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14 Must-See Exhibitions in America This Year

Here, we’ve compiled a list of 14 American art exhibitions you must see in 2020. There’s something for everyone in this year’s line-up from Van Gogh to King Tut.

Kusama with Pumpkin, Yayoi Kusama, 2010
Kusama with Pumpkin, Yayoi Kusama, 2010

Separated by location, we’ve compiled a list of 14 American art exhibitions you must see in 2020. There’s something for everyone in this year’s line-up from Van Gogh to King Tut.

So, whether you’re a local or you’re looking for museums to go to while on vacation, we’ve got you covered.

WEST COAST

Betye Saar: Call and Response

Now – April 5th at LACMA in Los Angeles, CA

14 Must-See Exhibitions in America This Year

By taking a look at her early sketches and the complete works that came from them, Betye Saar: Call and Response is a lifetime of work where you follow Saar through her incredible career.

From her time as a young black woman growing up outside of New York in the 1960s to her travels through Africa, Mexico, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and finally making her way to southern California, you’ll see it all reflected in this exhibition centered around her sketchbooks.

Norman Rockwell: Imagining Freedom

May 3 – August 23 at the Denver Art Museum in Denver, CO

Freedom of Speech, Norman Rockwell, 1943
Freedom of Speech, Norman Rockwell, 1943

In the 1940s, in an effort to encourage Americans to support the war effort, President Roosevelt developed a concept called the Four Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. Roosevelt turned to artists to help him spread the word and Rockwell is one of many who took on the challenge.

Norman Rockwell: Imaging Freedom zeros in on Rockwell’s depictions of these Four Freedoms and the way the artist exemplified everyday communities and domestic life.

 


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Yoshitomo Nara

April 5 – August 2 at LACMA in Los Angeles, CA

 I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight, Yoshitomo Nara, 2017
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight, Yoshitomo Nara, 2017

One of Nara’s main passions was music and this exhibition focuses on his paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculpture, sketches, and immersive experiences alongside his collection of album covers that inspired his work.

“There was no museum where I grew up so my exposure to art came from the album covers,” Nara told the Financial Times in 2014. This exhibition is an incredible way to explore the work of the most beloved Japanese artist of his generation.

NEW YORK

Gerhard Richter: Painting After All

March 4 – July 5 at The Met Breuer in New York, NY

Birkenau, Gerhard Richter, 2014 
Birkenau, Gerhard Richter, 2014

Centered around two important series by the artist, Birkenau and Cage, both of which are being presented here for the first time in the US, Gerhard Richter: Painting After All explores Richter’s six-decade-long preoccupation with naturalism and abstraction.

 


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Carl Craig: Party/Afterparty

March 6 – September 7 at Dia:Beacon in New York, NY

Carl Craig: Party/Afterparty

The acclaimed DJ from Detroit Carl Craig has created an interesting art experience at Dia:Beacon. The sound installation in the building’s bottom level explores the techno tradition of using industrial spaces for musical experimentation.

It also comments on the euphoric environment of clubs, followed by deep loneliness many feel as you come down from the experience. This exhibition is sure to be unique and interesting.

Judd

March 1 – July 11 at MoMA in New York, NY

Untitled, Donald Judd, 1991 

Although Donald Judd prefers not to categorize himself as a sculptor, he is undoubtedly one of this generation’s leaders in the genre. By using industrial materials and moving into the three-dimensional space, he made objects in a new and exciting way.

He has all but changed the language of modern sculpture and Judd is the first US retrospective of this groundbreaking work in 30 years.

Kusama: Cosmic Nature

May 9 – November 1 at New York Botanical Garden in New York, NY

 Kusama with Pumpkin, Yayoi Kusama, 2010
Kusama with Pumpkin, Yayoi Kusama, 2010

Known for her immersive work that explores our connectedness to all things, Yayoi Kusama reveals her lifelong fascination with nature in Kusama: Cosmic Nature.

This one-of-a-kind exhibition is presented exclusively and uniquely at the New York Botanical Garden where mirrored environments, organic forms, flora sculptures, and an immersive greenhouse installation will be on display.

 


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NORTHEAST

Jasper Johns

Fall 2020 at Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, NY and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, PA

Three Flags, Jasper Johns, 1958
Three Flags, Jasper Johns, 1958

When one speaks of influential American artists, Jasper Johns is surely on the list. In an incredible collaboration with the Whitney and Philadelphia Museum of Art, both museums are taking visitors through a retrospective of his work.

Paying homage to Johns’ infatuation with mirror images and doubles, the two exhibitions will act as reflections of one another, so visiting both museums each present a unique experience. Featuring paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints, fans of the prolific artist won’t be disappointed and the exhibition, done in such a brilliant way, is a sort of artwork in itself.

Joan Mitchell

September 2020 at The Baltimore Museum of Art in Baltimore, MD

No Rain, Joan Mitchell, 1976
No Rain, Joan Mitchell, 1976

Co-organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, this Joan Mitchell retrospective celebrates the arc of her creative process. Mitchell is known as a key figure of the American Abstract Expressionist movement and the exhibition highlights her vibrant collection of work.

Raphael and His Circle

February 16 – June 14 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC

The Prophets Hosea and Jonah, Rafael, c.1510
The Prophets Hosea and Jonah, Rafael, c.1510

To celebrate the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death, the National Gallery of Art is commemorating the master painter, draughtsman, archeologist, architect, and poet of the Italian Renaissance.

This intimate exhibition features 25 prints and drawings by Raphael himself and some of his closest friends including Giulio Romano, Polidoro da Caravaggio, and Perino del Vaga.

 


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King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharoah

June 13 – January 3, 2021 at the Museum of Science (The Castle) in Boston, MA

King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharoah

This exhibition features over 150 artifacts from Tutankhamen’s tomb and will be traveling all over the world. It’s the first time that 60 of these artifacts have left Egypt and it’s sure to be a showstopper.

MIDWEST/SOUTH

Prospect.5: Yesterday we said tomorrow

October 24 – January 24, 2021, in New Orleans, LA

Prospect.5: Yesterday we said tomorrow

Taking place throughout the city of New Orleans at museums, cultural spaces, and public spaces, the fifth edition of Prospect New Orleans is set to features artists not only from the States but also from the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe.

The title is taken from New Orleans jazz musician Christian Scott’s album and commemorates the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. With various art forms coming together, it’s not one to miss if you’re in the area.

Millet and Modern Art: From Van Gogh to Dali

February 16 – May 17 at the St. Louis Art Museum in St. Louis, MO

The Gleaners, Jean-Francois Millet, 1857
The Gleaners, Jean-Francois Millet, 1857

This important exhibition is the first time that works by the influential French painter Jean-Francois Millet have been examined. In his time, he was seen as one of the best, but now – he is lesser known than his contemporaries. The St. Louis Art Museum hopes to change that with this presentation.

Van Gogh in America

June 21 – September 27 at Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, MI

Self-portrait with Straw Hat, Van Gogh, summer 1887 (By Vincent van Gogh - 1. vggallery.com2. The Detroit Institute of Arts3. Google Art Project works from the Detroit Institute of Arts, Public Domain
Self-portrait, Vincent van Gogh, 1887

Whether you’re entranced by his flowers or intrigued by his self-portraits, Van Gogh has captured the imagination of art lovers for decades. Van Gogh in America presents 65 paintings and works on paper to explore Van Gogh’s first reception in America as early promoters of modernism reveal their role in the artist’s success.

Did you know that the Detroit Institute of Arts was the first public museum to acquire a Van Gogh back in 1922?

Kusama with Pumpkin, Yayoi Kusama, 2010
Kusama with Pumpkin, Yayoi Kusama, 2010

Separated by location, we’ve compiled a list of 14 American art exhibitions you must see in 2020. There’s something for everyone in this year’s line-up from Van Gogh to King Tut.

So, whether you’re a local or you’re looking for museums to go to while on vacation, we’ve got you covered.

WEST COAST

Betye Saar: Call and Response

Now – April 5th at LACMA in Los Angeles, CA

14 Must-See Exhibitions in America This Year

By taking a look at her early sketches and the complete works that came from them, Betye Saar: Call and Response is a lifetime of work where you follow Saar through her incredible career.

From her time as a young black woman growing up outside of New York in the 1960s to her travels through Africa, Mexico, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and finally making her way to southern California, you’ll see it all reflected in this exhibition centered around her sketchbooks.

Norman Rockwell: Imagining Freedom

May 3 – August 23 at the Denver Art Museum in Denver, CO

Freedom of Speech, Norman Rockwell, 1943
Freedom of Speech, Norman Rockwell, 1943

In the 1940s, in an effort to encourage Americans to support the war effort, President Roosevelt developed a concept called the Four Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. Roosevelt turned to artists to help him spread the word and Rockwell is one of many who took on the challenge.

Norman Rockwell: Imaging Freedom zeros in on Rockwell’s depictions of these Four Freedoms and the way the artist exemplified everyday communities and domestic life.

 


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Yoshitomo Nara

April 5 – August 2 at LACMA in Los Angeles, CA

 I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight, Yoshitomo Nara, 2017
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight, Yoshitomo Nara, 2017

One of Nara’s main passions was music and this exhibition focuses on his paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculpture, sketches, and immersive experiences alongside his collection of album covers that inspired his work.

“There was no museum where I grew up so my exposure to art came from the album covers,” Nara told the Financial Times in 2014. This exhibition is an incredible way to explore the work of the most beloved Japanese artist of his generation.

NEW YORK

Gerhard Richter: Painting After All

March 4 – July 5 at The Met Breuer in New York, NY

Birkenau, Gerhard Richter, 2014 
Birkenau, Gerhard Richter, 2014

Centered around two important series by the artist, Birkenau and Cage, both of which are being presented here for the first time in the US, Gerhard Richter: Painting After All explores Richter’s six-decade-long preoccupation with naturalism and abstraction.

 


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What Makes Art Valuable?


 

Carl Craig: Party/Afterparty

March 6 – September 7 at Dia:Beacon in New York, NY

Carl Craig: Party/Afterparty

The acclaimed DJ from Detroit Carl Craig has created an interesting art experience at Dia:Beacon. The sound installation in the building’s bottom level explores the techno tradition of using industrial spaces for musical experimentation.

It also comments on the euphoric environment of clubs, followed by deep loneliness many feel as you come down from the experience. This exhibition is sure to be unique and interesting.

Judd

March 1 – July 11 at MoMA in New York, NY

Untitled, Donald Judd, 1991 

Although Donald Judd prefers not to categorize himself as a sculptor, he is undoubtedly one of this generation’s leaders in the genre. By using industrial materials and moving into the three-dimensional space, he made objects in a new and exciting way.

He has all but changed the language of modern sculpture and Judd is the first US retrospective of this groundbreaking work in 30 years.

Kusama: Cosmic Nature

May 9 – November 1 at New York Botanical Garden in New York, NY

 Kusama with Pumpkin, Yayoi Kusama, 2010
Kusama with Pumpkin, Yayoi Kusama, 2010

Known for her immersive work that explores our connectedness to all things, Yayoi Kusama reveals her lifelong fascination with nature in Kusama: Cosmic Nature.

This one-of-a-kind exhibition is presented exclusively and uniquely at the New York Botanical Garden where mirrored environments, organic forms, flora sculptures, and an immersive greenhouse installation will be on display.

 


RECOMMENDED ARTICLE:

Horst P. Horst the Avant-Garde Fashion Photographer


 

NORTHEAST

Jasper Johns

Fall 2020 at Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, NY and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, PA

Three Flags, Jasper Johns, 1958
Three Flags, Jasper Johns, 1958

When one speaks of influential American artists, Jasper Johns is surely on the list. In an incredible collaboration with the Whitney and Philadelphia Museum of Art, both museums are taking visitors through a retrospective of his work.

Paying homage to Johns’ infatuation with mirror images and doubles, the two exhibitions will act as reflections of one another, so visiting both museums each present a unique experience. Featuring paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints, fans of the prolific artist won’t be disappointed and the exhibition, done in such a brilliant way, is a sort of artwork in itself.

Joan Mitchell

September 2020 at The Baltimore Museum of Art in Baltimore, MD

No Rain, Joan Mitchell, 1976
No Rain, Joan Mitchell, 1976

Co-organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, this Joan Mitchell retrospective celebrates the arc of her creative process. Mitchell is known as a key figure of the American Abstract Expressionist movement and the exhibition highlights her vibrant collection of work.

Raphael and His Circle

February 16 – June 14 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC

The Prophets Hosea and Jonah, Rafael, c.1510
The Prophets Hosea and Jonah, Rafael, c.1510

To celebrate the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death, the National Gallery of Art is commemorating the master painter, draughtsman, archeologist, architect, and poet of the Italian Renaissance.

This intimate exhibition features 25 prints and drawings by Raphael himself and some of his closest friends including Giulio Romano, Polidoro da Caravaggio, and Perino del Vaga.

 


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Top 10 Greek Antiquities Sold In The Last Decade


 

King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharoah

June 13 – January 3, 2021 at the Museum of Science (The Castle) in Boston, MA

King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharoah

This exhibition features over 150 artifacts from Tutankhamen’s tomb and will be traveling all over the world. It’s the first time that 60 of these artifacts have left Egypt and it’s sure to be a showstopper.

MIDWEST/SOUTH

Prospect.5: Yesterday we said tomorrow

October 24 – January 24, 2021, in New Orleans, LA

Prospect.5: Yesterday we said tomorrow

Taking place throughout the city of New Orleans at museums, cultural spaces, and public spaces, the fifth edition of Prospect New Orleans is set to features artists not only from the States but also from the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe.

The title is taken from New Orleans jazz musician Christian Scott’s album and commemorates the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. With various art forms coming together, it’s not one to miss if you’re in the area.

Millet and Modern Art: From Van Gogh to Dali

February 16 – May 17 at the St. Louis Art Museum in St. Louis, MO

The Gleaners, Jean-Francois Millet, 1857
The Gleaners, Jean-Francois Millet, 1857

This important exhibition is the first time that works by the influential French painter Jean-Francois Millet have been examined. In his time, he was seen as one of the best, but now – he is lesser known than his contemporaries. The St. Louis Art Museum hopes to change that with this presentation.

Van Gogh in America

June 21 – September 27 at Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, MI

Self-portrait with Straw Hat, Van Gogh, summer 1887 (By Vincent van Gogh - 1. vggallery.com2. The Detroit Institute of Arts3. Google Art Project works from the Detroit Institute of Arts, Public Domain
Self-portrait, Vincent van Gogh, 1887

Whether you’re entranced by his flowers or intrigued by his self-portraits, Van Gogh has captured the imagination of art lovers for decades. Van Gogh in America presents 65 paintings and works on paper to explore Van Gogh’s first reception in America as early promoters of modernism reveal their role in the artist’s success.

Did you know that the Detroit Institute of Arts was the first public museum to acquire a Van Gogh back in 1922?

Kaylee Randall
Kaylee Randall
Kaylee Randall is a contributing writer, originally from Florida. who is deeply interested and invested in the arts. She lives in Australia and writes about health, fitness, art, and entertainment while sharing her own stories of transition on her personal blog.

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