Donatello: the Renaissance
Palazzo Strozzi and Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence
19 March–31 July
With some 130 works, this was an unprecedented and probably never-to-be-repeated presentation of the Renaissance master. Sculptures, paintings and drawings from more than 50 museums across the world, including many never lent before, were shown alongside the famous works held in the sculptor’s hometown, underscoring Donatello’s boundless powers of invention and his indispensable contribution to the Renaissance.
Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
10 December 2021–6 March
Rarely does an exhibition bring a recondite subject to such vivid life for a new audience. Rococo furniture, Sèvres porcelain and Boulle clocks were displayed alongside drawings, storyboards and concept art from the Walt Disney studios, demonstrating just how much ‘Uncle Walt’ learned from the 18th century – and influenced our view of the period in turn.
Matisse: The Red Studio
Museum of Modern Art, New York
1 May–10 September
Putting many shows that claim to be ‘immersive’ to shame, this display plunged visitors into the world of a single painting. The curators tracked down the surviving sculptures and paintings Matisse depicted in his landmark work The Red Studio (1911); it was the first time these objects had been together since the artist painted them more than a century ago.
Oskar Kokoschka: Enfant terrible in Vienna
Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris
23 September–12 February 2023
Kokoschka is best known as the painter-provocateur who, alongside Klimt and Schiele, shattered the orthodoxies of Viennese society before the First World War. This follows his efforts to create a new style of painting in counterpoint to Expressionism and New Objectivity, his defence of art in the face of Nazism, and his participation in the cultural reconstruction of Europe after 1945.
National Gallery, London
9 April–31 July
Raphael’s enormous influence on the history of Western painting is well established – but this exhibition set out to consider his achievements as a painter alongside his efforts in the fields of architecture, archaeology, tapestry and poetry. The monographic show contained some 90 works, including exceptional loans from the likes of the Sistine Chapel, the Prado and the Uffizi.
Royal Academy of Arts, London
24 September–11 December
The South African artist’s largest UK show to date underscores both the huge scope of his imagination and also the consistency of his vision over the last 40 years. Major works from Drawings for Projection (1989–2020) – the first series to make use of his characteristic stop-animation process employing charcoal – were included alongside tapestries, drawings and filmed operatic productions.
The Shortlists | Artist of the Year | Museum Opening of the Year | Digital Innovation of the Year | Book of the Year | Acquisition of the Year
Don’t blame the culture wars for Tate Britain’s disappointing rehang