the seminal Italian architect and designer are presented in dialogue with objects by artists who inspired him (Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Bauhaus talents).

Ettore Sottsass, Carlton Room Divider, 1981, wood, plastic laminate. Photo: Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and John C. Waddell


Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion | Victoria & Albert Museum, London; May 27–February 18, 2018

An homage to the renowned Spanish couturier, with 120 exquisitely crafted garments and hats, plus original archival sketches and swatches.

Richard Avedon, Dovima with Sacha, cloche and suit by Balenciaga, Café des Deux Magots, Paris, 1955. Photo: Courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum

Fahrelnissa Zeid | Tate Modern, London; June 13–October 8

A dazzling showcase of the late Turkish princess’s kaleidoscopic canvases, which fuse European abstraction with Islamic and Byzantine influences.

Fahrelnissa Zeid, Triton Octopus, 1953. Photo: © Raad bin Zeid Collection. Courtesy of the Tate

New Realities: Photography in the 19th Century | Rijksmuseum, AmsterdamJune 17–September 17

Beginning with photography’s advent in 1839, the exhibition highlights early masters of the medium: William Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron, and Gustave Le Gray, among others.

Robert Macpherson, View on Rome from Monte Pincio, 1860-1863. Photo: Courtesy of the Rijksmuseum

David Hockney | Centre Pompidou, Paris; June 21–October 23

Hockney’s blockbuster show—comprising his iconic California pool paintings, early self-portraits, and trippy iPad drawings—hits Paris before heading to New York’s Metropolitan Museum this fall.

David Hockney, A Bigger Splash, 1967. Photo: © David Hockney. Courtesy of the Tate, London

Bill Viola: A Retrospective | Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain; June 30–November 9

His all-immersive, emotion-packed video works from the last 40 years demonstrate why Viola is one of the world’s most celebrated multimedia artists.

A still from Bill Viola’s Fire Woman, 2005, performed by Robin Bonaccorsi (left) and a still from Tristan’s Ascension (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall),
2005, performed by John Hay (right). Photo: Kira Perov. Courtesy of Bill Viola Studio


Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now | Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; July 5–October 23

Top talents from Indonesia to Vietnam take over the 53rd floor of the striking Foster + Partners–designed skyscraper.

Lee Wen, Strange Fruit, 2003, C-Print. Photo: Courtesy of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo


The Museum of Everything | Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania; June 10–April 2, 2018

Two eclectic museums join forces to feature London’s largest collection of “outsider” art at übercollector David Walsh’s eccentric subterranean museum.

Pascal-Désir Maisonneuve, Untitled (Père Ubu), 1925. Photo: Courtesy of The Museum of Everything
Cover: David Hockney, *A Bigger Splash,* 1967, on display at the Centre Pompidou this summer.
Photo: © David Hockney Collection Tate, London


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