Mid-summer is a quiet time in most big Western cities, but these blockbuster shows from creative icons offer visitors a powerful lesson in both art history and pop culture.
Yoko Ono, To The Light, Serpentine Gallery
Yoko Ono’s vision of peace is more relevant than ever, and with the Serpentine Gallery’s To The Light, she seizes the opportunity to spread her poetic message to the masses. Those unable to head to London can still participate in her ambitious #smilesfilm project by heading to the Serpentine’s link.
Helmut Newton, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
Newton was fashion photography’s original bad boy, paving the way for contemporary provocateurs like Terry Richardson with images of towering glamazons that embody both sexual power and aestheitc refinement. The first retrospective in France since Newton’s death, the exhibition showcases over two hundred photographs, including Polaroids, work prints, and large-scale works.
Yayoi Kusama, Whitney Museum
Prepare for a polka dot invasion—after a decades-long, self-imposed stay in a Japanese mental hospital, 60′s art star Yayoi Kusama’s influence is resurfacing, with a high-profile collaboration with Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton and an overdue career retrospective at the Whitney Museum. Experience the epic exhibition, a highlight of which includes the mirrored room installation Fireflies on the Water.
Diane Arbus, Martin-Gropius-Bau
Before the days of Jerry Springer and reality T.V., Diane Arbus made a career out of documenting human oddities, training her uncompromising, yet humanizing, lens on all manner of social outcasts. Two hundred of her photographs are included in the exhibition, celebrating the outer limits of human identity.
Words: Sameer Reddy