Tim Marlow's Must-See Museum Shows: November 2023

November 2023

Looking for some inspiration for your next museum visit? This month, we're taking a tour of the world's most exciting and innovative museum exhibitions with Tim Marlow, CEO and Director of the Design Museum, London.

Africa & Byzantium

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
19 November 2023 – 3 March 2024

Tile with Lion, Carthage, 6th century, Musée National de Carthage

Bringing together the art and culture of Byzantium and Africa, this ambitious New York exhibition looks in a new way at their importance to the development of the premodern world.

Africa & Byzantium comprises over 200 objects, from frescoes and mosaics to jewelry and manuscripts borrowed from many of the great collections, spanning over ten centuries of complex cultural exchange and influence.

Modigliani: Modern Gazes

Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
24 November 2023 – 17 March 2024

Amedeo Modigliani, Reclining Nude on a White Cushion, circa 1917 © Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

Modigliani: Modern Gazes focuses on the 20th-century Italian artist’s portraits of modern women from bohemian Paris who stare unapologetically at the viewer, defiant and – as the director of the Staatsgalerie, Christiane Lange puts it – “emancipated”.

Works by German-speaking contemporaries Paula Modersohn-Becker, Jeanne Mammen, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and Wilhelm Lehmbruck also feature, in a show that places Modigliani in the wider cultural context of the young European avant-garde.

Mark Rothko: Paintings on Paper.

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
19 November 2023 – 31 March 2024

Mark Rothko, Untitled (seated figure in interior), c. 1938, watercolor on construction paper, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc. Copyright © 2023 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Rothko exhibitions have always focused on his canvases but the artist drew no distinction between them and his paintings on paper – some of which were up to seven feet tall.

Forming the basis of Mark Rothko: Paintings on Paper, a ground-breaking show at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, many of the watercolors, acrylics and oil paintings on paper have never been seen before.

Botticelli Drawings

19 November 2023 – 11 February 2024
Legion of Honor, San Francisco

Sandro Botticelli, The Devout Jews at Pentecost, circa 1505. Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt, Photograph by Wolfgang Fuhrmannek.

Although his reputation dwindled until the Pre-Raphaelites rediscovered his work in the 19th century, Sandro Botticelli is now one of the most revered of the Renaissance masters.

There has, however, never been a significant exhibition of his drawings so Botticelli Drawings – an admirable and important project – will give us the chance to trace his artistic journey in a more intimate way than ever before.

An Atlas of Es Devlin

Cooper Hewitt, New York
18 November 2023 – 11 August 2024

Beyoncé's Renaissance tour. Photo credit: Es Devlin

Devlin is a polymath and then some, with a wide ranging practice that incorporates stage design from La Scala in Milan to the Super Bowl. She is utterly compelling but hard to classify, which is why it is appropriate that Devlin herself will install her 30 year archive.

An Atlas of Es Devlin – featuring over 300 sketches, paintings, cutouts, and maquettes – will also stage a replica of her London studio along with giant film installations, a library programme including collective readings and the chance to participate in a cumulative artwork.

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