Top Ten Europe

Top Ten Europe

Direct from Museums magazine, we spotlight continental Europe's can't-miss exhibitions this fall. Also, check out our Top Five London if you happen to be in the UK capital city. Going back in the States? Be sure to see our highlights for Top Ten USA, Top Five Philadelphia, and Top Five Boston.

1. If you’re looking for a hip art venue in Athens, stop by the Deste Foundation for what is sure to be another timely and provocative gathering of work by some of the top contemporary artists around. “Fractured Figure,” curated by New York megadealer Jeffrey Deitch, features works from the Dakis Joannou Collection and runs through March 23.

2. Offering the viewer an uncommon art adventure, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris hands over its curatorial reins to Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. His selection, which includes work by Andy Warhol, Urs Fischer, Cady Noland, and 28 others, is titled “The Third Mind.” This brainy show remains open through January 3, 2008.

3. The parents of French painter Balthus (Balthasar Klossowski) were from Germany, but his work has never been featured in a solo show there. The Museum Ludwig in Cologne corrects this with “Balthus—Time Suspended. Paintings and Drawings, 1932–1960,” which includes about 70 paintings and drawings from the most fertile period of the artist’s career. On view through November 4.

4. Why are some works of art not discussed—let alone barely shown at all—while others are canonized? “Be-Bomb: The Transatlantic War of Images and All That Jazz, 1946–1956” brings this issue to light in a historic look at French and American art of the postwar period. On view until January 1, 2008, at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona.

5. The late artist Martin Kippenberger may have been more enfant terrible than model citizen, but “Model Martin Kippenberger: Utopia for Everyone” hopes to emphasize the moral content of his oeuvre. Austria’s Kunsthaus Graz examines the German artist’s work as a form of social sculpture, in line with the work of Joseph Beuys. See for yourself through January 6, 2008.

6. These days, you can’t discuss large-format photography without mentioning Andreas Gursky. On view at the Kunstmuseum Basel are recent series that situate his distinctive individual images within larger thematic contexts, such as the fast-paced world of Formula 1, a choreographed public event in North Korea, a stock exchange, and a factory. “Andreas Gursky” runs from October 20 until February 24, 2008.

7. While narrative painting has only recently come back into favor in the United States, artists in India have been honing their skills in this area for several decades. “Horn Please. Narratives in Contemporary Indian Art” traces that subcontinent’s narrative tradition from the 1980s to the present and displays works in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, photomontage, video, animation, and installation. At the Kunstmuseum Bern through January 6, 2008.

8. Glasgow artist David Shrigley is mainly known for his twisted and pointed commentary on life through his black-and-white text-based drawings. At Sweden’s Malmö Konsthall you can also expect to see prints, films, photos, sculpture, and paintings—some created especially for this exhibition. “David Shrigley, Everything Must Have a Name” continues until November 4.

9. Homesick travelers jonesing for their fill of American art should head to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, where “Art in the USA: 300 Years of Innovation” features 200 works gathered from private and public collections in the U.S. The exhibition separates the work into six historical eras. October 11 through February 2008.

10. The Argentine architect Hernán Diáz Alonso uses advanced computer technology and pioneering space programs to generate biomorphic forms inspired by plant-based, living systems. Vienna’s MAK Museum presents his earthy, space-age work in “Hernán Diáz Alonso. Pitch Black,” through March 2, 2008.

"Top Ten Europe" comes to ARTINFO from the fall 2007 issue of Museums magazine.