Leading institutions will open an abundance of vital exhibitions featuring both modern and contemporary artists in the coming year. From major retrospectives to landmark exhibitions, 2023 promises to be a sensational year for art.
Highlighted below are a selection of must-see exhibitions opening over the next 12 months, including the highly anticipated Philip Guston retrospective at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, Peter Doig's cinematic paintings at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and Georgia O'Keeffe's silky works on paper at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, along with compelling new installations by Kate Newby at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington and Haegue Yang at Pinacoteca in São Paulo.
In advance of the new year's dense exhibition schedule, we've narrowed down a list of ten institutional shows not to miss.
Kate Newby at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington (9 December 2022–2 June 2023)
Kate Newby's fantastical wind chime sculpture SHE'S TALKING TO THE WALL (2012–21) has arrived at Wellington's Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
Cemented in the Auckland-born artist's interest in the handmade, Newby's work urges visitors to absorb their surroundings by illuminating otherwise empty spaces.
Newby's glass and clay installation engages the senses of sound and sight, inviting us to delight in a mesmeric experience. Glistening light reflecting the ceramic glaze, and soft chimes echoing between glass and clay offer a shared moment to contemplate the different histories and meanings rooted in both material and space.
Open ahead of the new year, Newby's presentation at the Wellington-based museum runs concurrently with her exhibition So close, come on (25 November 2022–21 January 2023) at The Sunday Painter in London.
Cy Twombly at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (14 January–7 May 2023)
American artist Cy Twombly's long-term fascination with mythology, poetry, and archæology is the focus in his exhibition of paintings, drawings, and sculptures at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MFA Boston).
Opening mid-January, Making Past Present offers Twombly lovers a unique opportunity to view his work alongside treasured antiquities from the artist's personal collection as well as ancient art from the MFA Boston's Greek, Roman, and Egyptian collections.
The exhibition unpacks how one of the greats of 20th-century arts engaged with historical discourse to create a distinct modern style like no other.
Promising striking aesthetics, the exhibition will feature never-before-seen relics and early work by Twombly, including the sublimely powerful painting Blue Ridge Mountains Transfixed by a Roman Piazza (1962).
Haegue Yang at Pinacoteca, São Paulo (25 January–28 May 2023)
Following her being awarded the 13th Benesse Prize at the Singapore Art Museum in October this year, Haegue Yang continues her success with a display of new work in a major exhibition at Pinacoteca in São Paulo in January.
Yang will be the first South Korean artist to exhibit work at the Brazilian institution and will unveil a site-specific installation alongside work selected from Pinacoteca's permanent collection.
Known for her assemblages of mundane objects, Yang will transform Pinacoteca's Gallery Square by suspending a gravity-defying mobile sculpture made from industrial shutters.
Demonstrating a depth of experimental freedom, Pinacoteca's exhibit will be an exciting opportunity to see Yang's work in one of the biggest cities in South America.
Mohammed Sami at Camden Art Centre, London (27 January–28 May 2023)
Interlaced with personal memories, Mohammed Sami's powerful semi-abstract paintings are being spotlighted at London's Camden Art Centre.
The North London gallery brings together a series of new paintings by the Iraq-born artist in his first institutional exhibition in the United Kingdom.
Unpacking brutal experiences of conflict growing up under Saddam Hussein's dictatorship in Baghdad, Sami's large-scale compositions are packed with intense colour and vibrant outbursts of energetic movement.
After witnessing the gravitas of his work earlier this year at Modern Art in London, Sami's landmark exhibition, entitled Mohammed Sami: The Point 0, is guaranteed to deliver an unparalleled display of dark yet beautiful work by the rising star.
To accompany what will be the largest display of Sami's work to date, the gallery will present the first comprehensive monograph on the artist.
Peter Doig at The Courtauld, London (10 February–29 May 2023)
Peter Doig's velvety figurative paintings and semi-abstract landscapes continue to attract gallery-goers and art buyers alike.
Showcasing the Scottish artist's latest work—with particular focus on works made since his departure from Trinidad to London in 2021—The Courtauld brings together an eclectic collection of Doig's contemporary works.
Configuring memory with art historical references, Doig's atmospheric paintings will be displayed alongside works by Impressionist and Post-Impressionist greats including Manet, Cézanne, and Gauguin—artists who strongly influence Doig's practice.
The Morgan Stanley Exhibition: Peter Doig opens in February and will be the first exhibition by a contemporary artist since the gallery's redevelopment in 2021.
Martin Wong at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (25 February–14 May 2023)
Over 100 of Martin Wong's striking and theatrical works will feature in the most extensive presentation of the artist's oeuvre in Europe to date.
Wong's practice is defined by his focus on sociopolitical narratives surrounding queer and marginalised communities. Incorporating a variety of visual styles into his work, including Chinese iconography and graffiti, Wong's paintings unfold poetic—often burnt orange in hue—depictions of his surroundings and experiences as an openly gay man in California and New York.
The KW Institute for Contemporary Art will exhibit a comprehensive display of paintings and sculptures by the American-Chinese artist, dating from the 1960s to 1999.
Philip Guston at the National Gallery of Art, Washington (26 February–27 August, 2023)
The iconic fleshy pink colour palette of Philip Guston will adorn the interior of the National Gallery of Art in Washington in late February.
Oscillating between tongue-in-cheek humour and unnerving imagery, a major retrospective of the artist's all-encompassing practice is well overdue.
Following the National Gallery of Art's postponement of Guston's retrospective in the midst of the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the exhibition has been the centre of controversy.
The display includes a series of drawings and paintings that feature Ku Klux Klan figures engaging in everyday experiences. As a white, Jewish artist, Guston's work offers a provocative perspective on the different ways racial violence seeps through American society.
Spanning his 50-year career, the National Gallery of Art will curate the largest collection of Guston's paintings and drawings to date. Washington is just one stop on the tour for this blockbuster exhibition, following displays at the Museums of Fine Arts in Boston and Houston, and it will precede the exhibition's final display at Tate Modern in London in October.
Georgia O'Keeffe at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (9 April–12 August 2023)
Remarkably the first exhibition dedicated to her at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) since 1946, Georgia O'Keeffe's works on paper will be the centrepiece of the New York museum's 2023 exhibition.
Bringing focus to the importance of process in O'Keeffe's practice, MoMA will showcase exquisite visual sequences she made using watercolour, charcoal, pastel, and graphite on paper.
The exhibition—named after the musing O'Keeffe once wrote: 'to see takes time'—will feature a number of works that exemplify her lifelong exploration of form and natural occurrences.
Shifting between the movements of stars in the sky and more abstract forms like rhythm and sound, the modern painter's works on paper are staggeringly beautiful.
In April, rare and iconic paintings by Hilma Af Klint and Piet Mondrian will take over the walls of one of the United Kingdom's biggest art galleries, Tate Modern in London.
Complimenting the spherical natural forms of Af Klint with Mondrian's lesser-known flower paintings, the famous Bankside gallery invites visitors to observe the modern painters and their visions of the natural world in an unlikely and never-before-seen pairing.
Hilma af Klint & Piet Mondrian: Forms of Life will also feature Mondrian's renowned grid paintings. It will be fascinating to see Mondrian's rigid, primary-coloured compositions alongside his early works and Af Klint's curved forms and soft colour palettes.
Joseph Yaeger at The Perimeter, London (11 January–18 February 2023)
Finally, while not strictly an institutional show, Joseph Yaeger's debut at the private London museum, The Perimeter, looks too good to miss off the list of hot openings.
The American artist's first solo exhibition at a public gallery centres on the notion of recurrence. Characterised by Yaeger's use of unconventional visual techniques, such as cropped close-ups and reflections, the London-based artist masterfully captures fragments of time steeped in emotion.
In 2022, Yaeger spoke with Ocula and explained his approach to depicting such intense emotional and physical states in his aesthetic.
'There is a kind of method acting involved when I paint. I probably do manipulate my own face and try to get into what emotional state the people in the paintings are experiencing and heighten it as much as possible to get that overture, good-cry feeling, which is indistinguishable from happiness or sadness.'
Yaeger will also be exhibiting work in his second solo show with Project Native Informant in London in autumn 2023.
Main image: Philip Guston, Painting, Smoking, Eating (1973) (detail). Oil on canvas. 196.85 × 262.89 cm. Courtesy the artist and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. © The Estate of Philip Guston.