12 July 2022

Three of the best – awesome museum and art exhibitions of 2022

The days of the kids being blown away by pressing an illuminated button in the Natural History Museum are long gone – if they aren’t chased around the building by a robotic T-rex, the family day-out’s been a shambles. But the same goes for us grown-ups too. With travel back on the menu, here’s our hit list for international exhibitions you’ll remember well into your old age.

One of 2022’s most exciting offerings is not an exhibition, unless that’s how you describe football’s greatest event – the FIFA World Cup. However, those clever peeps in charge of Qatar Museums have seized the opportunity of Qatar’s host-nation status to transform the nation’s landscape into a vast outdoor art museum experience. Qatar kick started this monumental cultural project with the installation of Tom Claassen’s sculpture Falcon outside the Hamad International Airport.

This wowsome public programme is seeing more than 40 new and commissioned public artworks positioned in parks, shopping malls, educational and athletic facilities, as well as the main airport and railway stations. This will give the millions of visitors an exhibition experience from street to platform to green space to stadium. But if art doesn’t ring your bell and you’re just there for the sport, fear not! Qatar Museums would like to present the brand spanking new Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum featuring galleries dedicated to sporting heroes and history, as well as hands-on, interactive activities.

If you can’t make it as far as the Middle East this year, but you’re a dedicated art groupie, then you should already have booked tickets to Italy for the 59th Venice Biennale. This massive and impressive international art exhibition started back in April, but runs all the way through to 27th November 2022. After a pandemic interruption, all the gondolas are being pushed out this year, as artists pitch up with their installations in Giardini, Arsenale and other areas around this, the most magical and stunning of Italian cities. Venice is hosting the national pavilions and their artists to visualise a variety of themes including the global pandemic, the catastrophic effects of climate change, and developments in artificial intelligence. In other words, all the major threats to the future of humanity. And with that thoroughly digested whilst wearing our most sombre of faces, we reckon it’s time to uncork a cheeky bottle of Chianti.

Our last recommendation takes us to Berlin, where the newly reopened Neue Nationalgalerie is hosting the awesome new text installation by Barbara Kruger. Kruger’s first institutional solo exhibition is already in residence, and you can see it until 28thAugust of this year. It covers the entire main floor of the exhibition space and invites visitors to discuss political and social issues together.

And if you don’t feel like talking about it, but would rather go all silent and thoughtful on us, then you’ll have plenty to digest – within the expansive installation Kruger intertwines her own text with quotations from George Orwell, James Baldwin and Walter Benjamin. In case you aren’t aware, these texts illuminate the violence of totalitarian states, the mechanisms of social discrimination and the dangers of a one-sided writing of history. Enough said!


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