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January 2, 2018

The Art Galleries to Travel for in 2018

By Lauren Jade Hill

The art world’s most anticipated openings and major transformations provide a wealth of exciting new venues to experience throughout the coming year. These are the art galleries to travel for in 2018.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Launched in November 2017 following over eight years of construction, the Louvre Abu Dhabi was arguably last year’s most anticipated art opening. French architect Jean Nouvel designed the structure with Abu Dhabi’s land and sea in mind along with the city’s traditional architecture; reminiscent of an Arab medina, the museum is distinguished by its silver domed roof comprising almost 8,000 unique metal stars, which have been arranged in a geometric pattern to let light filter through it like overlapping palm leaves. Within this striking space, the museum aims to bring different cultures together, while placing the focus on stories of human creativity and shared humanity. The museum plans to host four temporary exhibitions each year alongside its permanent exhibits. The first of these, From One Louvre to Another, looks back at the Louvre’s origins in France and is on display until April 7th, 2018.

Yayoi Kusama Museum, Tokyo

When the gallery opened in October 2017, it proved to be an immediate hit with tickets immediately selling out until the end of the year. The gallery was established by Yayoi Kusama herself and managed by the Yayoi Kusama Foundation to present and preserve the artist’s celebrated work, while expressing the message of world peace and human love that has been embodied in her work throughout her career. The inaugural exhibition Creation is a Solitary Pursuit, Love is What Brings You Closer to Art runs until February 25th, 2018, with gallery talks by the museum curator giving greater insight into the showcase.

Image © Yayoi Kusama

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
South Africa

The world’s largest museum dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora, Zeitz MOCAA, opened at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront in September 2017 after its four-year development. While preserving the history of the historic grain silo it’s within, which was once the tallest building in South Africa, the museum aims to provide a sustainable not-for-profit public cultural institution that preserves, develops and enhances creativity and encourages a wider appreciation of Africa’s cultural heritage. Across its nine floors, the development encompasses 100 galleries along with a rooftop sculpture garden, a bookshop, a restaurant and bar and reading rooms. Upcoming exhibitions and events are listed on the website.

The Bass, Miami Beach

Founded in 1964 by the City of Miami Beach, The Bass is well established on the contemporary art scene, but the gallery is now attracting a fresh wave of attention with the completion of a $12m transformation that began back in 2015. When it reopened in October 2017, an expanded and more dynamic space was unveiled with four additional galleries, a museum store, café and education facility providing more space for an extensive program of exhibitions and events. Temporary exhibitions running from now until the spring include the self-titled solo exhibition by the Buenos Aires-born, New York-based artist Mika Rottenberg, and the exhibition Beautiful by Cameroon-born, Belgium-based artist Pascale Marthine Tayou.

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Image © Zachary Balber

Tate St Ives

Having seen the October 2017 completion of a four-year transformation, Tate St Ives is drawing more art lovers to Cornwall with double the space for exhibiting art and a series of new studios for hands-on events to take place in. Here visitors can see a permanent collection of work by the 20th-century artists who gave St Ives its significance in the history of modern art, along with large-scale seasonal shows. Upcoming exhibitions include Virginia Woolf: an Exhibition Inspired by her Writings, which opened on February 10th, 2018, and Patrick Heron, which opens on May 19th.

Image: Tate St Ives by Jamie Fobert Architects, Photography © Dennis Gilbert

Design Society

Becoming China’s first dedicated cultural design hub when it opened on December 2nd, 2017, the Design Society in Shenzhen now provides a meeting point for design and innovation, with a roof park and public plazas where exhibitions and events are to be held. Created in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Design Society is the innovative initiative of 145-year-old China Merchants Group, which aims to showcase the pioneering creativity and spirit of Shenzhen through its evolving annual program. The development includes the Sea World Culture and Arts Center (SWCAC), which is the first building in China to have been designed by the renowned architectural studio Maki and Associates. Current exhibitions include Nurturing Dreams in Recent Work: Fumihiko Mkai+Maki and Associates, which runs until June 30th, 2018, and Values of Design, which runs until August 4th, 2018.

Hayward Gallery, London

Known across the world as a leading contemporary art gallery and landmark of brutalist architecture, London’s Hayward Gallery is set to draw the crowds in when it reopens in January 2018 after a major renovation that began in September 2015. The gallery’s iconic pyramid roof lights are a significant part of this multi-million-dollar restoration. The 2018 reopening also marks the gallery’s 50th anniversary, which will be celebrated with the first major UK retrospective of work by acclaimed German photographer Andreas Gursky. The exhibition will run from January 25th, 2018 to April 22nd.

Image © Morley von Sternberg

Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris

Fall 2017 saw the opening of two museums dedicated to the life and work of the late French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, one in Paris and the other in Marrakech. The Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris exhibits this designer’s work on the premises of his former haute couture house where he spent nearly 30 years designing his collections. Here, a rotation of retrospective displays and temporary thematic exhibitions will showcase the Fondation’s collection. Until September 9th, 2018, the gallery will be showing its inaugural exhibition, which looks at the designer’s creative genius through around 50 haute couture designs along with the related accessories, sketches, photographs and films.

Image © Instagram @museeyslparis

Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech

Opened at the same time as Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, the Marrakech gallery draws on the inspiration the designer took from this city having first visited in 1966 and then visited regularly. The museum lies on Rue Yves Saint Laurent near Jardin Majorelle, the garden he and Pierre Berge saved from development in 1980, which is now a major cultural site in Marrakech. The French architectural practice Studio KO is behind the structure, which now houses a permanent display of Yves Saint Laurent’s work, space for temporary exhibitions, an auditorium, a research library and a café and restaurant. While presenting the creative world of Yves Saint Laurent and his ties to Morocco, the museum will also offer a dynamic cultural program. The first temporary exhibition to be held here is Jacques Majorelle’s Morocco, which is on until February 4th, 2018.

Image © 2016 Studio KO, Fondation Pierre Berge – Yves Saint Laurent

Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami

Launched on December 1st, 2017, having been relocated from its temporary home, the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami can now be found at its new site in the Miami Design District. With more than double the space, the new venue houses 20,000 sq ft of exhibition galleries and a 15,000 sq ft sculpture garden. The permanent collection here is based on cornerstone moments in the careers of significant artists, with temporary exhibitions showcasing the work of international contemporary artists. Current exhibitions include The Everywhere Studio, which explores the significance of the artist’s studio from the post-war period to the present day; this exhibition runs until February 26th, 2018.

Image © Instagram @icamiami

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