Best Art Exhibitions in Italy This Spring/Summer 2024

Let’s be real – if you want to see art exhibitions in Italy, any time of any year works. If there’s one thing that Il Belpaese does not lack, it’s arts and culture (okay, and good food). However, if you are lucky enough to find yourself there on a Venice Art Biennale year, then you’re definitely in for a treat. Obviously, Venice itself becomes a big open-air museum from April to November, and 2024 promises to be an unmissable year already now. Read more about what the 60th edition of the Venice Biennale will bring, and read on for other art exhibitions you can also see this spring and summer 2024 – in case you’re planning a small Italian tour!

Ambienti 1956-2010 – Environments by Women Artists II at MAXXI Rome

At the MAXXI Museum in Rome, there’s an opportunity for you to enter a women’s space. As part of a project initiated by the Haus der Kunst in Munich, this exhibition offers environments created by female artists between 1956 and 2010. Among them, we have some well-known names such as Judy Chicago, Lygia Clark, Marta Minujín, for this iteration joining Pipilotti Rist, Martha Roster, Nalini Malani, and Kimsooja, among others. As described by the curators, these immersive works are ready to be “activated by audience interaction and enhanced by human presence.”

The exhibitions opens on April 10th and runs through October 20th, 2024. Buy your ticket online.

Aleksandra Kasuba Spectral Passage, 1975 – 2023 art exhibition in Italy
Inside Other Spaces. Environments by Women Artists 1956–1976. Aleksandra Kasuba: Spectral Passage, 1975 – 2023. Haus der Kunst München, 2023. Ph. Agostino Osio – Alto Piano

Anselm Kiefer at Palazzo Strozzi Florence

Seeing Anselm Kiefer’s work in person really is something special. It’s almost as if you never know what you will get in terms of size or materials, but you know that it will be spectacular. Kiefer’s work is emotionally rich, rooted in history, mythology, literature, poetry and memory. And when an exhibition comes from the director of a major art institution such as Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi, you know it’s a good one. “Fallen Angel” will present Kiefer’s old and new artwork alike, “in a profound dialogue with the Renaissance architecture” of its hosting building. A unique chance to see the work of a master in one of Italy’s most remarkable cities!

You can see this show between March 22nd and July 21st, 2024. Buy your ticket online.

Adrian Piper at PAC Milan

We head over to Milan, where PAC – Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea is hosting the first European retrospective in over two decades dedicated to Adrian Piper. Winner of the Golden Lion award at the 2015 Venice Biennale, Piper has been working for over 60 years. She is today considered one of the most important conceptual artists of our times. Based on philosophy and activism, Piper’s art is often described as uncomfortable and confrontational. It asks difficult questions about racial and gender identity, politics, sexism and misogyny, racism, our own selves and the society we live in.

The exhibition “Adrian Piper. Race traitor” closes on June 9th, 2024. Buy your ticket online.

Adrian Piper, Race Traitor, 2018 art exhibition in Italy
Adrian Piper, Race Traitor, 2018. Photo: Fotofix. Rennie Collection, Vancouver. © Adrian Piper Research Archive (APRA) Foundation Berlin

Brassaï at Palazzo Reale Milan

As one of the bigger art museums in Italy, I often feature Milan’s Palazzo Reale in my “exhibitions to see” listicles. After all, it’s a great place to see some of the most important artworks out there, in a museum right next to the Duomo of Milan. This time, you can also visit 1920s Paris while never leaving Milan, through the exhibition of works by one Brassaï. You can see over 200 vintage prints, with particular attention to the extremely famous images dedicated to the French capital and its life. For Brassaï, Paris was a subject much like a human one, which he endeavored to show all sides of, the good and the bad.

An honorable mention goes to the upcoming show titled “From the Heart to the Hands”. It is “an open love letter to Italian culture as the enduring inspiration for Dolce&Gabbana’s fashion designs.” The exhibition celebrates the D&G brand as a symbol of Italian style, and will embark on a world tour following the inauguration at Palazzo Reale in Milan.

Brassaï closes on June 2nd. The Dolce & Gabbana exhibition opens on April 7th. Buy your tickets online.

Brassaï, Couple au bal des Quatre Saisons, rue de Lappe, 1933 art exhibition in Italy
Brassaï, Couple au bal des Quatre Saisons, rue de Lappe, 1933. © Estate Brassaï Succession-Philippe Ribeyrolles

Julie Mehretu and Pierre Huyghe at Palazzo Grassi/Punta della Dogana Venice

We travel over to Venice, where during the Art Biennale year there’s always so much to see. This year is no different.

Starting with Palazzo Grassi, we have the show dedicated to Julie Mehretu, the largest showing of her work to date in Europe. Some fifty of her abstract works on canvas and paper join those of Mehretu’s peers. While the exhibition focuses on Mehretu, in a non-chronological way the show accompanies her on a journey where she meets with other like-minded artists. Mehretu’s friends – among them Huma Bhabha, Tacita Dean, and David Hammons – inspire her and share her experiences of displacement, informing her own art and connecting with her.

At Punta della Dogana, Pierre Huyghe creates a world that is both human and not. The exhibition space becomes “a dynamic, sensitive milieu perpetually evolving,” and “a transitory state inhabited by human and non-human creatures and becomes the site of formation of subjectivities that are constantly learning, changing, and hybridizing.” Great tip if you are into out-of-this-world concepts or if you’ve just finished binging “3 Body Problem”, like me.

“Julie Mehretu. Ensemble” closes on January 6th, 2025. “Pierre Huyghe. Liminal” closes on November 24th, 2024. Buy your tickets online.

Julie Mehretu, Among the Multitude XIII, 2021-2022
Julie Mehretu, Among the Multitude XIII, 2021-2022. Ink and acrylic on canvas, 121.9 × 152.4 cm Private collection © Julie Mehretu. Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

Willem de Kooning at the Gallerie dell’Accademia Venice

At the Gallery dell’Accademia in Venice, the exhibition “Willem de Kooning and Italy” could not have a more apt title. In a first, it will explore the decade that the artist spent in Italy, between 1959 and 1969 and the impact these visits had on his work. This is also the largest presentation of the artist ever organized in Italy, with around 75 artworks on display. For instance, we will be able to see the “Black and White Rome” drawings, as well as 13 small bronzes, which he made during his first extended visit to the Italian capital. A real feast for the fans of abstract art!

“Willem de Kooning and Italy” closes on September 15th, 2024. Buy your ticket online.

Willem de Kooning, Pirate (Untitled II), 1981
Willem de Kooning, Pirate (Untitled II), 1981. Oil on canvas, 88 x 77 inches (223,4 x 194,4 cm). Museum of Modern Art, New York. Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection Fund, 1982 / © 2024 The Willem de Kooning Foundation, SIAE

Ernest Pignon-Ernest at Espace Louis Vuitton Venice

And finally, a free exhibition! A very short walk from Piazza San Marco in Venice, the Espace Louis Vuitton is hosting the French artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest. Known to street art lovers, the artist has been making paste-ups dedicated to migrants, vagabonds, poets and heroes of all kinds. A notable artwork of his is the one dedicated to Pier Paolo Pasolini, the Italian movie director and artist. Pignon-Ernest’s life-size posters of Pasolini carrying his own dead self in his arms showed up on sites related to his life and work, including the Ostia beach, where he was murdered.

“Je est un autre” closes on November 24th, 2024.

Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Pasolini assassiné – Si je reviens, Rome, 2015
Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Pasolini assassiné – Si je reviens, Rome, 2015. Photo courtesy Galerie Lelong. Crédit artistique © Ernest Pignon-Ernest / Adagp, Paris 2024
Angie Kordic

Visual Arts Editor

Angie Kordic is a 31-year-old Serbian based in Stockholm, Sweden. She holds a BA in Photography from the Istituto Europeo di Design from Milan, where she lived for five years. Her rich experience in the field of contemporary art includes work she did for an arts PR agency in Bari, Italy, as well as the six years she spent at Widewalls magazine, as both Junior Editor and Editor-in-Chief. Currently, she is working for a Swedish fashion corporation and does freelance writing on the side. Although she is an avid traveler, Angie's heart will always belong to Italy - perché la vita lí è semplicemente più bella.

  1. Hello,

    I am an American expat artist living in Trieste Italy. I have a solo art show beginning on May 18th at the Zanon Gallery in Rome. I was wondering if you’d be interested in publishing about the upcoming event. You can see the announcement and some of the artwork on my Instagram account @Keithedwardsartist. Ciao!

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