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Apollo Awards 2023

Exhibition of the Year

6 November 2023

China’s Southern Paradise: Treasures from the Lower Yangzi Delta
Cleveland Museum of Art
10 September–7 January 2024

The first exhibition in the West of art from the Jiangnan district brings together more than 200 objects, spanning the Neolithic era and the late 18th century, to reveal how the region became a hub of artistic production. Objects include jades, silks, prints, paintings, porcelain, lacquerwork and bamboo carvings, with major loans from institutions and private collections in China, Japan and Europe.

Photo: courtesy Cleveland Museum of Art

In the Eye of the Storm: Modernism in Ukraine, 1900–1930s
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
29 November 2022–2 May

Including some 50 paintings that left Kyiv just before the city was bombarded in November, as well as loans from around the world, this exhibition made the case for the distinctiveness of Ukrainian art and culture in the early 20th century, while also stressing the Ukrainian identity of artists identified as ‘Russian’ when their work began to be known in the West.

Photo: courtesy Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Isa Genzken: 75/75
Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
13 July–27 November

To mark the artist’s 75th birthday, the Neue Nationalgalerie presented 75 sculptures of every kind of scale in Mies van der Rohe’s recently restored glass structure – a fitting setting for Genzken’s complex commentaries on modernism and its aftermath. Her tendency to make everyday objects (radios, toys, newspapers) strange was heightened by curating that echoed the careful arrangement of antiquities in the museum’s upper hall.

Photo: Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin/Jens Ziehe; courtesy Galerie Buchholz; © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

Nicolas de Staël
Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris
15 September–21 January 2024

The first survey of the painter in Paris for more than two decades corrects received wisdom about his tragically short life while putting his art centre stage. With two-thirds of the paintings coming from private collections and displayed in public for the first time, this is a rare chance to see his career in the round.

Photo: © Pierre Antoine

The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
10 October 2022–8 January

This exhibition, which later travelled to the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, presented the Tudor court as a source of valuable patronage for artists from all over Europe. Impressive loans emphasised the importance of furniture, sculpture and portraiture – but there was also plenty of room for jewels, books and richly decorated items of clothing that served as more intimate signs of splendour.

Photo: Anna-Marie Kellen; courtesy The Met

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
10 February–4 June

As many Vermeers as we will see in one place for a long time. The Rijksmuseum dealt with the inevitable queues with tact and ingenuity (including balustrades around the paintings and the liberal hanging of curtains to muffle sound). The displays included the findings of new technical research, while at all times keeping the focus on the paintings themselves.

Courtesy Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

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