The position of the Art Museum has become tricky, thanks to the rise of the independent cultural producer, pop-ups and nomadic curators, and the increasing popularity of free public art. In the same way Hollywood was broken up by agents in the 50s, the institute is under siege. To be relevant to a demographic spread—with rising ticket prices and all—art centers are having to work hard within their parameters.

In 2015, visitors expect more than just blockbusters with an educational fiber, spending less time looking at individual artworks and expecting something transformative. So which museum exhibitions will resonate with the global community in 2015? The ArtSlant Senior Editors predict the big 15 for 2015.

Installation view, ‘My Madinah. In pursuit of my ermitage’, Hauser & Wirth Collection Lokremise, St. Gallen, Switzerland, 2004; Photo: A. Burger

1. Jason Rhoades at the Baltic, Newcastle 

Opens: February 20

It’s been nearly a decade since the artist passed away, aged 41, yet Rhoades’ installations still tick all the boxes for an attractive exhibition today: colorful, luminous, big. Expect a sensory feast for the end of winter.

Under the Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa-oki nami-ura), also known as the Great Wave, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjûrokkei); Denman Waldo Ross Collection

2. Hokusai at the MFA, Boston

Opens: April 5

The ubiquitious Wave is enough to draw a substantial crowd in itself: with the widespread influence of Edo period woodcuts on current art forms, this exhibition of works by the major Ukiyo-e artist will be of huge interest.

Ushio Shinohara, Doll Festival,1966; © Tokyo Gallery+BTAP

3. The World Goes Pop, Tate Modern, London

Opens: September 17

Another no-brainer, Pop Art’s resurgence is still going strong and its way of surveying consumerism makes it only more relevant for the contemporary viewer. The Tate rethinks Pop via new research into the subject, uniting artworks from the Middle East, Latin America, and Europe, many of which have never been displayed in the UK before.

Still from the “All Is Full of Love” music video, 1999. Directed by Chris Cunningham. Music by Björk. Image courtesy of One Little Indian

4. Bjork, MoMA, New York

Opens: March 8

Well, it’s bloody Bjork, who isn’t going to be interested?

Miriam Syowia Kyambi, Fracture (i), 2011. Multimedia installation/performance; Photo: Marko Kivioja, Terhi Vaatti & Anni Kivioja, Kouvola Art Museum Poikilo

5. Body Talk, Wiels, Brussels

Opens: February 2

Sexuality. Women. Body Politics. Africa. Feminism. Somehow, Wiels have managed to combine some of the most pressing art buzzwords of the moment into one exhibition—and we can’t wait to see it.

6. Islamic Art Now, LACMA, Los Angeles

Opens: January 31

In a significant step for a North American museum and one that will hopefully pave the way, LACMA opens the year with an exhibition from its recently acquired collection of Islamic Art by Middle Eastern artists.

Tino Seghal at the Guggenheim, 2010

7. Tino Sehgal at Stedelijk, Amsterdam

Opens: January 1

Anyone who visits the Stedelijk in 2015 will likely encounter this year-long alternative retrospective, which marks the museum’s new directorship of Beatrix Ruf. Each month a new gallery will host a different Sehgal performance. Guess we’ll have to keep coming back!

Gabriel Orozco, Ping-Pond Table, 1998, Deformed ping-pong tables, ping-pong rackets, ball,water tank, pump filter, water lilies, Courtesy and Collection of: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

8. Gabriel Orozco, MOT, Tokyo

Opens: January 24

The centerpiece of this show—Orozco’s first, much-anticipated, solo exhibition in Japan—is the artist’s cleverly manipulated Ping Pond Table.

Shirin Neshat, Rapture (Production still), 1999. Photo: Larry Barns. © Shirin Neshat. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

9. Shirin Neshat at the Hirshhorn, Washington DC

Opens: May 18

The Iranian American artist’s striking films and photographs need little introduction. Facing history and looking to the future, the exhibition will bring together Neshat’s famous Women of Allah photographs from the 90s with more recent projects made in the wake of the Green Movement and Arab Spring.

Beurre en stick, Kawakami Kenji. Courtesy Christophe Lecoq

10. Le Bord Des Mondes, Palais De Tokyo, Paris

Opens: February 16

Outsider art remins so hot right now, particularly in the wake of Massimiliano Gioni’s 2013 Venice Bienniale centerpiece The Encyclopedic Palace. This group show highlights creators and visionaries working on the periphery of the art world, including man-of-the-moment Theo Jansen. One of ArtSlant’s Senior Editors loved his Miami Beach performance this December so much he did 11 posts of it on our Instagram account.

Doris Salcedo, Installation view, Doris Salcedo Studio, Bogotá, 2013, Photo: Oscar Monsalve Pino, Reproduced courtesy of the artist; Alexander and Bonin, New York; and White Cube, London

11. Doris Salcedo, MCA, Chicago

Opens: February 21

Hotly tipped by our Chicago Editor (not to mention every one of our Chicago writers), this is the first retrospective of Salcedo’s highly charged sculptural work.

Yayoi Kusama inside her installation Dots Obsession, via Pinterest

12. Yayoi Kusama, Louisiana, Denmark

Opens: September 17

In 2013 people waited hours—hours in the snow no less!—to spend a blissful 45 seconds in one of Kusama’s Infinity Rooms at David Zwirner in New York. Not far from Copenhagen, Denmark’s Louisiana has a gorgeous permanently installed Infinity Room, Gleaming Lights of the Souls (with a much shorter queue) and will feature a major retrospective of the beloved Japanese eccentric this fall.

Texas Project, Hyangki nae, 2004 Digital C-Print © Onejoon Che (Participating artist 2015)

13. New Museum Triennal, New York

Opens: February 25

As this happens only once every three years, it’s poised to be exciting, not least because it will bring 51 emerging artists into the Museum: this year’s edition, entitled Surround Audience, curated by Ryan Trecartin and Lauren Cornell takes in current depictions of subjectivity, with—of course—a particular angle on social media. We’re not bored of it. Yet.


14. The Art of American Still LifePhiladelphia Museum of Art

Opens: October 27

One for those who like a more conventional blockbuster: with 12o plus oil paintings and watercolors, this exhibition pays homage to the tradition of still life and the way it has captured shifts in American culture since the 1800s.

15. Ai Wei Wei, Royal Academy, London

Opens: September 19

Ai Wei Why? Because he is a legendary creator, and he’s still got game.

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