Eight Art Exhibitions and Events to Look Out For in May

Whether you're interested in photography, painting, fashion, or performance, there's plenty to see this month.

Here are some noteworthy exhibitions and events to add to your calendar:

  • Fragile Beauty at the V&A, London: Running from May 18, 2024, to January 5, 2025, this exhibition showcases over 300 rare prints from Elton John and David Furnish's extensive photography collection. It explores the connection between strength and vulnerability in the human condition through the works of artists such as Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpe, William Eggleston, and Diane Arbus.
  • When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting at Kunstmuseum Basel: Marking its European premiere, this exhibition showcases over 200 works by 120 artists, tracing a century of Black figuration in painting. Artists on display include Michael Armitage, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Danielle Mckinney, Amy Sherald, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.
  • Cindy Sherman at Cycladic: Early Works at the Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens: This exhibition delves into the early explorations of Cindy Sherman, focusing on her seminal series that portrayed female stereotypes. Spanning from her iconic Untitled Film Stills (1977-1980) to the Rear Screen Projections (1980) and Centerfolds (1981), it offers a comprehensive overview of Sherman's career and her development as an artist.
  • Beryl Cook / Tom of Finland at Studio Voltaire, London: This unique exhibition brings together the works of two provocative artists, Tom of Finland, known for his homoerotic illustrations, and Beryl Cook, renowned for her larger-than-life paintings of women. By placing their works in dialogue, the exhibition draws parallels between their explorations of gender, sexuality, and class.
  • The Infinite Woman at Villa Carmignac, Porquerolles Island, France: This ambitious exhibition explores the depiction of women in art and its impact on global culture. With works ranging from Sandro Botticelli and Egon Schiele to Judy Chicago, Lee Bul, and Zanele Muholi, it draws on ideas of myths and monsters to reflect on the multifaceted nature of womanhood.
  • Jenny Holzer at The Guggenheim, New York: Holzer is showcasing her evocative use of language in an exhibition at The Guggenheim. Running from May 17 to September 29, 2024, it features a reimagined installation from 1989, alongside a selection of her works from the 1970s to the present.
  • LaToya Ruby Frazier at MoMA, New York: Running from May 12 to September 7, 2024, this exhibition showcases the diverse bodies of work of LaToya Ruby Frazier, including intimate portraiture, writing, video, and performance. It explores themes of labour, gender, and race in the postindustrial era.
  • Marc Quinn at Kew Gardens, London: Marc Quinn, known for his exploration of the relationship between humans and nature, showcases new sculptures at Kew Gardens. These works are inspired by Kew's collection of plants and are accompanied by a selection of paintings and drawings in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery.
  • Mary Said What She Said at the Barbican, London: This Théâtre de la Ville–Paris production, starring Isabelle Huppert, showcases the struggles of Mary Stuart, whose passions ultimately cost her crown. It runs from May 10-12.

These are just a few of the many exciting art exhibitions and events to enjoy in May. Whether you're interested in photography, painting, fashion, or performance, there's something for everyone to experience and discover.

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