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Apollo Awards 2016

Exhibition of the Year

The Shortlists | Artist of the Year | Museum Opening of the Year | Digital Innovation of the Year | Book of the Year | Acquisition of the Year

3 November 2016

Abstract Expressionism

Royal Academy of Arts, London
24 September–2 January 2017

The first major survey of the movement in Europe since 1959, with 163 works spanning four decades and including sculpture, photography, and prints as well as the legendary paintings. Many significant and difficult loans have been secured, including a room of paintings by Clyfford Still, and Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles (1953), which has left the National Gallery of Australia for the first time since 1973.

(1950), Clyfford Still, PH-950.

PH-950 (1950), Clyfford Still. © the Clyfford Still Museum


Inside: Artists and Writers in Reading Prison

Reading Prison
4 September–4 December 2016

This ambitious project devised by Artangel has seen the opening of Reading Prison (where Oscar Wilde was incarcerated) to the general public for the first time in its history. A range of art, writing, and performance has been commissioned and installed, including work by Marlene Dumas, Nan Goldin, and Wolfgang Tillmans.

Oscar Wilde's cell at Reading Gaol.

Oscar Wilde’s cell at Reading Gaol. Copyright Morley von Sternberg


Jheronimus Bosch – Visions of a Genius

Het Noordbrabants Museum, ‘s-Hertogenbosch
13 February–8 May 2016

To mark 500 years since Bosch’s death, this exhibition in his hometown of Den Bosch brought together 17 of Bosch’s 24 attributed paintings (nine of which were restored in preparation), six from his workshop, and 19 (of 20) of his drawings – to a museum whose collection includes no Bosch paintings of its own. The exhibition, which took nine years to plan (coinciding with a major research project), drew a record number of visitors to the Noordbrabants Museum.

The Last Judgement

The Last Judgement (c. 1495–1505), Hieronymous Bosch. Groeningemuseum, Bruges


Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
18 April–17 July 2016

This was the first major international loan exhibition in the US to focus on the Hellenistic period. Over 265 objects in a diverse range of media were on view, approximately a third of which were drawn from the Pergamon Museum’s famous collection, and many of which had never before left their museum collections since being accessioned.

Fragmentary Colossal Head of a Youth, from the gymnasion at Pergamon.

Fragmentary Colossal Head of a Youth, from the gymnasion at Pergamon. 2nd century BC, Greek. Antikensammlung Staatliche Museen zu Berlin


Emperors’ Treasures: Chinese Art from the National Palace Museum, Taipei

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
17 June–18 September 2016

Celebrating the Asian Art Museum’s 50th anniversary before travelling to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (until 29 January 2017), this major loan exhibition brought together over 150 objects from one of the richest collections of Chinese art. It has been nearly 20 years since the National Palace Museum has loaned work to a US museum, and more than half of the objects were exhibited in the US for the first time.

Ritual dou vessel with phoenix-shaped handles (Qing dynasty, reign of Emperor Yongzheng: 1723–35), by the Imperial Workshop, Beijing. Photo: © National Palace Museum, Taipei

Ritual dou vessel with phoenix-shaped handles (Qing dynasty, reign of Emperor Yongzheng: 1723–35), by the Imperial Workshop, Beijing. Photo: © National Palace Museum, Taipei


Van Dyck: The Anatomy of Portraiture

Frick Collection, New York
2 March–5 June 2016

The first major exhibition of Van Dyck’s work in the US in more than 20 years included several new discoveries and reattributions. This comprehensive look at Van Dyck’s portraits featured approximately 100 works by the artist, including a special installation of his portrait print series Iconographie, galleries dedicated to portrait drawings, and a selection of comparative works by contemporaries such as Rubens, Jordaens and Lely.

Cardinal Guido Bentivoglio (1623), Anthony van Dyck. Apollo Awards 2016, Exhibition of the Year Shortlist

Cardinal Guido Bentivoglio (1623), Anthony van Dyck

The Apollo Exhibition of the Year Award is kindly supported by the law firm Blaser Mills

The Apollo Awards 2016 in association with PorscheThe Shortlists | Artist of the Year | Museum Opening of the Year | Digital Innovation of the Year | Book of the Year | Acquisition of the Year

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