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Our Top Exhibitions of 2023
Editorial / Artists

Our Top Exhibitions of 2023

21 Dec 2023 | 5 min read

As 2023 draws to a close, we present to you our handpicked selection of the top exhibitions from around the globe. From some of the world's most vibrant cities–Paris to Glasgow, Melbourne to Miami–we bring you a snapshot of the most impressive shows that graced us over the past 12 months.

Harland Miller – All Night Meteorite

White Cube West Palm Beach | 30 November – 16 December 2023

Installation view of All Night Meteorite

Installation view of All Night Meteorite

White Cube / Harland Miller

After wowing London in 2022, Harland Miller brought his wit-infused canvases to West Palm Beach, FL with White Cube. Miller's exploration of love, human psychology, and the relentless tick-tock of time is a blend of vintage self-help book covers and mid-20th-century abstraction, inviting you to decipher the complexities, promising more than meets the eye. We enjoyed the dance between text and image which opens the door wide for personal interpretation.

Banksy – Cut and Run

Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art | 18 June – 27 August 2023

Installation view of Cut & Run

Installation view of Cut & Run

JANE BARLOW

Breaking a 14-year hiatus of authorised exhibits, Banksy's Cut and Run at Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) set records and leaves a global tour rumour lingering. With a staggering 180,000 visitors in 10 weeks, Banksy's retrospective showcased a wide collection of his stencils and unravelled the tale behind Love is in the Bin's infamous self-shredding. Attendees, drawn from all corners of the globe according to GoMA's director, received a comprehensive 25-year overview, making this one of the most desirable exhibitions of the year.

Marina Abramović

Royal Academy | 23 September 2023 - 1 January 2024

Installation view of Rhythm 2 (1974) at the Royal Academy

Installation view of Rhythm 2 (1974) at the Royal Academy

Guy Bell / Shutterstock

Celebrating 50 years of Marina Abramović, the Royal Academy promises a transformative journey into her iconic career. Sculpture, video, and live performances, including re-staged classics like "The Artist is Present," offer an intimate encounter. Explore key moments through Abramović's boundary-pushing works with each visit unveiling a unique experience.

Tracey Emin – Lovers Grave

White Cube New York | 4 November 2023 – 13 January 2024

Installation view of Lovers Grave

Installation view of Lovers Grave

White Cube / Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin has marked her triumphant return to New York with an inaugural exhibition at White Cube's new gallery on 1002 Madison Avenue. This showcase includes 26 new paintings and works on paper, revealing Emin's resilience three years after her significant health ordeal. Inspired by archaeological burial sites depicting entwined human remains, Emin explores the enduring nature of love transcending into the afterlife, symbolising new life emerging from a sepulchral context—a theme she describes as a metaphorical phoenix rising from the ashes. This narrative holds special significance for Emin, reflecting the profound impact of her recent life-threatening illness on both her physical well-being and artistic perspective.

Alma Berrow – Echo

LAMB Gallery | 5 October – 28 October 2023

Installation view of Echo

Installation view of Echo

LAMB Gallery / Alma Berrow

In October, Alma Berrow transformed LAMB Gallery with a whimsical installation of her ceramics. Playfulness and humor define her hand-molded pieces, evoking nostalgia in what was presented as a seemingly ordinary bathroom. Visitors were encouraged to physically step between her creations to discover the intimate details. Once again we were able to witness Berrow expertly turn the mundane into a playground of action and nostalgia, eliciting relatability, surprise, and laughter.

Sarah Lucas – Happy Gas

Tate Britain | 28 September 2023 – 14 January 2024

Installation view of Happy Gas at Tate Britain

Installation view of Happy Gas at Tate Britain

Photo: Lucy Green. Tate / Sarah Lucas

The Guardian aptly describes Sarah Lucas's exhibition as a "gloriously filthy show". Noteworthy pieces include a wax-cast erect penis on a chair, upright pink dentures, a wooden box posing as a prohibited smoking area, and sculpted mechanical arms engaging in explicit gestures. Beyond the initial shock value, Lucas navigates societal norms, offering a critical commentary on our experiences of sex, class, and gender. This exhibition challenges taboos and encourages contemplation on the boundaries of censorship and restrictions within the realm of art.

David Hockney – Drawing from Life

National Portrait Gallery | 2 November 2023 - 21 January 2024

David Hockney with his drawings at the National Portrait Gallery

David Hockney with his drawings at the National Portrait Gallery

David Parry

David Hockney's drawings take centre stage in this retrospective, with a standout featuring a precise yet casually dashed-off sketch of his friend Celia Birtwell at Langan’s Brasserie in 1970. The exhibition spans eight decades and delves into Hockney's various portrayals of Birtwell, showcasing his precision and confidence. While the Seventies imperial phase steals the spotlight, the show also navigates Hockney's later infatuation with Picasso and explores the evolution of his drawing and painting styles, with nods to classicism and Rembrandt-inspired pieces.

Takashi Murakami – ​​Understanding the New Cognitive Domain

Gagosian Le Bourget | 10 June - 22 December 2023

Installation view of ​​Understanding the New Cognitive Domain

Installation view of ​​Understanding the New Cognitive Domain

Gagosian / Takashi Murakami

Murakami's exhibition at Gagosian Le Bourget unveiled a 5-by-23-meter Kabuki-inspired painting alongside extended-format works. Economic theory met contemporary culture as Murakami aligned historical figures with video game characters. The show featured "lucky cat" paintings, NFT projects, and mirror-plated futuristic avatars, blending traditional Japanese techniques with pop culture and technology.

NGV Triennial 2023

National Gallery of Australia | 3 December 2023 - 7 April 2024

Albany Georgia (2021) by Tyler Mitchell

Albany Georgia (2021) by Tyler Mitchell

Tyler Mitchell

Melbourne's NGV Triennial showcases 120+ artists, including Tracey Emin, Yoko Ono, and David Shrigley. If you are fortunate enough to be able to make it there in the first half of 2024, you can embark on a deliberate, unhurried exploration across three levels of NGV International. The intentional emphasis on representation and black visibility, with works by Tyler Mitchell and Derek Fordjour, creates a dynamic, diverse narrative. Textile art also takes centre stage and features talents that epitomise the ‘ultra-contemporary’ art scene.

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