One of the few little ‘upsides’ of the current worldwide lockdown is the fact that museums are now offering access to their temporary online art exhibitions. Rather ironically, being unable to travel has enabled me to visit some highly anticipated art shows I wouldn’t have been able to view otherwise. From Australia to the UK via the US, here are eight great temporary online art exhibitions to get your culture fix, even in times of lockdown.
KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness
This exhibition on American graffiti artist and designer KAWS at the NGV in Melbourne opened late last year. It was supposed to close next week but the physical doors to it closed weeks ago already. However, lucky for us living far from Australia, the gallery made a virtual tour of the exhibition enabling people from all over the world to see the famous cross-eyed artworks.
Starting as a graffiti writer in 1990s New York, KAWS took to fame after he got the chance to design a toy collection with a Japanese clothing company. Since then his iconic style, cross-eyed skull figures, have been used for anything from album covers to T-shirt designs.
Click here for a virtual tour of KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness.
Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines
This show is also currently on(line) at the NGV in Melbourne. Like KAWS, Keith Haring is another prominent figure in the pop art scene who started out as a muralist and graffiti writer. His signature style including dancing dogs and crawling babies (as seen in the feature photo taken by Marco Pomella (available on Pixabay)) can be recognised immediately. To learn more about Keith Haring’s life and work, I recommend reading this interview with his studio manager Julia Gruen by Giulia from Blocal blog.
Keith Haring often collaborated with his friend Jean-Michel Basquiat. Both are considered as some of the most fundamental artists from 1980s New York. Click on the following link to learn more about their individual practises and collaborations in the virtual tour of Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines. Opt for the audio tour on the same page for more background information!
When hubby returned from this show at the Royal Academy, London, earlier this year, he couldn’t stop raving about it. And after seeing the photos he took (including the one below), I knew I had to see these eerie almost Tim Burton-ish drawings for myself.
Unfortunately I never got the chance and am hoping that the show will be extended. But for now you can see the stirring drawings by Belgian artist Léon Spilliaert in a virtual tour on the Royal Academy website.
Picasso and Paper
Following his visit to the Spilliaert exhibition, Hubby continued his solo art day out with a viewing of the Picasso show, also in the Royal Academy. As the title suggest, Picasso and Paper, explores Picasso’s versatile use of paper in his artworks. He did not only draw on it, but also tore it, manipulated it and used it to created multi-dimensional artworks.
You can view the engaging exhibition here: Picasso and Paper: virtual exhibition tour.
Infinite Drone: A Light and Sound Experience Inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Lights Away
Whenever one of her Infinity Rooms appear in a gallery or museum, you can count on endless queues of people, eagerly awaiting their turn to enter this magical realm. I went inside one in Museum Voorlinden (Wassenaar, the Netherlands), last year and it was quite a spellbinding experience indeed.
Standing on your own in a room that seems infinite due to the use of mirrors, reflecting the endless amount of small lights, you can’t help but find yourself in a different dimension for a moment.
Now is your chance to experience this incredible sensation without having to stand in line. Just watch the videos in the link below and put on your headphones for the full sensory experience.
There seem to be a lot of connections between the artists listed in this article. Andy Warhol fits right in the list of iconic pop artists with Haring and KAWS. Furthermore, he was a friend of Jean-Michel Basquiat and collaborated with him.
This major retrospective of Andy Warhole at Tate Modern, London, is supposed to be on until September 2020. Hopefully life will have returned to ‘normal’ by then. But for those who wouldn’t be able to visit it anyway, you can now watch the curator’s tour and explore the exhibition room by room.
Private Lives Public Spaces
Get an intimate peek into the lives’ of celebrities like Salvador Dalí or everyday trivial sights through the unique exhibition Private Lives Public Spaces at MoMa, New York. From their impressive collection of home movies, consisting of 600 reels of film acquired over 90 years, they made an immersive display on 102 screens in the gallery. Imagine what a sight that would be!
Although the films can’t be viewed in situ at the moment, MoMA has made nine short available online which you can find on this page: Virtual Views: Home Movies.
Cranach: Artist and Innovator
Travel back to the German Renaissance of the 15th-/16th-century through this virtual exhibition on the painter Lucas Cranach the Elder at Campton Verney Art Gallery & Park in Warwickshire, UK.
However, as a typical Renaissance man, Cranach was of course so much more than ‘just’ a painter. He was in fact also a politician, printmaker and influential thinker, amongst others. To illustrate his significance: he was a good friend of thinker Martin Luther and is considered as a religious revolutionary. Watch the curator’s tour (link above) to learn more about this versatile artist. The video below is a tour of the current exhibition.
I hope you enjoyed this list of exhibitions I curated for you! I’m curious to learn how you experienced your virtual visits. For me the interactive tours at NGV Melbourne didn’t work that well, as I didn’t feel I could see the artworks as well or from as close I would’ve done in real life. But on the other hand, I wouldn’t have been able to see it all otherwise so at least it’s still something I guess.
Stay well and healthy!
Until next time, Zarina xx