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Best of Summer: Art Exhibitions Worth Travelling To

Summer is a time to get out side and enjoy nature and of course the sun. But it is also a time to soak up some art culture.

From global festivities to mark the 500th year anniversary of Leonardo di Vinci, to the first significant exhibition of Henry Moore work in Norfolk, to a retrospective of one of the first contemporary female artists to attain global fame, here are some not to be missed exhibitors across the globe, worth the travel.

June 28, 2019 – December 1,2019

Marciano Art Foundation
4357 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Installed in the former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, in Los Angeles, a place built by men for “men only”, Donna Huanca re-purposes this space and injects it with femininity. The temple is now home to multi sensory site specific exhibition incorporating painting, sculpture, sound, scent, and performance. Using varied media, such as raw pigments, turmeric, sand, latex and even humans. Hunaca explores the world of feminine creation. She creates an entire art ecosystem with static and permanent works, sculptures and painting as well as ephemeral performances employing her Femme painted models moving about freely and intuitively creating shifting artistic landscapes. Huanca refers to her “skin paintings “ as both her hanging canvases and her painted live models. In this exhibition, she uses a continuous palate of blues, whites, pale greens, punctuated by orange, throughout the entire installation blurring the boundaries between individual works. Her Femme models are painted and clothed in the same way her sculpture and canvas paintings are, thus when femme models move and interact with static works and exhibition space, the observer experiences living breathing art. This is a unique opportunity to step into the feminine power of creativity.

May 17- September 22, 2019

Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort Street
New York, NY 10014, USA

For a comprehensive look at what is happening currently in the American art scene, nothing beats the Whitney Biennial. Curators Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley have gathered together some of the most important and relevant work coming out of the US. They spent a year and a half combing though artists studios to curate this year’ Biennial, which features seventy-five artists and collectives working in all major artistic disciplines — painting, sculpture, installation, film and video, photography, performance, and sound. The Biennial is the longest-running exhibition program in the US, established in 1932 by museum founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. Panetta and Hockley have focused on the social and political concerns that preoccupy American artists, many of which extend to the rest of the world. The exhibition covers topics such aa gender, race, equality, individualism in the face of social our media revolution, and explorations of human corporal vulnerability. Today’s cutting edge artists provide an intimate look into our collective psyche through diverse media, from glossy high tech to organic and layered.

June 27 – 15 September, 2019

National Portrait Gallery
Saint Martin’s Place
London. WC2

The National Portrait Gallery hosts the most comprehensive Cindy Sherman retrospective to date, with about 150 works from the mid 1970s to the present day. One of the first contemporary female artists to attain global fame, Sherman is also the first undisputed “Selfie” queen. She has been been exploring image and identity through her self portraits. Sherman has an uncanny ability to observe our cultures and reflect them back to us. She is all of us. This exhibition is the most impressive survey of Sherman’s work to date; it features her early works, the “Untitled film stills” dating from the late70s depicting fictitious film noir scenes. In a single image the mind conjures an entire movie. Sherman’s later portraits range from romantic to haunting to comical, and sometimes even frightening.

May 1 – September 29, 2019

Houghton Hall, Norfolk

Photo Credit: Philip Marriott

Houghton Hall was built in 1722 by Sir Robert Walpole, Great Britain’s first Prime Minister. This is truly a place of extravagance, complete with unusual herd of white fallow deer that roam in the 450 acres of parkland surrounding the Hall. There is an impressive permanent collection of art on view, both historical and contemporary.

As the first significant exhibition of Henry Moore work in East Anglia in many years, Sebastiano Barassi, the Henry Moore Foundation’s Head of Collections & Exhibitions has curated this impressive exhibition. On view are several monumental outdoor pieces as well as smaller works and etchings. This is a perfect setting for Moore’s impressive sculptures. A meander through the quintessentially regal grounds are a wonderful setting for these sculptures. Be sure to pick up a map and not to miss any. Undisputedly, Britain’s Henry Moore was one of the great masters of taking in nature, exploring it, creating a dialog and giving back works which guide us through the wonder and beauty of it all. It is thrilling to witness masterpieces in settings that reflect the inspiration that gave them birth, and “Nature and Inspiration“ is such an exhibition. I invite you to muse over every detail of this can’t-miss exhibition.


June 18 2019 – September 15 2019 

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana
Piazza Pio XI, 2
20123 Milan, Italy
May 2nd, 2019 marked the 500th year anniversary of one of most influential forces of art, science and innovation, Leonardo Da Vinci. There will be several extraordinary exhibitions worth travelling for;  Italy has almost 80 events planned, with more in France and the UK.
The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, sponsored by the National Committee and the Territorial Committee, will be hosting a series of four awe-inspiring exhibitions of the most extensive collections of Da Vinci’s works across multiple disciplines, ranging from architecture and hydraulics, medicine and optics, mechanics and urban planning, geometry and astronomy, as well as anatomy and the figurative arts.  
18 June 2019 – 15 September 2019
Leonardo in France. Sheets from the French Period of the Code
This exhibition showcases architectural and hydraulic drawings made in France between 1516 and 1518, while Da Vinci was commissioned by Francis I, King of France, to build two castles for the King and his wife, Claude, Queen Consort of France. Though ultimately not used to build the palaces, these works influenced the building of the Château de Chambord in Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France.
And from 17 September 2019 – 12 January 2020
Leonardo and His Legacy
The artists and the techniques, featuring drawings from Da Vinci as well as other artists working in his circle.  The delicate pages of the codex Atlanticus, turned sepia by the passage of time, show us the hand and mind of a master, to whom science and art were one. Each one of these pages is a masterpiece, filled with many possibilities and inventions, some of which came to be and other perhaps still to come. This exhibition grants us audience into a visionary world. 

September 24 – 19 January 19 2020

Musée d’Orsay
1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur
75007 Paris


For quintessentially French experience, try the timeless elegance of the opera and ballet, as seen through the eyes of Degas.  From the 1860s up to his death in 1917, Degas captured the mystery and magic of these creative worlds. “Degas at the Opera,”  is a the first exhibition curated around the theme of  his “Own Room,” which is how Degas referred to the opera house. He devoted his life to depicting the stage, behind-the-scenes of his beloved opera houses and the people in them. He experimented and helped to develop the new aesthetic that evolved into Impressionism.  He captured ballerinas at work and at rest. His portrayals still inspire and influence dancers today. His richly jewelled palette conjures rooms filled with music and motion. His bronze dancers capture the stoic strength, discipline and determination of his muses. This exhibition encapsulates the timeless elegance that is Paris by showing us the romance of the art and social culture of this iconic city. 

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