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Rijksmuseum | © Erik Smits
Rijksmuseum | © Erik Smits
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Exhibitions to See Around the World During the Holidays

Picture of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 3 January 2018
With Christmas just around the corner, Culture Trip rounds up a selection of the must-see collections and exhibitions you can visit over the holidays if your family gets to be too much, you’re at a loose end, or you simply just can’t take any more Christmas television.

A Tale of Two Worlds at MMK 1, Frankfurt am Main

This is a great way to experience the MMK Collection from the perspective of Latin American Art. Collaborating with Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (Moderno) in Argentina, MMK present possibly their largest exhibition ever, A Tale of Two Worlds: Experimental Latin American Art in Dialogue with the MMK Collection 1940s–1980s. Considering the narratives of Western Art through 500 artworks from both public and private collections by artists from Latin America, the United States and Europe, the exhibition has been curated so the works from different geographical, historical and conceptual contexts are in conversation with each other. Artists include Hélio Oiticica, Claes Oldenburg, Marcel Broodthaers, Lygia Clark and Roy Lichtenstein.

Opening hours: December 22–23 10am–6pm; closed Christmas Eve; Christmas Day 10am–6pm; Boxing Day 10am–6pm; December 27 10am–8pm; December 28–30 10am–6pm; closed New Year’s Eve; New Year’s Day 10am–6pm.

Lygia Clark, 'Cabeça coletiva', 1975 | © O Mundo de Lygia Clark, Photo: Axel Schneider
Lygia Clark, ‘Cabeça coletiva’, 1975 | © O Mundo de Lygia Clark, Foto/photo: Axel Schneider

Permanent collection at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

With its excellent collection of Johannes Vermeers, the Rijksmuseum is the ideal location for a meander on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. The stunning building, designed by the Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers in 1885, merges Gothic and Renaissance styles and is as impressive as the works on display. Highlights include Rembrandt’s The Night Watch (1642) and Vermeer’s The Milkmaid (1660).

Opening hours: Daily 9am–5pm including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Johannes Vermeer, 'The Milkmaid', 1660 | <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vermeer_-_The_Milkmaid.jpg" target="_blank" rel="noopener">© The Rijksmuseum / WikiCommons</a>
Johannes Vermeer, ‘The Milkmaid’, 1660 | © The Rijksmuseum / Wikicommons

John Akomfrah: Purple at Barbican Curve Gallery, London

If you do one thing before January 7, it has to be attending John Akomfrah’s monumental exhibition at Barbican’s unusually curved gallery. First off, there is no entrance fee. And more importantly, it will have you looking at the world in an entirely new light, a great way to see in 2018. Known for his epic film works, Purple, his most ambitious project yet, follows on from Vertigo Sea (2015) and focuses on climate change. The six-screen immersive installation charts through archival footage and newly filmed vignettes the impact of shifting weather patterns on humanity and the wilderness. It’s one mega must-see show and the perfect escape from the Christmas nonsense.

Opening hours: December 22 11am–9pm; December 23 11am–8pm; closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day; December 27 11am–8pm; December 28–29 11am–9pm; December 30–31 11am–8pm; New Year’s Day 12pm–8pm.

Want to see other shows in London? The best exhibitions to see this week

Installation view of 'John Akomfrah: Purple' at The Curve, Barbican Centre | Photo: Anthony Harvey / Getty Images
Installation view of ‘John Akomfrah: Purple’ at The Curve, Barbican Centre | Photo: Anthony Harvey / Getty Images

Urban Light and Levitated Mass at LACMA, Los Angeles

You could spend an entire day at the expansive exhibition halls and galleries of LACMA and still not see everything. So if you just fancy a stroll in LA’s sunny winter weather, then head straight for Chris Burden’s Urban Light (2008) installation and Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass (2012) in the museum’s grounds, where you can capture enviable Instagram shots.

Opening hours: December 22 11am–5pm; December 23 11am–8pm; Christmas Eve 10am–7pm; closed Christmas Day; Boxing Day–January 8 10am–8pm (including Wednesdays).

Chris Burden, 'Urban Light', 2008 | © LACMA / WikiCommons
Chris Burden, ‘Urban Light’, 2008 | © Wiki Commons

Diorama. Inventing Illusion at Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt

Humans have been telling stories to one other for centuries, passing knowledge and folklore down through generations. But how have we relayed historical and cultural events through visual aids as oppose to verbal means? The Schirn’s winter exhibition, Diorama. Inventing Illusion, looks at the cultural history of vision through the lens of the diorama, a three-dimensional model created by the 19th-century French photography pioneer, Louis Daguerre. From early religious art through to contemporary installations, the exhibition charts our fascination for visual storytelling.

Opening hours: December 22–23 10am–7pm; closed Christmas Eve; Christmas Day 10am–7pm; Boxing Day 10am–7pm; December 27–28 10am–10pm; December 29–30 10am–7pm; New Year’s Eve 10am–5pm; New Year’s Day 11am–7pm.

Exhibition view 'Diorama. Inventing Illusion', 2017 | © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. Photo: Norbert Miguletz
Exhibition view ‘Diorama. Inventing Illusion’, 2017 | © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. Photo: Norbert Miguletz

Radical Utopias at Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi

Celebrating the radical architectural movement in Florence between the 1960s and 1970s, Radical Utopias brings together the works of visionary creatives such as Archizoom, Remo Buti, Superstudio and Zziggurat through a dynamic presentation of design objects, videos, photography, installations and performances all under the roof of the impressive Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi. This is a brilliant introduction to both an innovative architectural movement and Florence’s central role in contemporary creativity.

Open daily including holidays 10am–8pm; Thursday 10am–11pm.

© Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi
Courtesy Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi | © Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi