Europe’s grand art exhibitions of 2024

Yoko Ono, FLY 1970 – 71 Credit: Yoko Ono/Tate Modern

Europe is poised to host a spectacular array of art exhibitions in 2024, showcasing the diverse and profound impact of artists across centuries. From the avant-garde activism of Yoko Ono to the pop art revolution of Roy Lichtenstein and the timeless magic of Frans Hals’ 17th-century portraits, the continent is set to dazzle art enthusiasts with a diverse array of exhibitions that span centuries and genres.

The art scene in Europe for 2024 is nothing short of thrilling, promising an exciting journey through retrospectives, international debuts, and comprehensive showcases. 

The Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden, has opened its doors to the extensive exhibition, “Lotte Laserstein: A Divided Life,” which began on November 11, 2023, and will run until April 14, 2024. This showcase sheds light on the groundbreaking German-Swedish artist Lotte Laserstein, emphasising both her pre-emigration period and her multifaceted creations in exile. At the heart of the exhibition is Laserstein’s renowned masterpiece, ‘Evening Over Potsdam,’ a compelling portrayal of young people on a balcony against the backdrop of the Weimar Republic’s tumultuous end.

Muzeum Susch in Switzerland is staging the first international retrospective of acclaimed Estonian artist Anu Põder (1947-2013). Titled “Anu Põder: Space for My Body,” the exhibition assembles over forty works spanning the years 1978 to 2012. Põder, known for her use of unconventional materials like textile, wax, plaster, and soap, explores Estonian identity and the fragility of the human body through evocative sculptures. The exhibition, set within the historic walls of a former 12th-century monastery and brewery, promises a unique setting to experience Põder’s artistic journey. It opened on January 3, 2024, and continues until June 30, 2024.

The Royal Academy of Arts in London takes centre stage with “Entangled Pasts, 1768–now: Art, Colonialism, and Change.” Opening on February 3, 2024, and running until April 28, 2024, this exhibition explores the collision of past and present, showcasing over 100 major contemporary and historic works from more than 50 artists. The highlights include Hew Locke’s major installation ‘Armada’ and Joshua Reynolds’ stunning ‘Portrait of a Man,’ reflecting on how art is entangled with colonial histories.

London’s stunning Courtauld Gallery presents “Frank Auerbach: The Charcoal Heads,” opening on February 9, 2024, and running until May 27, 2024. The exhibition features hauntingly beautiful, large-scale drawings created by German-British artist Frank Auerbach in the 1950s and early 1960s. Auerbach’s heads, emerging alive from the charcoal darkness, reflect the struggle of creation and destruction, mirroring the postwar era’s rebuilding.

Renowned for creating the most expensive sculpture ever auctioned, Alberto Giacometti’s artistic genius takes centre stage in a comprehensive exhibition at the SMK National Gallery of Denmark. Opening on February 10, 2024, and running until May 20, 2024, the showcase offers an in-depth exploration of the 20th-century Swiss artist’s work, spanning sculpture, painting, graphics, and drawing.

London’s Tate Modern is set to host “Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind” from February 15, 2024, to September 1, 2024. The extensive exhibition invites visitors to explore the Japanese multimedia artist’s creative evolution over seven decades. With over 200 artworks, the showcase encompasses installations, films, scores, music, and photography. Notable focuses include Ono’s radical works produced during her five-year residence in London from 1966, featuring iconic pieces like ‘Apple’ and the emotionally charged installation ‘Half-A-Room.’

After celebrated solo exhibitions of Vermeer and Rembrandt, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is set to unveil an exhibition dedicated to Frans Hals in 2024. Opening on February 16, 2024, and running until June 9, 2024, the showcase features approximately 50 of the Dutch master’s greatest paintings, emphasising Hals’s reputation as one of the 17th century’s most innovative artists.

Roy Lichtenstein, one of the leading early pioneers of the pop art movement, is celebrated with a grand retrospective at the ALBERTINA Museum in Vienna. Opening on March 8, 2024, and running until July 14, 2024, the exhibition features over 90 paintings, sculptures, and graphic works, showcasing Lichtenstein’s iconic ’60s pieces like ‘Look Mickey’ and ‘Popeye.’

In celebration of the 250th anniversary of Caspar David Friedrich’s birth (1774–1840), the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin unveils “Caspar David Friedrich: Infinite Landscapes” on April 19, 2024. Running until August 4, 2024, this inaugural and comprehensive exhibition is dedicated to the works of the most prominent painter of the German Romantic movement.

As the city of Paris gears up to host the Olympic Games, the Musée du Louvre is set to unfold the fascinating exhibition titled “Olympism: Modern Invention, Ancient Legacy” on April 24, 2024. Running until September 16, 2024, the showcase delves into the origins of the first modern Olympic Games, highlighting the political backdrop and visionary efforts of organisers to reimagine ancient Greek sporting competitions.

In this grand artistic odyssey, Europe invites the world to witness the profound impact of artists across generations and genres, creating a tapestry of creativity that transcends time and captivates the soul.

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