Tim Marlow's Must-See Museum Exhibitions: January 2020


Tim Marlow, director and CEO of London's Design Museum, chooses the best exhibitions to see this month, presented by Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

L ater this month, Jacques-Louis David’s Neoclassical masterpiece of Napoleon crossing the alps will travel to New York for the very first time. Displayed at the Brooklyn Museum alongside Kehinde Wiley’s contemporary reinterpretation, both works in this unprecedented pairing reflect the unique conditions of their respective times. It’s just one of January’s must-see exhibitions, chosen by Tim Marlow, the Design Museum in London’s new director and CEO. Don’t miss this and other exhibitions opening this month in Basel, Cornwall, and Los Angeles.

Naum Gabo

Tate St. Ives, Cornwall
25 January–3 May

Naum Gabo, Construction in Space with Crystalline Centre 1938–40, The Work of Naum Gabo © Nina & Graham Williams / Tate, 2019.

Tate St. Ives is presenting an extensive show of the works of celebrated Russian constructivist sculptor and painter, Naum Gabo. The exhibition will mark the centenary of the Realistic Manifesto 1920, a set of artistic principles set out by the artist and his brother to usher in a new style declaring that modern art ought to engage with and reflect the modern age.

Now, 2020 will see the first large-scale exhibition of his work in the UK in over 30 years. The gallery will bring together a diverse mix of sculptures, paintings, drawings and architecture in a presentation sure to introduce visitors to this complex and avant-garde artist.

Naum Gabo opens at Tate St. Ives in Cornwall on 25 January and runs until 3 May .

Edward Hopper

Foundation Beyeler, Basel
26 January–17 May

EDWARD HOPPER, CAPE COD MORNING, 1950. © Heirs of Josephine Hopper I 2019, Prolitter is, Zurich Photo: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gene Youn.

Edward Hopper’s realist works are usually on display on American soil, but this time his canvases can be viewed at the Foundation Beyeler, Basel.

More than 60 paintings, in both oil and watercolour, including well-known pieces and rarer selections, will feature in a show of artist’s landscapes for the first time. In this genre, Hopper explored the relationship between humans and the natural world. The show promises to convey how in these snapshots of America’s East Coastline and urban landscape, he could demonstrate the environment’s effect on people’s inner lives.

Look out for his signature use of motifs of modern life such as streets, gas stations and sailing boats!

Edward Hopper opens at Foundation Beyeler, Basel from 26 January–17 May.

Tishan Hsu: Liquid Circuit

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
26 January–9 April

Tishan Hsu, Autopsy, 1988. Karin and Peter Haas Collection, Zurich.

LA’s Hammer Museum is presenting the exciting work of Tishan Hsu. Entitled Liquid Circuit, the exhibition will draw clear links between the themes and ideas explored by the artist throughout his career, and those tackled by the artists of today. It will demonstrate how Tsu has always been ahead of his time in regards to the concerns of his practice, exploring pertinent issues including the impact of advances in technological and artificial intelligence on humans, from as early as the 1980s.

Re-introducing Hsu and his output to a contemporary audience, the exhibition will bring together approximately 30 important sculptures, wall reliefs, drawings and media works. It will celebrate his ability as an artist to not only interrogate and examine issues of the time but to foresee and create prescient work.

Tishan Hsu: Liquid Circuit is organized by SculptureCenter, New York, and curated by Sohrab Mohebbi. The Hammer’s presentation is organized by Aram Moshayedi, Robert Soros, curator, with Nicholas Barlow, curatorial assistant, and is on view from 26 January–9 April.

Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley

Brooklyn Museum, New York
24 January until 10 May

Kehinde Wiley, Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps, 2005. © Kehinde Wiley. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

At The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Jacques-Louis David’s Neoclassical masterpiece, Bonaparte Crossing the Alps will be shown in New York for the very first time. It will be presented, fittingly, alongside a contemporary work which it directly inspired - Kehinde Wiley’s, Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps (2005).

Both works depict male protagonists sat heroically on rearing horses - one an unknown black male in streetwear, embodying the unique conditions of our modern day and age, the other, the French general Napoleon. Divided by time, both men come face to face in this momentous exhibition, allowing us to question the crucial roles of race, masculinity and power within portraiture.

Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley runs at the Brooklyn Museum from 24 January until 10 May.

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