Must-see Exhibitions in 2018

From Picasso being celebrated the world over, numerous tributes to Azzedine Alaïa and the influence of Michael Jackson on art at the Grand Palais, take a look at what promises to be a year filled with incredible exhibitions.

Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Louis Vuitton Foundation

In one of fall 2018’s biggest events, the Louis Vuitton Foundation will be celebrating one of the most important painters of the 20th Century, Jean-Michel Basquiat. With around 100 pieces dating from 1980-1988, the exhibition will spread across the four floors of the building designed by Frank Gehry. From the famous Heads series (1980-1982) to the celebrated collaboration between Basquiat and Warhol, as well as pieces being displayed for the first time, be immersed in the precocious talent of an underground pioneer and artist who died at just 28 years old.

Jean-Michel Basquiat and Egon Schiele, from October 3, 2018, to January 14, 2019, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

The year of Alaïa

He celebrated women’s bodies, adorning their curves with his detailed, vibrant eye. Couturier Azzedine Alaïa, who passed away on November 18, 2017, will this year have an exhibition dedicated to him at the Design Museum in London. From May 10 to October 7, discover Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier, which will showcase roughly 60 hand-selected pieces designed by the master couturier, each with its own personal story, from a designer who eschewed sketches in favour of sculpting fine fabrics directly onto models’ bodies and known for his experimentation with innovative fabrics and modern techniques.

Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier – from May 10 to October 7, 2018, Design Museum, Kensington, London


Picasso in the spotlight

2018 will be painted in the colors of Pablo Picasso, with several museums focusing exhibitions on the painter throughout different periods of his life, exploring his inspirations and influences. Tate Modern will be welcoming the Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy exhibition, an exhibition was extremely successful in Paris. This first Tate solo Picasso exhibition is a month-by-month journey through the artist’s prolific “year of wonders”. The 100-plus works include "Girl Before a Mirror", which seldom leaves New York’s MoMA, and "The Dream", which has never been shown in the UK before. It also reunites three reclining nudes – of his lover Marie-Thérèse Walter – for the first time in 85 years.

Picasso 1932 - Love, Fame, Tragedy, from March 8 to Sepember 9, 2018, Tate Modern, London 

"Margiela/Galliera" at the Palais Galliera

After an homage to Cristóbal Balenciaga in 2017, Martin Margiela will be the next figure in fashion to be honored with an exhibition at the Palais Galliera from March 3, 2018. The famously mysterious designer co-founded Maison Martin Margiela in 1988 and made his mark on design through his conceptual ideas, and the taste for deconstruction and innovation that underpinned memorable collections that regularly threw up masterpieces of modernity, technical know-how and purity. Commissioned by the new director Miren Arzalluz, the Paris Fashion Museum will present the most pioneering collections from the house from 1989 until 2009 alongside the Belgian designer’s numerous influences using archives and rare records.

Margiela/Galliera 1989-2009, from March 3, to July 15, 2018, Musée des Arts décoratifs

"Michael Jackson, icône de l’art" at the Grand Palais

How did the King of Pop leave his mark on art history beyond his music? This is the question that the Michael Jackson: icône de l’art will try and tackle this fall in the Grand Palais. Between music, fashion, dance and video installations, the Parisian exhibition is set to be a truly unmissable event of the coming year, and promises to explore a different aspect to Michael Jackson’s legacy on contemporary art. Since Andy Warhol’s 1982 pop-art portrait, contemporary art hasn’t stopped finding inspiration in the singer’s aura. From his spectacular stage looks to his powerful songs and legendary music videos, Michael Jackson’s unique universe has become a boundless source of inspiration for artists past and present. Be it Andy Warhol, David LaChapelle, Isa Genzken, Paul McCarthy or Isaac Julien, over 40 works will pay tribute to the King of Pop almost ten years after his death.

Michael Jackson, icône de l’art – from November 23, 2018 to February 17, 2019, Grand Palais, Paris

“Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today” at the Vitra Design Museum

The value of nightlife in solidifying boundary-pushing art movements has long been established, but the focus has usually been placed on the music and styles that defined socials scenes. This exhibition will emphasize the role of design—furniture, lighting, graphics—in defining the spatial context as a Gesamtkunstwerk. Examples range from 1960s Italian clubs created by members of Radical Design to Studio 54, the Palladium in New York designed by Arata Isozaki, and more recent concepts by the OMA architecture studio for the Ministry of Sound in London.

“Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today”, Vitra Design Museum, from March 17, 2018 to September 9, 2018, Weil am Rhein, Germany

Luke Willis Thompson at Kunsthalle Basel

Not bad for a Swiss debut: The New Zealand artist will have his first solo exhibition in Switzerland opening alongside this year’s Art Basel at the city’s leading institution. Thompson received major acclaim in 2017 with his politically charged work commissioned by Chisendale Gallery, featuring Diamond Reynolds, the partner of Philando Castile, who documented his murder by a police officer on Facebook Live.

Luke Willis Thompson at Kunsthalle Basel, from June 8, 2018 to August 19, 2018, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland

Andy Warhol – After Munch, Munch Museum, Oslo

Edvard Munch was one of Andy Warhol’s favourite artists, and he visited the Munch Museum in 1983. The gallery is returning the favour this year with Andy Warhol – After Munch, an exhibition of his take on famous Munch works, including drawings, silkscreen prints and paintings. They include his versions of The Scream, and Self-Portrait with Skeleton Arm and Madonna, plus a screening of his 1963 film Kiss.

Andy Warhol – After Munch, from May 26, 2018 to August 26, 2018, Munch Museum, Oslo

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