The Top Museum Exhibitions to See in April


T his month, don’t miss Doris Salcedo’s quietly confronting work, Maria Lassnig’s highly charged forms, Linda Bo Bardi’s Modernist monuments, and Mary Quant’s infamous mini-skirts.

Mary Quant at the Victoria and Albert Museum

This very first international retrospective of Mary Quant will explore the years between 1955 and 1975, showcasing more than 120 garments and never before seen designs – among them, colourful tights, hot pants, and tailored trousers, for which she is so well known. Sketches, photographs, cosmetics, and accessories will complement the sartorial offerings, giving insight into the rich career of the woman who changed the way the world looked, and whose rule-breaking fashion and subversive designs freed women and defined youth culture in the swinging 60s.

Mary Quant (foreground), with models showing her new shoe creations. PA/PA Archive/PA Images

The exhibition will not only revel in Quant’s innovative and playful style but also highlight the personal relationships between individuals and their Quant clothing, showcasing rare examples of her pioneering designs loaned from members of the public.

The Mary Quant Beauty bus, 1971. © INTERFOTO Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Mary Quant will be on view at the V&A, London, through 19 February 2020.

Maria Lassnig - Ways of Being at the Stedelijk Museum

For the majority of her career, Lassnig was largely underrepresented as an artist – her unnerving self-portraits made curators nervous. But her work was extremely personal, and her belief that painting should be experienced firsthand led her to explore the principle of ‘Body Consciousness’ which inspired the Austrian artist’s practice from the late 1940s onwards.

maria lassnig self portrait nude pointing a gun at her head and the viewer
Maria Lassnig, you or me, 2005. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth Collection Services.

Painting only the parts of her body that she could feel in the moment, her self-portraits explore relationships with sensation and sentiment. The abstracted forms and highly-charged hues combine to reform our perception of the human as a being.

Maria Lassnig, Self portrait with Umbrella, 1971. Courtesy Art Collection of the Province of Carinthia / MMKK, Klagenfurt. Photograph by F. Neumueller

This substantial retrospective will feature more than 200 artworks, including not only the celebrated “Körperbewusstseinsbilder” - ‘Body-Consciousness’ paintings - but also drawings, sculptures, film work, and even pieces which have never before been shown publicly.

Maria Lassnig: Ways of Being is on view at the Stedelijk Museum through 28 July.

Maria Lassnig, self with guinea pig, 2000. Private collection. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth Collection Services.

Maria Lassnig: Ways of Being is on view at the Stedelijk Museum through 11 August.

Doris Salcedo: Acts of Mourning at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

In Ireland, one of the most important sculptors working anywhere in the world, Colombian artist Doris Salcedo, has her first exhibition. Acts of Mourning, at IMMA will present an affecting assemblage of recent sculptures and installations by Salcedo. Her emotive artworks are often born from direct discussion with victims of violence or loss, and act as physical manifestations of grief, mourning, suffering and trauma.

Colombian artist Doris Salcedo. Photo by Lokman Ilhan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.
intersecting wood cabinets
Doris Salcedo, Untitled, 2007. © the artist. Photo © White Cube (Jack Hems).

Visitors will have the opportunity to experience pieces including, Dis-remembered, a response to the accounts of Chicago mothers whose children died as a result of gun violence, A Flor de Piel - a hand-sewn ‘shroud’ created from preserved rose petals as a memorial to a victim of torture, and the artist’s most recent sculptural series, Tabula Rasa, which addresses the physical and psychological scarring inflicted on survivors of sexual violence.

Doris Salcedo: Acts of Mourning, opens at IMMA, Dublin on 26 April.

Doris Salcedo, Disremembered VIII, 2016.

Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo

Lina Bo Bardi moved from Italy to Brazil in the 1940s and was profoundly influenced by her new environment of South America. She soon translated the formal rules of European Modernist design into the Latin American vernacular, creating a fusion of styles which became her own very individual language. Notably, she designed The São Paulo Museum of Art, a striking landmark of glass and concrete that floats eight metres from the ground.

Estudo preliminar - esculturas praticáveis do belvedere Museu Arte Trianon, 1968. Courtesy MASP.
Luis Hossaka

Now, the museum will explore Bo Bardi’s life and career in a show taking its name from the trend-setting arts magazine, Habitat, which she co-founded with her husband in 1950; its progressive ethos underscores the displays of Bo Bardi’s most significant projects, such as the seminal design of her Glass House, and guides viewers through the narrative of her personal history and the resonance of her cultural vision.

Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat is on view at MASP through 28 July.

More Must-See Museum Shows

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