Sometimes I look back on my museum and gallery visits and I can’t help but come back to these 3 best exhibitions I’ve been to. Exhibitions that are positively overwhelming, making you truly lose track of time come by rarely. I love to spend my time at a museum or a small gallery, walking through them at my own pace. Mostly they are not even social events for me, just some time to slow down and soak up some inspiration. When I’m not reading about art, I like to experience it.
If the places are too huge, it will become more of an overwhelming experience for me. I more drawn to places that exhibit one or two artist simultaneously.
So here are my top picks for the best exhibitions I’ve been to during the past years.
The Top 3 Exhibitions
Manifesto – Julian Rosefeldt
Hands down one of the most exciting exhibitions I’ve ever been to. As an image-maker, I tend to lean towards video or photography art and relating to it easier.
This film integrates various types of artist manifestos from different time periods with contemporary scenarios. Manifestos are depicted by 13 different characters, among them a school teacher, factory worker, choreographer, punk, newsreader, scientist, puppeteer, widow, and a homeless man. The film consists of 13 segments, each 10:30 minutes long. In each, a character recites parts of manifestos of various political and artistic movements.
For me, it was very powerful, and being built in this theater-like environment just made it into a more intense experience.
Niki de Saint Phalle
“I used to think there was a need to provoke, to attack religion, and the generals. And then I understood that there is nothing more shocking than joy.”- Niki Saint de Phalle
Niki is known for her Nanas, a slightly derogative French term for a young girl. The Nanas were voluptuous goddess-like creatures, triumphant, enduring symbols of femininity and maternity. The exhibition was an intense splash of colorful figures and drawings, most of which she produced addressing important religious conflicts, political and racial questions all while expressing her own traumas through her work. Truly an eye-opening experience and reaches the top 3 easily.
She is best known for her distinctive style of portraiture, where her models are painted without glorification, in a very straightforward manner. Her psychologically charged portraits tell intimate and unconventional stories, as much about people living on the margins of society and in subcultures as about the New York cultural elite and her own family. Her work absorbs the viewer to inspect the subjects and color composition she was well known for.
The exhibition has played a huge role in my portraiture journey, leaving its impact on me color-wise.
It’s not always photography that inspires me to photograph. Usually, it is a feeling and energy I get when looking at art. Writing this now really makes me want to visit some exhibitions soon.
I know it’s been difficult to experience art the same way, but have you experienced any good ones lately online or live? Leave a comment below.