The Lists

14 Best Major Art Fairs and Shows in the World in Summer 2022

best major art fairs and shows in the world in summer 2022, including the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennale, Art Basel, Documenta 15 and more.

In our continuing series on culture and big events in performing and visual arts in the summer of 2022 all over the world, we turn our attention to contemporary art. Our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum has curated a list of the best major art fairs and shows in the world in summer 2022, including the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennale, Art Basel, Documenta 15 and more.

the cannot-miss art fairs, shows and installations around the world in summer 2022

Music. Dance. Theater. With all our summer culture previews, you didn’t think we were going to forget the visual arts, did you?

It turns out that summer is the perfect time for arts of all kinds, across every medium. And after two seasons of pandemic delays and cancellations, it looks like summer 2022 may be the most exciting in recent memory.

best major art fairs and shows in the world in summer 2022, including the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennale, Art Basel, Documenta 15 and more.

best major art fairs and shows in the world in summer 2022, including the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennale, Art Basel, Documenta 15 and more.

Many beloved contemporary art fairs and festivals are back this year. So now’s our chance to see what the world’s most talented artists have been up to these past two quarantine years.

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As well as all the big names – Art Basel, Venice Biennale – we’re also bringing you the news of several outdoor art installations that you don’t want to miss. After spending so much time indoors, we know you want to spend as many hours outside as humanly possible. Well, lucky for you, you can soak up the sun and some art at the same time.

The Foundation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland. A must-see if you attend Art Basel 2022.

Here are the best and most important art fairs, shows and installations in the world for the summer of 2022.

14 best major art fairs, shows and installations in the world this summer 2022

1. The Baayfalls.

The Baayfalls, December 2019 – Spring 2022. Jordan Casteel’s mural has been gracing New York’s High Line for the last couple of years, but thanks to the pandemic, there’s a chance you may have missed it. Well, there is a little time left to sneak a peak, and we suggest you make it a first priority. Casteel is well-known for her sprawling portraiture, which bring to life the people that she knows – in this case, a friend and friend’s brother – so that they are captured in all their vibrant glory.

Summer art festivals installations

2. Going Back to the Meadows, A Tribute to LL Cool J.

Going Back to the Meadows, A Tribute to LL Cool J, November 2021 – November 2022. This summer, take advantage of the temperature and enjoy an excursion to Queens, New York’s Corona Park. There you’ll find the latest installation from artist Sherwin Banfield: a Tribute to LL Cool J. Described as a Sculptural Sonic Monument, this installation uses solar power to play the legend’s music, bringing both art and joy to David Dinkins Circle.

Summer art festivals installations

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3. The Whitney Biennial.

Whitney Biennale, April 6th – September 5th, 2022. The longest-running survey of American art returns to the Whitney Museum this summer. Though the format has shifted multiple times over the years – from yearly exhibits called “annuals” to the current biennial structure – the purpose of these massive exhibits has remained the same: to showcase the landscape of American art over the proceeding period.

best major art fairs and shows in the world in summer 2022, including the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennale, Art Basel, Documenta 15 and more.

best major art fairs and shows in the world in summer 2022, including the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennale, Art Basel, Documenta 15 and more.

More than 3,600 artists have participated in either an annual or biennial since their conception in 1932. This year’s rendition, Quiet As It’s Kept, will feature 63 different artists and collectives, all of whom have created work that reflects on the challenges of the American experience today. Among our favorites is the piece Death of A, Kandis Williams’ video based on Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.

 

4. Venice Biennale.

Biennale Arte, April 23rd – November 27th, 2022. First established in 1895, Venice Biennale is sometimes called theOlympics of the Art World.”  With 213 participating artists from 58 countries, the experience can be overwhelming – so much to see, across so many venues – but absolutely worthwhile.  At the 59th International Art Exhibition, curated by Cecilia Alemani, the winners of the festival’s top honors are American sculptor Simone Leigh (winning the Best Participant Award for her exhibition “Sovereignty”), and British artist Sonia Boyce (winning the distinction for Best National Participation for her exhibition “Feeling Her Way”). They are the first Black women to receive the Golden Lion, the festival’s top prize.

Summer art festivals installations

5. Testament.

Testament May 7th 2022 – May 2023. At the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas, you’ll find “Testament.” Darryl Lauster’s latest piece is an enormous obelisk, inscribed with a mixture of pop culture references and quotes from US foundational documents. The piece asks the viewer to look critically at what they’re seeing, teaching them a little something about how to distinguish fact from fiction.

Summer art festivals installations

6. The Rookery.

The Rookery, May 15th – September 25th, 2022. Patrick Dougherty is known for his Stickwork projects, which have appeared all across the United States. This summer, a new one arrives to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Chicago Botanic Garden, as a part of their “Flourish” celebration. Made entirely out of willow, the installation towers over the park at a distinguished 21 feet tall.

Summer art festivals installations

7. The New York edition of Frieze.

Frieze New York, May 18th – May 22nd, 2022. Frieze returns to The Shed at Hudson Yards for its annual New York edition. The show will feature art from more than sixty-five major galleries, with a focus on those that are New York-based. There is lots to be excited about, including Tom Burr’s “Nine Renovations” – an update to his 1997 piece, “Eight Renovations.”

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8. Hong Kong Art Basel.

Art Basel Hong Kong, May 27th – May 29th, 2022. The Hong Kong edition of Art Basel returns for a sixth year, featuring both emerging and established artists from throughout the continent and beyond. Perhaps the most-discussed installation is Ellen Pau’s The Shape of Light, which is the first-ever co-commission between Art Basel and the M+ Museum. Screened onto the tower of the museum, Pau’s creation will be difficult to ignore.

9. Architecture at Home.

Architecture at Home, June 11th – November 7th, 2022. Arizona’s Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – a museum that seamlessly blends contemporary art through its stunning forest landscape – has a new outdoor exhibit that has piqued our interest. “Architecture at Home” will present five prototypes for different homes, in the hopes of helping people to better understand how architecture affects our lives, and what makes a house a home.

10. The original Art Basel.

Art Basel Switzerland, June 16th – June 19th, 2022. Switzerland’s Art Basel is one of the largest art events in the world, bringing together 4,000 artists from five continents, across 200 galleries.

best major art fairs and shows in the world in summer 2022, including the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennale, Art Basel, Documenta 15 and more.

And of course, we can expect overlap between Art Basel and Venice Biennale, including work by Mire Lee, whose installation “Endless House: Holes and Drips” – a scaffolding filled with disembodied figures – has received much acclaim at the latter. With so many of the most prominent art festivals happening in the same season, we are given an unprecedented chance to enjoy multiple pieces from our favorite artists.

 

11. Documenta 15.

Documenta, June 18th – September 25th, 2022. Because of the pandemic, it happens that Documenta – which was founded in Kassel, Germany in 1955 by Arnold Bode, and which happens every five years – is also making an appearance during this star-studded summer.

best major art fairs and shows in the world in summer 2022, including the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennale, Art Basel, Documenta 15 and more.

This is Documenta’s fifteenth edition, and it’s being curated by the Indonesian collective Ruangrupa.

 

12. The Last Ocean @ Burning Man.

The Last Ocean, August 28th – September 5th, 2022. The newest work from Jen Lewin Studio (“The Pool”) premieres this August at Burning Man. “The Last Ocean” is an expansive landscape of interactive platforms built from reclaimed ocean plastic, meant to evoke the appearance of a luminescent ice field. As The Last Ocean travels after Burning Man, it will dissipate slowly with each new location – demonstrating the fragility of our ecosystem as we continue to interact with it.

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13. The Armory Show in New York.

The Armory Show, September 9th – September 11th, 2022. Ever since 1994, the annual Armory Show has been a vital piece of New York’s contemporary and modern art scene.  This year’s exhibition will be curated by Mari Carmen Ramírez, Tobias Ostrander, and Carla Acevedo-Yates, and will feature a show-wide focus on Latinx and Latin American art.

14. Destination Crenshaw.

Destination CrenshawOngoing., The 1.3-mile-long open-air museum along Crenshaw Boulevard is dedicated to preserving and honoring Black American culture. The stretch will include community spaces, pocket parks, and more than a hundred new commissioned artworks – the first of which are scheduled to be installed by the end of the year.

and mark your calendar for Paris+ by Art Basel.

The inaugural edition of the new Art Basel fair in Paris will be staged at the brand-new Grand Palais Éphémère, its temporary home until a major renovation of the historic Grand Palais is completed. Paris+ by Art Basel will run from Thursday, October 20 to Sunday, October 23, 2022, with VIP preview on Wednesday, October 19. It sounds like A Happening, so make your plans now.

world’s best art fairs, shows and installations of summer 2022

That’s our roundup of the world’s best major art fairs and shows this summer 2022, including the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennale, Art Basel, Documenta 15 and more. What’s at the top of your list, dear reader?

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Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater. She believes in magic.

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