Top Art Exhibitions: November 2016

With the leaves turning a variety of golden shades, Autumn is a truly beautiful season and a piece of art in itself! However, if you need sheltering from the cold, why not visit some of these latest art exhibitions – from clothing to coffee pots, we’ve got you covered.

Frédéric Bazille (1841 – 1870): The Youth of Impressionism

15 Nov – 5 Mar 2017

Musée d’Orsay, France


Family reunion, 1867, Jean Frederic Bazille / Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France / Bridgeman Images

An exhibition showcasing the life and works of Frédéric Bazille, who died in combat in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War aged just 28. Though he never managed to realise his full potential as a painter,  he still went on to create several masterpieces which gradually affirmed his unique talent.

This season the Musée d’Orsay is displaying around sixty of Bazille’s paintings, enabling visitors to follow his progress as an Impressionist artist. His works are compared to that of contemporaries such as Delacroix, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Fantin-Latour and Cézanne in order to highlight the subjects of avant-garde painting in the 1860s and the fantastic originality of Bazille’s inspiration. Despite his early death, this artist was a chief figure in the birth of Impressionism and his unusual body of work is a treat for all to see.


Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion

18 Nov – 5 Feb 2017

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, US


From left: Yellow damask men’s gown, Ca 1780, England; Ivory silk and blue men’s gown, Ca 1730, France; Men’s gown in blue, Ivory, Rust and yellow striped silk, Ca 1780, Europe, 18th century / Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA / De Agostini Picture Library / Bridgeman Images

The Costume Institute’s autumn blockbuster exhibition will feature significant acquisitions of the past 10 years and explore how the department has honed its collecting strategy to amass masterworks of the highest aesthetic and technical quality, including iconic works by designers who have changed fashion history and advanced fashion as an art form. During the seven decades since The Costume Institute became part of The Met in 1946, that strategy has shifted from creating an encyclopedic collection of Western high fashion to one focused on acquiring masterworks.

The exhibition, held in the Anna Wintour Costume Centre, will highlight approximately 60 of these masterworks from the early 18th century to the present. Items will be organised chronologically with ensembles displayed in packing crates and on palettes, as though they have just arrived at The Met. Each object will be accompanied by an in-depth explanation of its significance within the canon of fashion history. There will also be some ensembles that were donated by designers in honour of Harold Koda, upon his retirement as curator in charge of The Costume Institute in January 2016.


Bitter|Sweet: Coffee, Tea & Chocolate

20 Nov  – 5 Mar 2017

Detroit Institute of Arts, US


Coffee and tea service, 1983 (silver plate, lacquered aluminium, bakelite, glass & mock ivory), Michael Graves (b.1934) / Detroit Institute of Arts, USA / Founders Society Purchase / with funds from Founders Junior Council and others / Bridgeman Images

Who doesn’t like a cup of coffee or tea in the morning… or all throughout the day? From the social revolutions that altered the way we drink them, to the design revolutions that changed the objects that we drink from, take a step back in time and look at the stir our favourite hot beverages have caused over the years.

Bitter|Sweet: Coffee, Tea & Chocolate is the first exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts to engage all five senses. Viewers can not only see artworks, but also touch, hear, smell and even taste coffee- and tea-related beverages.


Courting to Contract: Love and Marriage in Iran

Until 20 Nov 2016

British Museum, UK


Iran/Persia: Two lovers, the woman making burn marks on the man’s arm as an indication of devotion and loyalty. Afzal al-Husayni, 1648 / Pictures from History/Woodbury & Page / Bridgeman Images

‘A heart without love is a body without a soul. A soul lives forever because of love.’

– Jami (1414-1492), Persian poet, scholar and mystic.

Of all subjects, love is perhaps the most universal to humankind. In Persian culture, themes of love, desire and relationships have have permeated art, literature and music for thousands of years. Don’t miss your last chance to catch the British Museum’s fascinating display of drawings, manuscript pages and objects that depict various aspects of love and courtship in Persian history, from marriage contracts to celebrated romances and intimate scenes.

The objects on show date mostly from between the 1500s and the 20th century and tell countless stories of love from the Middle East and Central Asia. Exceptional pieces include an Old Babylonian marriage contract carved onto a clay tablet and richly embroidered textiles and wedding garments.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon

Until 20 Nov 2016

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia


Yoshitsune and the Tengu King, (colour woodblock print), Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-92) / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839 – 1892) was a Japanese artist who was widely regarded as the last great master of the ukiyo-e genre of woodblock painting and one of the form’s greatest innovators. In fact, he is almost universally recognised at the greatest Japanese artist of his era.

For the very first time, the Art Gallery of NSW will present the full series of the artist’s One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, from its own collection. This remarkable series, published between 1885 – 1892, is considered to be Yoshitoshi’s masterwork and was designed in the last seven years of his life.  It reveals the admirable technical skill and imaginative designs that have secured his place in art history as an originator of manga and anime. Each image poetically draws from stories relating to the moon in Chinese and Japanese history, including famous legends, theatre and folklore. This is an exhibition that invites you to join stoic warriors, samurai, demons and courtesans in expressing a reverence to the moon.

Giovanni Dal Ponte – The Protagonist of Humanism

22 Nov – 12 Mar 2017

Accademia Gallery, Italy


Triptych of the Coronation of the Virgin (oil on panel), Giovanni dal Ponte (c.1385-1437/42) / Musee Conde, Chantilly, France / Bridgeman Images

Explore the works of a little-known Italian artist in a monographic exhibition at the Accademia Gallery. Originally named Giovanni di Marco, the painter had a studio at Santa Stefano a Ponte in Florence and thus adopted the name Giovanni Dal Ponte (1385-1437). He was reportedly a student of Spinello Aretino, whose style influenced the development of late 14th- and early 15th-century painting in Tuscany.

The Florentine artist had his own particular language for the late gothic period and was known for genre works, historical allegories and religious depictions. His output was varied and prolific; he produced several fresco cycles, panels and also decorated small objects. The exhibition will feature his canvas, the Madonna and Child Enthroned, alongside other paintings that come from the deposits of various museums from the Tuscan region.

Fashion and Freedom

Until 27 Nov 2016

Manchester Art Gallery, UK


Fashion by Vivienne Westwood / Bridgeman Images

The onset of the First World War in 1914 inevitably influenced all aspects of British society. As the men left to fight in Europe, over a million women went to work for the first time. This heightened responsibility gave women a new freedom and led to different ways of dressing, as silhouettes and social codes changed.

Fashion & Freedom presents original designs by Holly Fulton, Roksanda, J JS Lee, Vivienne Westwood, Emilia Wickstead and Sadie Williams, as well as the latest film from SHOWstudio and Luke Snellin. There are also works on display by the next generation of fashion talent – all influenced by the new fashions and freedoms worn and won by women during 1914-18.


Cy Twombly

30 Nov – 24 Apr 2017

Centre Pompidou, France


Untitled, 2000 (oil based house paint, acrylic, wax crayon, lead pencil and paper collage on wooden panel), Twombly, Cy Twombly / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images

The distinguished Centre Pompidou will soon open its doors to a major retrospective of the work of American artist Cy Twombly (1928 – 2011), bringing together his works from public and private collections around the world. The comprehensive showcase will span the artist’s entire career, from his primary works in the early 1950s to his final paintings. It will be structured around three main cycles: Nine Discourses on Commodus, 1963, Fifty Days at Iliam, 1978, and Coronation of Sesostris, 2000.

Featuring some 140 paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures arranged in a chronological circuit, the exhibition will provide what the museum describes as ‘a clear picture of an extraordinarily rich body of work which is both intellectual and sensual’. It will also emphasise the artist’s close relationship with Paris. Many of Twombly’s most celebrated works will be on view, some of which have never before been  exhibited in France.



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