Art Exhibitions Not to Miss in 2021

If you’re looking for ideas for exhibitions to do this summer or in the coming months, you’ve come to the right place! Artsper has put together the 6 must-see exhibitions for 2021. From Picasso to the Olmec civilization to Yayoi Kusama, here are our exhibition recommendations to satiate your mind for a while.

1. Niki de Saint-Phalle: Structures for Life, MoMA New-York

For this monumental retrospective at New York’s Museum Of Modern Art, approximately 200 works created throughout Niki de Saint-Phalle’s entire career will be showcased. This is the first time the feminist artist will be honored with an exhibition of such magnitude in the United States. The visionary Niki de Saint-Phalle has worked in a variety of media including jewelry, books and even perfume, often relying on avant-garde techniques. On display from March 11th to September 6th, 2021, find her famous Nanas as well as works produced earlier in her career. 

Niki de Saint Phalle. Tarot Garden exhibition
Niki de Saint Phalle. Tarot Garden. 1991. Lithograph, 23.7 x 31.5″ (60.3 x 80 cm). © 2019 NIKI CHARITABLE ART FOUNDATION. Photo: Ed Kessler


2. Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective, Gropius Bau Berlin

If there’s a Yayoi Kusama exhibition you shouldn’t miss, it’s the one at the Gropius Bau. From March 25th to August 1st, 2021, this monumental retrospective brings together works created throughout the artist’s 70-year career. The show brings together eight of Yayoi Kusama’s past exhibitions into one, within a space that spans over 3000 m2. For the occasion, Kusama will also unveil a new Infinity Mirror Room, one of her most famous recent works. The exhibition will move to Tel Aviv next, in the fall.

Yayoi Kusama, “Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field”
Yayoi Kusama, “Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field”, 1965
© YAYOI KUSAMA, courtesy: Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro & David Zwirner

3. Tracey Emin / Edvard munch: The Loneliness of the Soul, Royal Academy of Arts London

Inspired by Edvard Munch throughout her career, Tracey Emin will have the chance to see her works exhibited alongside those of the Norwegian master and painter of The Scream. The exhibition is superb, exploring introspective themes that question the foundations of the mind and highlight Edvard Munch’s influence on Tracey Emin’s work. The British artist  will show 25 works alongside 18 oil paintings by the expressionist artist. 

tracey emin exhibition 2021
Tracey Emin in front of This is life without you – You made me Feel LikeThis (2018)

4. Vermeer: On reflection, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden

From September 10th, 2021 to January 2, 2022, an exhibition on the painter Johannes Vermeer will be exhibited at the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, Germany. Well-known pieces such as Woman in blue reading a letter or Young Woman Standing at a Virginal will be shown. The highlight of the show will be one of the Dutch master’s paintings that was hidden long after his death, even though he is supposedly the painter of it. Specialists have gradually removed the upper layer from the original painting. It will be shown for the first time at this exciting exhibition. 

Johannes Vermeer
Johannes Vermeer, Brieflesendes Mädchen am offenen Fenster / Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, um / c. 1657–1659

5. “Picasso-Rodin”, A double exhibition, at the Musée national Picasso and the Musée Rodin

From May 19th, 2021 to January 2nd, 2022, the Picasso-Paris National Museum and the Rodin Museum are joining forces to offer a double exhibition on two artistic masters. That’s right: Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin! The event brings together the visions of these two pioneers in an unexpected way, highlighting their similarities. The sensibilities and experimental nature of their works are seen throughout, whether it be through sculptures, paintings or drawings. Both collections are rich, helping us understanding how these artists revolutionized their contemporary artistic techniques, for both Cubism and Expressionism.

Picasso & Rodin Exhibition Paris
Picasso & Rodin are highlighted at the Musée Picasso and Musée Rodin in Paris

6. “The Olmecs and the cultures of the Gulf of Mexico”, an exhibition at the Quai Branly Museum

The enigmatic pre-Columbian civilizations of the Gulf of Mexico and the Olmecs (1600 B.C. – 100 A.D.) are in the spotlight from May 19th to October 3rd, 2021 at the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac. Although a great deal remains unknown about these cultures, they stand as one of the most perennial within Latin America. They had a remarkable artistic sensitivity. Hence, they’ve provided the basis for most of Mesoamerican culture, from both an economic as well as artistic and social point of view. Between traditions, beliefs and languages, this exhibition on Olmec culture highlights the incredible diversity of a mysterious civilization.

Exhibition on the Olmecs and the civilizations of the Gulf of Mexico
Poster of the Exhibition on the Olmecs and the civilizations of the Gulf of Mexico at Musée du Quai Branly, in Paris

That’s it! You now have everything to satisfy your curiosity for the rest of 2021 with all these exhibitions! You can also find works by great contemporary artists and emerging artists on Artsper.

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