Culture Trip’s Guide to the Experiencing Art (Virtually)airport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar

Culture Trip’s Guide to Experiencing Art Virtually

A virtual version of 'Infinity Room', by Yayoi Kusama, is on show via Art Basel Hong Kong
A virtual version of 'Infinity Room', by Yayoi Kusama, is on show via Art Basel Hong Kong | © Pictures Ltd. / Corbis via Getty Images
The world might be on lockdown, but that doesn’t have to mean you can’t get your art fix. As exhibitions, events and galleries close temporarily because of coronavirus, many are putting their shows online. Good news for art buffs. Read on to discover how to appreciate the best art – without ever leaving the house.

Art fairs and galleries

Art Basel

With events in Basel, Miami and Hong Kong, Art Basel is one of world’s biggest and most exciting displays of contemporary art. But due to coronavirus, the Hong Kong leg is now happening virtually, with work from 235 galleries being shown in online viewing rooms. Alongside grand set pieces such as Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Room and Philippe Parreno’s monumentally aquatic My Room Is Another Fishbowl, there is a chance to discover overlooked work by Middle Eastern, Asian and Southeast Asian masters.

Art Dubai

The Middle East’s star-studded jamboree, Art Dubai, has also been cancelled this month, but organisers are continuing with a series of talks and performances that they hope will bring us together during these challenging times. In practice, that means a compelling line-up of guests, including Turner Prize co-winner Lawrence Abu Hamdan who will feature on a live ‘Newshour Special’ broadcast. In a live show, performance artists Bahar Noorizadeh, Angelo Plessas, Tabita Rezaire, Tiago Sant’Ana, and Imaad Majeed will interpret the idea of healing as an art form.

David Zwirner Gallery

The David Zwirner Gallery was one of the first out of the blocks when it came to showing online, and the team continues to deliver high-quality shows. The gallery has a presence at the online Art Basel Hong Kong, and you can also revisit past shows by the likes of Anni Albers and Wolfgang Tillmans. If you are feeling flush, you can buy pieces from their collection. The gallery also has a great podcast, Dialogues, in which artists discuss their work.

Textile artist Anni Albers was featured in a recent show at David Zwirner Gallery © Stephen Chung / Alamy Stock Photo

Tate Kids

Stuck at home with the kids and desperate to find a creative outlet? Tate Modern’s YouTube channel holds the answer. Featuring bright, bite-sized crammers on art movements such as Surrealism and Modernism, alongside potted histories of various artists, the channel is a delight. If the little mites are feeling inspired, watch one of the practical (ish) guides to becoming a performance artist.

The National Gallery

The National Gallery is a national treasure. A grand neoclassical building overlooking the throngs of tourists, street performers and pigeons of Trafalgar Square, it houses 2,300 publicly owned paintings. Visiting is off limits for now, but instead you can explore seven galleries of Renaissance masterpieces from northern Italy, the Netherlands and Germany, as well as the Central Hall, via the institution’s 360-view virtual tour.


The Way I See It

The art world is commonly thought of as a visual medium, but it’s not short of podcasts. One of the best, The Way I See It, is a collaboration between the BBC and MoMA. Like all good ideas, the premise is simple: some of the sharpest minds pick a piece of work from MoMA’s permanent collection and discuss how it “inspires or provokes, thrills or surprises” them. Presented by Alastair Sooke, it is an intensely personal show with a variety of guests – comedian Steve Martin, designer Yves Behar and academic Neri Oxman, among others – but the emphasis is on accessibility rather than hardcore art criticism.

Raw Material

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) podcast Raw Material is well into its sixth season, and it couldn’t have picked a more appropriate theme. Entitled Six Degrees, audio producer Sayre Quevedo attempts to find out whether we really are all connected by six degrees of separation – by contacting a stranger on the other side of the world via his network of artists and friends. Along the way, people share stories of love, loneliness, distance and togetherness. Seriously, it’s as if it was run by clairvoyants.

99% Invisible

Ok, so you could argue that 99% Invisible is about design rather than art, but it is so good, Culture Trip has loosened the brief a little. As the title suggests, the show examines everyday things around us that often go unnoticed, and explains why the world is the way it is. If you ever wondered about the origins of the fortune cookie, wanted to take an audio tour of the Guggenheim New York, or wondered why Sigmund Freud preferred couches to armchairs, this is the show for you.

99% Invisible offers listeners an audio guide to the Guggenheim © Francisco Martinez / Alamy Stock Photo