The Apollo Exhibition of the Year Award recognises some of the recent museum shows that have shed new light on particular artists or historical periods, or significantly influenced public opinion. The winner will be announced in the December issue of Apollo.
Tate Britain, London
9 October–13 March 2016
Alongside Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach is frequently praised as one of Britain’s finest post-war painters. Curated by Catherine Lampert, who has sat for the artist every week for 37 years, the retrospective spans the 1950s to the present and includes major works from each period. It excels in showing just how much London has inspired Auerbach, offering an intense encounter with the unique materiality of his work. Click here for our original coverage.
Gold and Ivory: Paris, Pisa, Florence, Siena. 1250–1320
This exhibition brought together 125 works, including large-scale statuary, illuminated manuscripts, and ivories, to highlight the rich cultural exchanges between Paris and what is now Tuscany during the late 13th century. The first display of its kind, made possible through loans from major European museums, it revealed just how much medieval Italian art was impacted by foreign developments. Click here for our original coverage.
Museum of Modern Art, New York
19 September–7 February 2016
There is a sense that we know everything there is to know about Picasso. But this revelatory exhibition about the artist’s three-dimensional works, which has received blanket praise from critics, demonstrates how much there is still to learn. Picasso’s sculptural experiments – of which 140 are on show here – lay bare his interest in non-western figuration, as well as confirming just how much the cubist style affected his artistic outlook.
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World
Palazzo Strozzi, Florence
14 March–21 June 2015
This large-scale survey traced the artistic achievements of the Hellenistic era through 50 rare ancient bronzes. This collaboration with the J. Paul Getty Museum, LA, and the NGA Washington was a triumph, because of the quality of the works and the sheer number assembled. Well-known pieces such as Spinario (c. 50 BC), were shown beside works recently salvaged from the sea. Click here for our original coverage.
Silent Partners: Artist & Mannequin from Function to Fetish
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
14 October 2014–25 January 2015
This ingenious exhibition presented artists’ mannequins or lay figures ranging from Fra Bartolommeo and Poussin by way of Degas and Kokoschka to the Chapman brothers. The result of a six-year project of research and restoration, the show, which was curated by Jane Munro, was widely praised for the wit and intelligence with which it brought the lifeless to life. Click here for our original coverage.