Tim Marlow's Must-See Museum Shows: December 2019


Tim Marlow, artistic director for London's Royal Academy of Arts, chooses the best exhibitions to see this month, presented by Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Goya, Fragonard and Tiepolo each created powerful images in the 18th century that flouted norms and broke the canon, and visitors to the Hamburger Kunsthalle’s exhibition, opening 13 December, can compare these three masters. It’s among the most anticipated shows to see this month, alongside major presentations at the Pera Museum, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Art and the Bass Museum.

A Road Story: 180 Years of Photography

Pera Museum, Istanbul
5 December–1 March 2020

2019 marks the 180th anniversary of the invention of the photograph. In celebration of this, The Pera Museum in Istanbul is ending the year with an exhibition commemorating the birth of this art form.

1839 saw not only the beginnings of photography but also the very first photographic expedition. Three pioneers of the medium: French painter Emile Jean Horace Vernet, painter and Diorama-inventor Charles Marie Bouton, and Daguerreotypist Frederic August Antoine Goupil-Fesquet, set off together from Marseille. With their cameras, they travelled extensively through Europe and returned six months later with images of their monumental journey.

Now, ten contemporary photographers are exploring the very same route, producing their own photographic responses but using the technologies of today.

Cem Turgay, İzmir “Kadifekale”, 2019. ©Sanatçı / artist. Courtesy Pera Museum.

See their photographic work in, A Road Story: 180 Years of Photography at The Pera Museum, Istanbul from 5 December.

Thomas Gainsborough

Pushkin State Museum of Fine Art, Moscow
3 December–2 March 2020

A rguably the leading English portrait painter of the 18th century, often called the ‘Golden Age of British Painting’, Thomas Gainsborough is the subject of this major exhibition.

Thomas Gainsborough, Self-portrait, circa 1758–59.

This comprehensive show will feature works from throughout his career including examples of paintings, his original draftsmanship, and contextual archive materials. It will host unprecedented international loans, particularly from the UK, including delicate and rarely-lent landscapes painted on glass.

The artist’s remarkable work will be accompanied by that of the European Masters from whom he learnt his craft, namely Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Jacob van Ruisdael and Antoine Watteau.

Thomas Gainsborough, Mrs Elizabeth Moody with her sons Samuel and Thomas, circa 1779–85. Dulwich Picture Gallery, London.

Thomas Gainsborough opens at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Art in Moscow on 3 December and will run until 2 March 2020.

Lara Favaretto: Blind Spot

The Bass Museum, Miami
1 December–19 April 2020

I talian, multi-disciplinary artist, Lara Favaretto, deals with the unfixed and ever-changing and her exhibition, Blind Spot at the Bass Museum, Miami will be no exception.

Artist Lara Favoretto.

The show is to include new and recent works as well as ongoing series from the artist’s practice. A newly created site-specific installation for the museum’s permanent collection, In Gunmo (IV), will consist of five dynamic car wash brushes, twirling in constant motion, wearing themselves down on metal plates.

Favaretto’s work is often humorous and playful but simultaneously concerned with heavier subjects such as decay, loss, deterioration and consumption. Her use of found or abandoned objects and artworks is often profound and her output the result of extensive conceptual research.

Lara Favoretto, Gummo IV, 2012. Photograph by Mark Sherwood. Image courtesy Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art.

Blind Spot opens at The Bass, Miami on 1 December and runs until 19 April next year.

Goya, Fragonard and Tiepolo: The Freedom of Imagination

Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
13 December–13 April 2020

I n a grand finale of an exhibition, the Hamburger Kunsthalle is ending it’s 150th anniversary year by bringing together the works several masters of the 18th century.

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Christus in Gethsemane, after 1753. © Hamburger Kunsthalle / bpk. Photograph by Elke Walford.

Goya, Fragonard and Tiepolo: The Freedom of Imagination will look at this period of great change within European art history through the works of Goya, Fragonard, Giovanni Battista Tieplo and his son, Giovanni Domenico Tieplo. The show will feature around 100 key works of art and will allow visitors to directly compare the output of this spectacular set of artists who, each in very different ways, pushed the boundaries of conventional artistic practice and led the way for modernism.

Goya, Fragonard and Tiepolo: The Freedom of Imagination opens at the Hamburger Kunsthalle from 13 December through to 13 April 2020.

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