Must-see shows in July and August 2017


Matisse in the Studio

Royal Academy of Arts, London

5 August-12 November

Matisse in the Studio is the first major show to delve into the French artist’s studio collection, which included Asian and African masks, textiles, decorative pots and pitchers. It travels to the Royal Academy from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where it opens in April. The exhibition aims to recreate the artist’s working environment and will display the diverse objects that influenced the French artist. Matisse had many studios—in Collioure, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Nice and Vence—and the show will include documentation of these, and show many of the paintings in progress. As well as a number of loans from the Musée Matisse in Nice, there will also be a selection from private collections that have never been exhibited publicly before.

Hélio Oiticica: to Organise Delirium

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

15 July-1 October

This is the final stop of the first major US survey of Hélio Oiticica, arguably one of the Brazil’s most influential artists. The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago, where it opens in February, and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, where it opened in autumn last year. Although Oiticica was influenced by European Modernism, he soon broke with this tradition creating paintings, such as his Bilaterals and Spatial Reliefs series, where he transformed two-dimensional works into three-dimensional pieces, calling them “paintings in space”. The artist also challenged the traditional relationship between viewer and work: visitors to the Whitney show will be able to wear, and interact with, several the pieces on display.

Picasso on the Beach

Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

26 August–7 January 2018

This thematic exhibition is based on Picasso’s La Baignade (1937), which is in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and will explore the artist’s use of the beach as a leitmotif during his time in Provence. This year also sees the beginning of a series, organised by the Musée Picasso in Paris, of 40 shows over two years celebrating the Spanish artist’s ties to the Mediterranean, beginning with a show on his costume and set designs for the Ballet Russes’s production of Parade at the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples in April. Another, more poignant show opening in April is Pity and Terror: Picasso on the Path to Guernica (until 4 September) at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, which commemorates 80 years since the first public showing of his masterpiece depicting the horrors of the bombing of the Basque village during the Spanish Civil War.

Best of the rest opening in July and August Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia, 1980s to Now

Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

5 July-23 October

Christian Dior

Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris

6 July-7 January 2018

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power

Tate Modern, London

12 July-22 October

The World of Giorgio de Chirico

CaixaForum Barcelona, Barcelona

14 July-22 October

Art et Liberté: Upheaval, War and Surrealism in Egypt (1938-48)

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K20, Düsseldorf

15 July-15 October


National Gallery of Victoria (NGV International), Melbourne

21 July-15 October

Coming Out

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

28 July-5 November

Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles

30 July-7 January 2018

A Universal History of Infamy

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles

20 August-21 January 2018

Yves Klein

Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City

26 August-15 January 2018

Opening in the autumn Lucio Fontana: Environments

Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan

9 September-3 March 2018

Rachel Whiteread

Tate Britain, London

12 September-4 February 2018

Picasso: between Cubism and Neo-Classicism

Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome

21 September-21 January 2018

Basquiat: Boom for Real

Barbican Art Gallery, London

21 September-28 January 2018

Jasper Johns

Royal Academy of Arts, London

23 September-10 December

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

The Broad, Los Angeles

1 October -1 January 2018

Louise Bourgeois: an Unfolding Portrait

Museum of Modern Art, New York

24 September-January 2018

Gauguin: the Alchemist

Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris

3 October- 22 January 2018

Peter Paul Rubens: the Power of Transformation

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

17 October-21 January 2018

Carte blanche to Camille Henrot

Palais de Tokyo, Paris

18 October-7 January 2018

Cézanne: Portraits

National Portrait Gallery, London

26 October-11 February 2018

Splendour and Misery in the Weimar Republic: from Otto Dix to Jeanne Mammen

Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt

27 October-25 February 2018

David Hockney

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

21 November- 25 February 2018


Tate Modern, London

22 November-2 April 2018