The must-see 2022 European contemporary art museum exhibitions

29 April 2022

To help you with your next cultural ventures, Artistics has selected the most beautiful exhibitions of 2022 for you. This year has some wonderful surprises in store. Find out more about our selection of exhibitions in famous European contemporary art museums!

1. Charles Ray

An important figure in contemporary sculpture, Charles Ray is honoured in Paris with a double exhibition, one in a public contemporary art museum, the Pompidou Centre, the other is at a private foundation, the Bourse de Commerce (Commodities Exchange) - Pinault Collection. You will find sculptures entirely coloured in silver or white, toying with scale. The artworks exhibit at the Pompidou Centre contemporary art museum concentrates on sets of pieces in an enclosed space, producing a cold emptiness that has settled around the statues. Around forty artworks from the 1970s to the present day are on display; with over 50 years of creation, in total.

Where: Pompidou Centre and Bourse du Commerce ‘Commodities Exchange’, (Paris, France)

When: From 16th February until 20th June 2022

Charles Ray, « Fall ’91 », 1992. © Charles Ray Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery. Photo : Anthony Cuñha. Source : franceinfo


2. Reclaim the earth

In this collective exhibition, a dozen artists from different backgrounds have taken over room in the Palais de Tokyo (Tokyo Palace), the largest contemporary art centre in Europe. Some artists focus on the use of so-called natural raw materials (wood, shells, plants, stones, etc…) to rethink our relationship with the earth. With the help of different processes, they have cultivated and illustrated the relationship between the environment and the living.

Where: Tokyo Palace (Paris, France)

When: From 15th April until 4th September 2022


Yhonnie Scarce, Cloud Chamber (detail), 2020. Installation at the TarraWarra Museum of Art (Healesville). Courtesy of the artist and THIS IS NO FANTASY (Melbourne). Photo credit : Andrew Curtis. Source : Palais de Tokyo

3. Surrealism Beyond Borders

This landmark exhibition challenges the conventional narratives of a revolutionary artistic, philosophical and literary movement. It traces the history of surrealism. Many exhibitions devoted to surrealism have been held; yet they focused primarily on the origins of the movement. This retrospective, presented by the most important museum of contemporary and modern art in the English capital, retraces the influences and heritage of the movement from the 1920s over a period of 50 years in various places such as Korea, Egypt, Romania, Colombia, Mexico and Thailand. The artworks come from all over the world and are united through the movement’s ideas, reminding that this movement, which began in Paris, had a lasting effect on human creative imagination. This exhibition is held at the Tate Modern, a former power station that is now a museum of contemporary and modern art.

Where: Tate Modern (London, United Kingdom)

When: From 24th February until 29th August 2022


Leonora Carrington, Self Portrait ca. 1937–38 Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA) © The estate of the artist, DACS, 202100. Source : Tate Modern

4. Marlène Dumas - Open end

Cette exposition monographique inédite, dédiée à Marlène Dumas, rassemble plus d’une centaine d’œuvres et propose tout un cheminement autour de sa production picturale, datant de 1984 à aujourd’hui. Marlène Dumas est considérée comme l’une des artistes les plus influentes de la scène artistique contemporaine. Une partie importante de son travail repose sur l’utilisation d’images dans lesquelles elle puise son inspiration — journaux, photos de films, magazines etc. Ainsi, son travail repose sur le flux continuel d’images que nous pouvons voir quotidiennement et qui a un impact sur notre perception de nous-même. Cette exposition inclut des œuvres de la Collection Pinault ainsi que des prêts remarquables venant de collections privées et de musées internationaux. Elle a lieu au musée d’art contemporain Palazzo Grassi, propriété de François Pinault.

Where: Palazzo Grassi (Venice, Italy)

When: From 27th March until 8th January 2023


 Marlene Dumas, (left to right) 'iPhone',2018, Courtesy David Zwirner, 'Alien', 2017, Collection Pinault, 'Spring', 2017, Private collection. Courtesy David Zwirner, 'Amazon', 2016, private collection, Suisse. witzerland. Installation view, ‘Marlene Dumas. open-end’ at Palazzo Grassi, 2022. Ph. Marco Cappelletti con Filippo Rossi © Palazzo Grassi. Source : Palazzo Grassi 

5. Jean Dubuffet : ardente célébration

Jean Dubuffet is honoured at the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum of Contemporary and Modern Art, retracing the career of the artist with a personal exhibition. You will find his main series where he defies norms, as well as his first creations challenging classical aesthetic values. During his career, Jean Dubuffet rejected cultural conventions to open new horizons, being passionate about the ordinary. He approached new techniques using so-called common materials and explored subjects mixing figurative and abstract together.

Where: Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao, Spain)

When: From 25th February until 21st August 2022


Jean Debuffet, Bidon l'Esbroufe, 1967. Polyester resin and vinyl paint. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Gifted by the artist in honour of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Messer 70.1920. Source : Guggenheim Bilbao 

6. Balance – Artworks from the Marx collection

Following major renovation work, the new Erich Marx Berlin collection is inaugurating the Hamburger Bahnof, a former train station turned into contemporary art museum. The exhibition is displaying avant-garde and Pop Art artists such as: Cy Twombly, Roy Lichtenstein, Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol, a selection on the theme of balance.

Where: Hamburg Bahnof (Berlin, Germany)

When: From 10th June until 9th October 2022


Hamburger Bahnhof Exhibition Hall – l'Invalidenstraße Contemporary Art Museum. Source : Hamburger Bahnof

7. Annette Messager, As if

Annette Messager is a key figure in the contemporary art scene. She exhibits at the LaM, Museum of Contemporary Art, modern and raw art of Villeneuve d'Ascq, within the framework of the lille3000 new edition, Utopia, with original and unpublished works - displays, drawings, etc... She presents a utopia through her works: to thwart reality thanks to the illusion of fiction.

Where: LaM (Villeneuve d’Ascq, France)

When: From 11th May until 21st August 2022


Annette Messager, Ghost, 2017. Netting, steel thread, soft fabric, various materials; 153 x 180 x 12cms. Annette Messager Studio. © Adagp, Paris, 2022. Source :  LaM Museum

8. The Thinking Body, Cathy Josefowitz

This exhibition, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome (MACRO), presents the life and works of Cathy Josefowitz, bringing together all of her artistic work, where the choreography of her paintings and drawings unite. Her work is about the body in motion. This retrospective highlights her very first drawings with surrealist notes, sketches of landscapes, her main figurative paintings representing hybrid beings, love scenes, series of pastels. A selection of videos of her choreographies makes the link between her dance practice and her painting; so many varied forms, showing a desire to bring together different mediums in art’s historical debate.

Where: MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art (Rome, Italy)

When: From 16th March until 19th June 2022

Cathy Josefowitz, The Thinking Body. Exhibition view. MACRO, 2022. Ph. Agnese Bedini, DSL Studio. Source : Point-contemporain

9. Teresa Lanceta : Weaving as Open Source 

Teresa Lanceta chose weaving as an art in the early 1970s. Her approach is to push the boundaries of what is considered art. Her weaving design focuses on what makes fabrics original and singular, with a choice of unique materials and highly technical weaving methods. This exhibition brings together all the works in her career - from the early 70s to the present day, with a wide selection of canvases, paintings, videos, writings and tapestries. Lanceta also invited other artists to contribute to the exhibition, such as: Olga Diego, Paula Crespo and Leire Vergara. The exhibition is held at MACBA, the Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona (MACBA). Unique to the museum is that it mainly exhibits emerging artists and only holds temporary exhibitions.

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona MACBA (Barcelona, Spain)

When: from 8th April until 11 September 2022

Teresa Lanceta, Hospital, 56, 2020 © Teresa Lanceta, VEGAP, Barcelona, 2021. © Photo: García-Bautista. Source :  Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona MACBA

10. Verena Loewensberg — Retrospective 

Verena Loewensberg is honoured at the Geneva Museum of Contemporary Art. Concrete art is the last modern Swiss trend that dominated the national scene until the early 1970s. The art seeked independence from artistic vocabulary and did not wish to take on any external reference. It is characterized using artistic elements - shapes, surfaces, colours, dedicated to spreading a geometric principle. The Art Concret group was born in 1930; as only woman in the group, Verena Loewensberg, did not receive recognition until after the movement's peak. She initially created defined and structured compositions. In the following years, she extended and developed her pictorial practice, detaching herself from the canon of Concrete Art, and approaching practices, within Pop Art, Minimal Art and Colourfield Painting. The exhibition is made up around this artistic evolution as well as the freeing of the shapes and colours of the 1950s, it is held in the largest and youngest museum of contemporary art in Switzerland: The MAMCO.

Where: MAMCO Foundation (Geneva, Switzerland)

When: From 22nd February until 19th June 2022


Verena Loewensberg retrospective exhibition organised by Lionel Bovier until 19th June 2022, MAMCO Geneva. Source : Foundation MAMCO