Feature

Travel-worthy Art Destinations in Europe this Spring

20 Mar 2019

By Sandy Di Yu

While we’ll never say no to a good dose of vices during our holidays, the recipe for an amazing trip calls for balancing that out with some art and culture. This spring, discover some of the best contemporary art exhibitions scattered across Europe and have a memorable vacation that you can actually remember.

Spring break doesn’t have to mean 5 litres of tequila followed by a blackout and a hangover that lasts an entire week. While we’ll never say no to a good dose of vices during our holidays, the recipe for an amazing trip calls for balancing that out with some art and culture. This spring, discover some of the best contemporary art exhibitions scattered across Europe and have a memorable vacation that you can actually remember.

CREVÉ: Jesse Darling at Triangle France in Marseille, France

For their first institutional solo presentation in France, Jesse Darling reflects on failing structures of power and knowledge, with works that attempt to visualise the precariousness of architectural, cultural, and corporeal bodies as a form of wounded optimism. Located in the beautifully bright space of Triangle France with large windows that give a stunning view of Marseille, Darling's work features drawings, installations and more. Included in the exhibition is a tank of fresh flowers which will remain untouched and thus wither and rot until the end of the show, speaking to the title which roughly translates to “knackered”. For a tour of the exhibition and other gems from Marseille, check out our Instagram Story for Marseille which is pinned in our highlights.

Calder — Picasso at Musée Picasso Paris in Paris, France

The history of visual perception is decorated with interesting characters, and few characters have impacted the trajectory of this history like Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso. This exhibition examines the two artists in tandem, both their resonances and their differences, with around 150 works unified around the theme of negative space.

Julie Béna: Anna & the Jester in Window of Opportunity at Jeu de Paume in Paris, France

At once unsettling and light-hearted, Julia Béna’s practice constructs avatars on which singular agency and voice are placed. For her newest exhibition, Anna & the Jester in Window of Opportunity is an architectural tale that blurs the line between virtual and real.

Flying Pictures at Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin, Germany

Combining elements of art, music and dance performance, Flying Pictures is a presentation by Berlin-based dance group Flying Steps and Brazilian street artists Osgemeos to break the boundaries between disparate genres of art.

Käthe-Kollwitz-Preis 2019: Hito Steyerl at Akademie der Künste | Pariser Platz in Berlin, Germany

This large-scale installation by acclaimed artist and theorist Hito Steyerl relates themes of her recent research (war, militarised computer technology and colonial power structures to name a few) with the specific area of Berlin where the exhibition takes place. In relating Berlin to the war zones in Kurdistan and colonial Africa, a Lefebvrian sense of space is produced within the walls of the Akademie. For a sneak peek of the exhibition, visit our Instagram to access the story on the exhibition.

James Turrell: Aural at Jüdisches Museum Berlin in Berlin, Germany

In this immersive light installation, James Turrel's Aural is an experience which suspends the rules of the empirical world. The first of his series named "Ganzfeld", a German word describing the phenomenon of total loss of depth perception, this sensorial experience refers to light in Judaic symbolism, an integral part of divine creation.

bauhaus imaginista at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Germany

Relating the historical art school on its centenary to other avant-garde movements worldwide, this major exhibition goes beyond the spatial and temporal confinements of its existence to reimagine the Bauhaus as a cosmopolitan project with global resonances. The school was originally founded by Walter Gropius (whose uncle built the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin), and throughout the years of 1919 until 1933 it created and taught the idea of the “Gesamtkunstwerk”, an idea originating from the German composer Wagner that describes a universal artwork that makes use of all art forms in its conception.

Sinae Yoo: Petrichor at Futura Center for Contemporary Art in Prague, Czech Republic

In her first Czech exhibition, Korean-born artist Sinae Yoo presents a new film installation shot in Baltimore which focuses on the automobile as the symbol of a hypermasculinity, an exploration of late capitalism and its inescapable self-exhaustion.

The Future Starts Here at ArkDes in Stockholm, Sweden

This exhibition brings together the newest creations from cutting-edge technology today, some of them so new that they’re still in development and have yet to be released. Showing innovative techniques and how our world of tomorrow can be affected by the designs of today, visitors are invited to consider the potentially lasting impacts of objects shown.

Alison Jackson. Truth is Dead in at Fotografiska in Stockholm, Sweden

Using celebrity doubles in provocative compositions, artist Alison Jackson highlights the loss of authenticity in our post-truth age, using humour to question celebrity culture as well as the public desire to gossip.

Europa Endlos at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, Denmark

In this precarious year for Europe, with the impending Brexit deal and the elections to the European Parliament, this timely exhibition features several acclaimed artists reflecting on themes of identity, labour, borders, community and migration.

Futures Past & Present / Helga Paris, Céline van Balen, Esther Kroon & Julie Greve at Huis Marseille Museum for Photography in Amsterdam, Netherlands

This group exhibition features the photographic works of four talented woman artists, each with disparate histories but with the commonality of their careers and fates being determined by unusual factors, and their ability to engage their subjects in intimate portrayals. The result is a walk through an often untold history of portrait photography, centring around woman photographers and their special skill sets.

Janek Simon. Synthetic Folklore at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Poland

This retrospective decodes the last 15 years of Polish artist Janek Simon’s work, mapping out his points of interest from AI to globalisation and political geographies. The exhibition includes work which raises questions about whether and how AI can protect us from the pitfalls of homogenization, xenophobia, and essentialism as well as works exploring the geopolitics of economy and his own methods of spatiotemporal research.

Studio-Apartment Le Corbusier in Paris, France

After being closed for two years for restoration, the studio apartment of architect Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, also known as Le Corbusier, is open to the public. If you’re in Paris this spring, be sure to stop by to see the living and working quarters of this celebrated visionary. The studio apartment is open Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 2pm to 6pm; Saturday 10am to 1pm and 1:30pm to 6pm. More information on how to find Le Corbusier's Apartment here. All images taken by Antoine Mercusot for Fondation Le Corbusier.

Le Corbusier's Apartment © FLC-ADAGP - Antoine Mercusot
Le Corbusier's Apartment © FLC-ADAGP - Antoine Mercusot
Le Corbusier's Apartment © FLC-ADAGP - Antoine Mercusot
Le Corbusier's Apartment © FLC-ADAGP - Antoine Mercusot

Sandy Di Yu, London-based writer, art theorist and artist. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter, or visit her website.