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LuYang, Digital Descending, ARoS, Aarhus, 2021
Photograph: Courtesy LuYang and Société, BerlinLuYang, Digital Descending, ARoS, Aarhus, 2021

13 exhibitions worth travelling for in 2023

From the largest ever Vermeer exhibition in Amsterdam to Madrid’s festival of Picasso, these are the year’s biggest art shows

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

All years are great years for art – but 2023 is set to be even more spectacular than most. Wherever you are in the world, from Tokyo and Paris to London and New York, each city has its own stacked schedule of exhibitions and shows. We’ll see vast retrospectives, triumphant first-time solo shows, eagerly-anticipated displays (still) delayed by the pandemic and much, much more. From all that, here are our highlights: 2023’s must-see exhibitions, all over the world. 

🖼 London art exhibitions we can’t wait to see in 2023
🎨 The biggest art exhibitions coming to Tokyo in 2023

World’s best exhibitions to see this year

2023 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of art titan Pablo Picasso and, appropriately, pretty much the entire city of Madrid is paying tribute. From sprawling exhibitions at the Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums to displays that put Picasso's art in conversation with other Spanish art giants El Greco (at the Prado) and Velázquez (at the Casa de Velázquez), ready yourself for an all-out Picasso feast.

From her captivating ‘infinity rooms’ to her Louis Vuitton shopfront robots, 93-year-old Yayoi Kusama might just be the world’s most famous living artist. In other words, it’s a great time to hold a gob-smackingly massive show of her life and works. Working its way through over 200 of the Japanese artist’s creations, this exhibition at Hong Kong’s M+ is exactly as blindingly colourful and bewilderingly pattern-filled as you’d expect.

November 12 2022 to May 14 2023, M+.


The work of Shanghai-born, Tokyo-based artist LuYang is as playful as it is philosophical. With art that often focuses on images and representations of the artist themselves, LuYang’s shows reckon with the human condition in a blaze of Buddhist spirituality and video game graphics. In other words, a LuYang show is always, always worth a look – and Kunsthalle Basel’s ‘Vibratory Field’, as a completely new solo exhibition, promises to be just as essential.

January 20 to May 21 2023, Kunsthalle Basel.

How on earth do you sum up a whopping 100 years of Black self-representation in art? It’s not easy, that’s for sure – but the ‘When We See Us’ in Cape Town’s Zeitz Museum does a marvellous job of it. Collecting 200 paintings that span everything from spirituality and emancipation to sensuality and the everyday, it’s as awesomely sweeping and totally dazzling as it should be.  

November 20 2022 to September 3 2023, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.


Where better to see a properly ginormous exhibition of Johannes Vermeer than in the Dutch artist’s homeland? The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will play host to what will likely be the largest Vermeer exhibition ever, bringing together more than 23 of the baroque painter’s masterpieces – and yes, that does include ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’.

February 10 to June 4 2023, Rijksmuseum.

Georgia O’Keefe might’ve been best known for her vivid images of flowers and landscapes but her works in charcoal, pencil, watercolour and pastel deserve just as much attention. And that’s exactly what this exhibition at New York’s MoMA sets out to prove. In exhibiting O’Keefe’s landmark pieces alongside these paper-based works, it’ll lay bare the artistic processes of one of the twentieth century’s most significant painters.

April 9 to August 12 2023, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).


Austrian painter Egon Schiele may have only lived to the age of 28, but in that short time the expressionist still managed to establish himself as one of the finest painters of his time. Tokyo’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has borrowed 50 works from Vienna’s Leopold Museum for this show, which is also rounded out by over 120 installations from Schiele’s contemporaries.

January 26 to April 9 2023, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Sonia Boyce’s ‘Feeling Her Way’ picked up a bunch of awards at last year’s Venice Biennale – including the coveted Golden Lion for Best National Participation – and now it’s getting a prolonged public showing at the Turner Contemporary in Margate. Combining video, collage, music and sculpture, it builds into Boyce’s long-standing ‘Devotional Collection’ that celebrates the contributions of Black British female musicians to public life and culture.

February 4 to May 8 2023, Turner Contemporary.


The decades between 1880 and the outbreak of World War One in 1914 saw huge changes overhaul the art world. This was the period of cubism, expressionism, abstraction: the great earth-movers that laid the ground for modern art as we know it. Featuring everyone from Klimt, Matisse and Picasso to Mondrian, Kandinsky and Rodin, the National Gallery’s ‘After Impressionism’ promises to be the comprehensive guide to one of the most exciting periods in European art.

March 25 to August 13 2023, National Gallery.

Henry Taylor is best known for his portraits, which are characterised by imagined settings and social commentary, but Taylor’s also much more than a portraitist. And that’s shown at his homecoming show at MOCA in Los Angeles, which is his most extensive solo exhibition show to-date and features four decades’ worth of paintings, sculptures, drawings and sketches. It’s a dazzling ode to an LA legend.

November 6 2022 to April 30 2023, Museum of Contemporary Art.


Celebrating the breadth of creativity and design of American and Canadian women from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, the artworks and objects of ‘Parall(elles)’ at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will examine how gender, identity, race, culture and class intersect, all while taking into account social, political and personal backgrounds. Sound impressive? You bet it does.

February 18 to May 28 2023, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Next up to get the immersive treatment at Paris’ Atelier des Lumières are two twentieth century masters: Marc Chagall and Paul Klee. The Chagall show intends to follow the artist’s footsteps and transport visitors from Paris to New York, set to a mix of jazz, klezmer and orchestral music, while the Klee exhibit interrogates his relationship to music. Both are far from the usual immersive art fodder.

17 February 2023 to January 2024, Atelier des Lumières.


At the heart of Franco-Algerian artist Zineb Sedira’s work is addressing what it means to live between cultures. She works across photography, film and installation and, in these times of migrant crises and global interconnectedness, her major exhibition at Dundee Contemporary Arts couldn’t feel more urgent or necessary.

April 29 to August 6 2023, Dundee Contemporary Arts.

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