Art This Week in Culture

Here Are This Month’s 9 Must-See Museum Exhibitions, From Damien Hirst to Rachel Jones

Käthe Kollwitz, Woman with Dead Child (Frau mit totem Kind), 1903. Image courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

New York

"Käthe Kollwitz"
Where: The Museum of Modern Art
When: March 31 - July 20 
Why It’s Worth a Look: Kollwitz was a towering figure in the 20th-century art world, known for her commitment to depicting the realities of the working class, the depths of motherhood, and the anguish of grief and loss. The Museum of Modern Art here makes a case for Kollwitz's work as a conduit for social activism, featuring a display of around 120 works that comprise drawings, prints, and sculptures. 
Know Before You Go: Of using her work as a political vehicle, the artist once wrote, "I have no right to withdraw from the responsibility of being an advocate. It is my duty to voice the sufferings of men, the never-ending sufferings heaped mountain-high.”


“Fallen Angels” by Anselm Kiefer
Where: Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi
When: 22 March - 21 July
Why It’s Worth a Look: Kiefer’s art navigates the interplay between past, present, and future in paintings that connect political history to contemporary movements. The Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi here brings together pieces that feel completely prescient despite their various timestamps. The collection also plays against its surroundings, echoing the grandeur of the building, including one piece specifically commissiond for the palace’s courtyard.
Know Before You Go: Kiefer's work has pulled inspiration from a disparate list of sources including post-war Germany, Jewish mysticism, Biblical stories, and ancient Mesopotamian architecture.

Roy Lichtenstein, We Rose Up Slowly, 1964. Image courtesy of The Albertina Museum and Museum MMK Für Moderne Kunst. 


“Roy Lichtenstein: A Centennial Exhibition”
Where: The Albertina Museum
When: March 8 - July 14
Why It’s Worth a Look: Celebrating what would have been Lichtenstein’s 100th birthday, The Albertina Museum is hosting a retrospective dedicated to the iconic Pop artist. This exhibition brings together over 90 of Lichtenstein’s paintings, sculptures, and prints from around the world. The journey through his artistic evolution includes his monumental Brushstroke sculpture and many of his iconic blondes, superheroes, and tearful heroines.
Know Before You Go: Lichtenstein’s art is instantly recognizable for his use of Ben Day dots that mimic mass-production. Blowing comic strip-like imagery up onto sprawling canvases made the creative famous for his combination of low- and high-brow art.

San Francisco

“!!!!!” by Rachel Jones 
Museum of the African Diaspora 
When: March 27 - September 1 
Why It’s Worth a Look: “!!!!!” unveils Jones’s new series of vivid oil pastel landscapes, which delve into Black interiority and personhood. Curated by Erin Jenoa Gilbert, the exhibition marks Jones’s first solo museum showcase in the United States, following remarkable exhibitions in the U.K. and China. Through a fusion of figurative and abstract imagery, Jones captures the nuances of Black experiences, drawing from the work of her favorite writers and the expressiveness of cartoons. 
Know Before You Go: Abstracted body parts appear frequently in Jones's oeuvre, which elsewhere spans painting, installation, and performance. In this way, the artist is able to tackle popular notions about Black corporeality, without putting it on display. 

Constantin Brancusi, Léda, 1926. Image courtesy of the Centre Pompidou.


Where: Centre Pompidou 
When: March 27 - July 1
Why It’s Worth a Look: Brâncuși, a titan of 20th-century sculpture, is the subject of a new survey at the Centre Pompidou, the first of its size covering the artist. The extensive showcase brings together nearly 200 of Brancusi’s sculptures alongside photographs, drawings, archival materials, tools, and pieces of furniture from his studio. His work was characterized by the use of materials such as bronze, marble, and wood, and themes revolving around nature and the cosmos. 
Know Before You Go: Brâncuși’s studio, a proud centerpiece of the institution since its bequest to the French State in 1957, serves as the focal point of this retrospective. 


Made in Japan: Color Woodblock Prints by Hiroshige, Kunisada and Hokusai” 
Kunstmuseum Basel
When: March 16 - July 21
Why It’s Worth a Look: The Kunstmuseum Basel’s exhibition centers on the rich tradition of Japanese color woodcuts, a genre that has woven itself into the fabric of both pop and consumer culture. The exhibition journey spans through the 18th and 19th centuries, the golden age of this art form, and includes works by Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige, and Utagawa Kunisada. These artists, among others, capture iconic views of Mount Fuji, vibrant scenes of the Cherry Blossom Festival, and portraits of warriors. 
Know Before You Go: Thanks to the collecting efforts of Dr. Carl Mettler, a Basel-based chemist, the Kunstmuseum Basel now houses approximately 350 original prints, some of which are rare finds globally. 

James Barnor, Sick Hagemeyer shop assistant as a seventies icon posing in front of the United Trading Company headquarters, Accra, 1971. Image courtesy of Clémentine de la Féronnière gallery and The Victoria & Albert Museum.


“Tropical Modernism: Architecture and Independence”
Where: Victoria & Albert Museum
When: Opening March 2
Why It’s Worth a Look: The V&A South Kensington’s “Tropical Modernism: Architecture and Independence” exhibition explores an architectural movement that flourished under the unique climate conditions of West Africa during the 1940s. This style quickly became a hallmark of modernity in newly independent nations like India and Ghana. 
Know Before You Go: Featured highlights include photography and models of work by architects including Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry, alongside film stills, archival materials, and illustrations.

Mexico City

To Live Forever (For A While)” by Damien Hirst
Museo Jumex
When: March 23 - August 25
Why It’s Worth a Look: British artist Damien Hirst has collaborated with curator Ann Gallagher in orchestrating a survey of his work spanning three decades, from 1986 to 2019. Residing in the entirety of the Jumex Museum, the exhibition consists of 57 of Hirst’s installations, sculptures, and paintings, including his "Natural Historyand "Medicine Cabinets" series. 
Know Before You Go: A provocateur and innovator, Hirst has continuously explored themes of life, death, and beyond. On display here is the piece that first gained him traction: The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), a tiger shark in a sprawling formaldehyde-filled tank. 

"White Shoes" by Nona Faustine
Brooklyn Museum
When: March 8 – July 7
Why It’s Worth a Look: Faustine’s self-portraiture examines sites connected to the slave trade in New York, one of the last Northern states to hold out on banning the practice. From Harlem to Prospect Park, 42 images of the artist show Faustine nude, posing with props, or traversing the city in a pair of white high heels. In the series, the artist makes a powerful yet vulnerable statement about the legacy of slave labor in the sprawling metropolis. 
Know Before You Go: Faustine's white pumps are intended to reference the assimilation imposed on Black citizens both locally and globally.