December 18, 2019

Top 10 Exhibitions to See during the Festive Holidays

Winter holidays are finally coming and this is the perfect time for an art lover to have a proper look at major international exhibitions or visit the permanent collection of museums, foundations or private art collections worldwide.
Chosen by My Art Guides editorial team

As you will come across office farewell dinners, friends and family Christmas parties, it’s time to take a break and see some great art with the ones you love. If you need to be inspired, we at My Art Guides have compiled a wish-list of shows to see which are open over the next two weeks.

We would love to flying over the Atlantic sea and land in the Americas to visit two major shows in New York City and Chicago. Faurschou Foundation is opening its brand new venue in New York City with the inaugural exhibition, “The Red Bean Grows in the South” which explores themes of war, politics, hope, and longing with large-scale and experiential works by acclaimed international artists Ai Weiwei, Georg Baselitz, Louise Bourgeois, Cecily Brown, Cai Guo-Qiang, Tracey Emin, Omer Fast, Anselm Kiefer, Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz, Christian Lemmerz, Paul McCarthy, Richard Mosse, Yoko Ono, Robert Rauschenberg, Alison Saar, Danh Vo, and Yu Hong (15 Dec 2019 – 1 Apr 2020, Faurschou Foundation, 148 Green Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York, Wed – Sun 12 pm – 7 pm).

Going north, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is presenting several recent projects by artist Mika Rottenberg which include her newest video installation “Spaghetti Blockchain” (2019), which explores ancient and contemporary ideas about materialism, The exhibition “Easypieces” traces central themes in the artist’s oeuvre, such as labor, technology, and the interconnectedness of the mechanical and the bodily (15 Oct 2019 – 2 Mar 2020, MCA Chicago, 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, Tue, Fri 10 am–9 pm, Wed–Thu, Sat-Sun 10 am–5 pm, closed on Monday).

Ai Weiwei's "Two Figures" (2018), Faurschou New York, 2019 © Ed Gumuchian
Still from "Spaghetti Blockchain", 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser and Wirth

Flying south and reaching the sun, we could go to Habana, Cuba and visit the exhibition “Portal” by Argentinian artist Jorge Macchi (b. 1963, Buenos Aires) at Arte Continua. In his practice the artist pays attention to the unexpected, to the unveiling of the everyday and its different levels of meaning through a profound sense of strangeness. Among the works on view, the “Cover” series of large paintings on canvas and “TRain” a new video work in collaboration with Edgardo Rudnitzky (30 Nov 2019 – 15 Feb 2020, Arte Continua, Rayo 108 entre Zanja y Dragones, Barrio Chino, Centro Habana, Cuba, Mon – Sun 10 am – 6 pm).

“Rise” is the title of the exhibition by Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca at Jumex, Mexico City as well as the title of the artist’s short film that follows a series poets and musicians – a group comprised mainly of young people, first and second-generation Canadians of African and Caribbean descent. Through this work the artists question the notion of “giving voice” to minorities and marginalized communities. (31 Oct 2019 – 09 Feb 2020, Fundación Jumex, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Colonia Granada, Mexico City, Tue – Thu 10 am – 7 pm, Fri and Sat 9 am – 9 pm, Sun 9 am – 7 pm, closed on Monday).

Jorge Macchi - Portal, exhibition views Galleria Continua, Habana. Photo: Nestor Kim
Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca. RISE. Exhibition view at Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel | Galeria, São Paulo, 2018

Malba, Buenos Aires presents “La pileta” (1999), one of Leandro Erlich’s most recognized works which the artist first presented in 2001 when he represented Argentina at the Venice Biennale. “Subway” (2009), and the installation “Puerto de memoria” (2014), a project that proposes an ambiguous space of contemplation, are also on view. (07 May 2019 – 02 Feb 2020, MALBA, Av. Figueroa Alcorta 3415, C1425CLA Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thu – Mon 12 pm – 8 pm, Wed till 9 pm; closed on Tuesday)

Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art inaugurates its nomadic art program in Zuoz with the exhibition “The Pure Necessity” by David Claerbout, curated by Ziba Ardalan, Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of Parasol unit. The starting point for Claerbout’s full-colour 2D animation is the 1967 Walt Disney classic film, “The Jungle Book”. (22 Dec 2019 – 7 Mar 2020, Parasol unit in Zuoz, Chapel of San Bastiaun , San Bastiaun 3, 7524 Zuoz, Upper Engadin, Switzerland , 22 December 2019 – 6 January 2020: Tue -Sun  4 pm – 6:30 pm)

Leandro Erlich, "La Pileta", 2019, MALBA, Buenos Aires
David Claerbout, The Pure Necessity, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.

Currently on view at Fondazione Prada, “Il sarcofago di Spitzmaus e altri tesori” (Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures) is an exhibition project conceived by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf. First presented at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna in 2018, the Milan exhibition is a second version with a larger display area featuring 538 artworks and objects selected by the film director Wes Anderson and illustrator, designer and writer Juman Malouf from 12 collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum and from 11 departments of the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna (20 Sep 2019 – 13 Jan 2020, Fondazione Prada, Largo Isarco 2, 20139, Milan, Mon, Wed, Thu, 10 am – 7 pm; Fri – Sun, 10 am – 9 pm).

Extended until January 18, 2020 “Living Grains, is the first solo show in Rome by Ghananian artist Ibrahim Mahama, hosted by Fondazione Giuliani. The exhibition includes a series of works created specifically for the occasion as well as a large-scale installation, photographs, drawings and a virtual reality film. For the exhibition at the foundation, Mahama worked extensively with a network of “collaborators”, collecting nearly two hundred disused sewing machines to create the large-scale installation of “Capital Corpses I” (2014-2019) (26 Oct 2019 – 18 Jan 2020, Fondazione Giuliani, Via Gustavo Bianchi, 1 Rome, Tue – Sat 3 pm – 7.30 pm).

Il sarcofago di Spitzmaus e altri tesori, Exhibition view, Fondazione Prada, Milan, 2019 © Andrea Rossetti
Ibrahim Mahama, Installation view, Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2019 © Giorgio Benni

The Centre Pompidou, Paris, hosts a major exhibition dedicated to the fifty-year career of Christan Boltanski, one of the most significant contemporary artists of our time. “Life in the Making” celebrates the artist’s career with a comprehensive ensemble of his pieces, highlighting Boltanski’s continuous experimentation through different media and artistic expressions. (13 Nov 2019 — 13 Mar 2020, Centre Pompidou, 19 Rue Beaubourg, Paris, Mon – Sun 11:00 am – 10:00 pm)

Matadero Madrid is featuring a solo show by Iraqi artist Sadik Kwaish Alfraji (b. Baghdad, 1987). Trained as a painter and engraver, he is author of artist’s books and audio-visual animations. In his practice, the black color is predominant as representative of his personal life in Iraq and it is a symbol of the feeling of horror at the atrocities of war. Drawing inspiration from the bold gestures of German expressionism and the monochromatic tones of black and white, Alfraji turns to this visual language to represent destructive events. (13 Sep 2019 – 31 Mar 2020, Matadero Madrid, Nave 11. Vestíbulo, Plaza de Legazpi, 8, 28045 Madrid, Mon – Sun 10 am – 1 pm).

Christian Boltanski, "Départ", 2015
Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, Exhibiiton view, Matadero Madrid, 2019
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