Besides sandals and the ocean, do you know what your summer forecast is missing? Art exhibits.
From the United Kingdom to the United States, get your art on this summer with science fiction fandom, historical insights into the impact of AIDS in America, the struggle of women in art and closer looks at the personas and travels of Georgia O’Keefe and Casanova:
1. Science Fiction Fan Alert: Book a Portal – Opens June 3rd
Curated by the Swiss writer and historian Patrick Gyger, “Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction” will be a summer pilgrimage for art and science fiction cult fans, at the Barbican in the UK.
The festival-style exhibition runs June 3 to September 1 and includes original manuscripts from classic science fiction authors, such as Jules Verne, with additional original artworks and objects from The Paul G. Allen Family Collection. Juxtaposed with these relics are conceptual artworks and models from Stargate, Dark City and Godzilla.
“Into the Unknown” is presented in four chapters: Extraordinary Voyages, Brave New Worlds and Final Frontiers. It features such artists as Larissa Sansour, Dara Birbaum, Soda Jerk and Trevor Paglen. Musical performances offer a stunning accompaniment to the art. Various short films from Francis Bodomo, Wanuri Kalu and Pierre-Jean Giloux will be shown, and a talk series will be held in partnership with Penguin Classics and New Scientist.
2. Yes, Women Can: Make Space for This Historical Exhibit – Through August 13th
International Women’s Day takes place on March 8 each year. It’s an empowering reminder to recognize the strength, brilliance and beauty of women across the world. “Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction,” showing now at MoMa in New York through August 13, continues this sentiment by shining a light on the lesser recognized achievements of women in art.
The range of art spans from works created after World War II through the beginning of the Feminist movement. The use of abstraction and craft choice reveals each artist’s struggle to make art in a male-dominated industry with few support systems or networking opportunities. The art explores how they coped with societal shifts as many major historical events occurred.
The women represented in the exhibit work in diverse mediums, from painting to fiber weaving, and it includes such artists as Lee Bontecou, Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, Anne Ryan, Gertrudes Altshul, Jo Baer, Agnes Martin, Lygia Pape and Lee Krasner.
3. O’Keefe’s Layers: From Clothing to Canvas – Opens August 18th
Reynolda House Museum of American Art celebrates its fiftieth year as a museum and hundredth year as an estate in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with the exhibition “Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern.” The show reveals how the artist’s “modern sensibility saturated her art, her life, her homes and her carefully fashioned public (and private) personas.”
Reynolda House is the only host south of New York to showcase the exhibition, which only has three exhibit locations.
To O’Keefe, clothing was another canvas to express herself as she did in modern art — minimal flair, natural silhouettes and masses of a compact nature. The exhibit shows personal garments and particularly chosen pieces by O’Keefe, featuring photographs of her at specific points in her art career.
O’Keefe fashions her clothes to cope within various settings — her clothing reflects her various personas. In the desert of New Mexico, she wears black and white and is nun-like to the public and her photographer. When shot in private, her desert persona is stunning in blues. “Living Modern” runs from August 18 to November 19.
4. Let Down Your Avant-Garde & Counter-Culture Celebrate – Through August 20th
Happening now, the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris is hosting “Karel Appel: Art as Celebration!” The exhibition runs through August 20 in Paris, France, centering around the experimental abstract art of Dutchman Karel Appel.
The artist was the founder of the CoBrA Group (1948-1951), that sought to eclipse more academic forms of art with influences from primitivism, avant-garde and abstract expressionism, among others. Member artists were drawn to the art of the mentally disturbed and to children’s drawings.
The exhibition is centered on Appel’s life works, featuring smaller to larger scale paintings and ceramic sculptures. It also includes one of Appel’s little-known pieces completed just prior to his death in 2006.
5. Bad Flirt? Take a Look at Casanova’s Travels – Opens August 27th
“Casanova: The Seduction of Europe” will teach you a thing or two about the art of seduction and romance with the charm of eighteenth century Europe. Casanova got around, from Italy to the Ottoman Empire, and eventually to Saint Petersburg where he met Catherine the Great.
Period costumes, paintings, sculpture, works on paper, silver, porcelain and furnishings will place you at the various sites Casanova visited. After its exhibition at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, the show will travel to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
When the days are sweltering, your mind and soul deserve some TLC, too. Pair your summer break with an art break for an enriching and fun season.