David Smith: The White Sculptures
Storm King Art Center, New York (13 May–12 November)
Smith is of the few sculptors linked to Abstract Expressionism. His use of the colour white is examined through the monumental painted steel sculptures he produced in the years up to his death in 1965. Also on display are his early constructions in white coral from the 1930s.
Fernand Léger: Le Beau est partout
Centre Pompidou-Metz (20 May–30 October)
As part of the Pompidou’s 40th-anniversary celebrations, this large retrospective goes on display in Metz. Léger was drawn to both high and popular culture, and his work is explored here in the context of his many interests, among them cinema, poetry, and architecture.
The Boomerang Effect: The Aboriginal Arts of Australia
Musée d’ethnographie de Genève (19 May–7 January 2018)
A range of artefacts, including weapons, masks and domestic objects, reveals how attempts to suppress indigenous culture in Australia have had the opposite effect. New sculptures made by Torres Strait Islanders from discarded fishing nets are also on display (pictured).
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Under-Song for a Cipher
New Museum, New York (3 May–3 September)
The 2013 Turner Prize finalist presents a selection of her fictional portraits of black men and women imagined in indistinct, abstract environments. Yiadom-Boakye is also a writer, and the characters in these vibrant oils are protagonists in her short stories.
Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics
Corning Museum of Glass, New York (20 May–7 January 2018)
The first museum exhibition dedicated to Louis C. Tiffany’s coloured glass mosaics features a selection of glittering objects, including lamps, fireplace surrounds, and inkwells. This decorative panel, Fathers of the Church of around 1892, is based on a design by Joseph Lauber.
Tate Modern, London (10 May–10 September)
The first UK retrospective of Alberto Giacometti for more than 20 years presents the Swiss artist’s evolution across five decades. It brings together 250 works, including his distinctive elongated figures, as well as rarely exhibited plasters, drawings and archival material.
Giuliano da Sangallo: Drawings from the Uffizi
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence (16 May–20 August)
This is the first monographic exhibition of the elusive Renaissance engineer, whose corpus of drawings is almost entirely held by the Uffizi. Giuliano’s experimentation with religious, civic and military architecture is examined, as well as the achievements of his workshop.
The Pursuit of Immortality: Masterpieces from the Scher Collection of Portrait Medals
Frick Collection, New York (9 May–10 September)
Medals are not widely recognised as forming part of the narrative of European portraiture, so the Frick’s display of some 120 examples – gifted by the Scher collection – is welcome. Sculpture and works on paper provide further context.
57th Venice Biennale
(13 May–26 November)
85 national Pavilions will feature in this year’s edition of the international exhibition, including three countries participating for the first time (Antigua and Barbuda, Kiribati, and Nigeria). 120 artists have been invited to exhibit in the central exhibition , VIVA ARTE VIVA, from 51 countries.
Hokusai: Beyond the great wave
British Museum, London (25 May–13 August)
The first UK exhibition to focus on the later years of Katsushika Hokusai’s (1760–1849) career will feature major drawings, woodblock prints, paintings, and illustrated books. The fragility of the material means that their will be a rotation of about half the artworks midway through the exhibition.
Markus Lüpertz: Threads of History Hirshhorn Museum, Washington (24 May–10 September)
Markus Lüpertz Phillips Collection, Washington (27 May–3 September)
Together, both museums will present the most comprehensive exhibition of Lüpertz’s work in the US, spanning more than 50 years of his artistic practice. The Hirshhorn will explore the early formative decades of the German artist’s career, whilst the Phillips Collection will trace his development from the 60s to the present day.