Postcards from Italy

Fall into Art: Exhibitions to See in Italy This Autumn

As September comes to an end in Italy, fall is reaching its glory: temperatures have cooled and brought balmy days and crisp evenings, a few heavy storms have cleared the last of the summer haze from the air and brought picture-perfect skies, and the autumn leaves and sunsets are tinged with red and orange.


(Photo by CiuTravel via Flickr)

This golden moment of autumn, perfect for outdoor touring, is fleeting; in October and November, the weather will turn to nippy winds and sudden showers that usher in winter. Rather than spending long days in the open air, you’ll want to be inside where it’s warm and dry…the perfect excuse for ducking into a museum or art gallery. If you need to come in out of the cold, here are a number of excellent art exhibitions scheduled through the end of the year across Italy:

1948: the Biennale of Peggy Guggenheim

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Venice
From May 25th to November 25th, 2018
More information: see here

Seventy years after Peggy Guggenheim first opened her collection, her eponymous foundation is celebrating one of the most important collections of modern art in Italy by commemorating the rooms that were set up by Peggy at the XXIV Biennale di Venezia together with Carlo Scarpa in 1948 at the Greek Pavilion. The show will include multimedia exhibits and photographs illustrating the pavilion, and a 3D model of the exhibition layout. This 1948 exhibition was an important moment in Peggy Guggenheim’s evolution as a collector and curator, and led to her deciding to open her collection to the public.


(Photo by CiuTravel via Flickr)

Though no new works are being displayed, this is the perfect occasion to see the masterpieces collected by Peggy Guggenheim over her lifetime and installed in her palace on the Grand Canal. Take in works by Picasso, Magritte, and Pollock and enjoy incredible views of the Grand Canal.

Jacopo Tintoretto

Palazzo Ducale, Venice
From Sept 7th, 2018 to Jan 6th, 2019
More information: see here

Marking the 500th anniversary of the birth of the 16th-century Venetian master Jacopo Tintoretto, this is a major exhibition that gathers 50 paintings and 20 drawings from museums across the globe, displaying them together with the artist’s in situ fresco cycles, painted for the Doge’s palace between 1564 and 1592. One of the major figures of the Venetian Renaissance school, Tintoretto was a bold visionary, who broke from the traditional style of Titian and whose innovative works represent an important turning point in the history of Venetian art.

2015-12-30 01-02 Venedig 234 Palazzo Ducale, Tintoretto, Il Paradiso

(Photo by Allie_Caulfield via Flickr)

Marina Abramović

Palazzo Strozzi, Florence
From Sept 21st, 2018 to Jan 20th, 2019
More information: see here

One of the most controversial figures in contemporary art, the performance artist Marina Abramović is the subject of a sweeping retrospective in Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi, including more than 100 works that illustrate the evolution of the Serbin artist’s career over the past 40 years. Abramović is known for using her body to explore the relationship between performer and audience, and the exhibition will include videos and reinterpretations of her works.

Marina Abramović, The Artist Is Present, 2010

(Photo by Andrew Russeth via Flickr)

Andy Warhol

Complesso del Vittoriano – Ala Brasini, Rome
From Oct 3rd, 2018 to Feb 3rd, 2019
More information: see here

One of the most iconic artists of the 20th century, Andy Warhol would have been 90 this year. To commemorate this visionary pop artist, 170 works will take viewers on an artistic journey beginning with his Pop Art origins in the 1960s, when he revolutionized contemporary art with his screen prints of Campbell’s Soup, followed by images of Elvis, Marilyn, Coca-Cola, and others. The exhibition follows the evolution of the Warhol’s work over the decades and demonstrates how he influenced not only the art world, but also music, cinema, and fashion.

This retrospective in Rome is an amuse bouche for one of the most anticipated and unprecedented events in 2019: an exhibition dedicated to Warhol’s religious-themed works, scheduled to take place at the Braccio di Carlo Magno in St Peter’s Square, where Warhol—a devout Catholic—met Pope John Paul II in 1980, and will include paintings from his Last Supper series and memento mori-inspired works, like his skull silkscreen series.

Jackson Pollock

Complesso del Vittoriano – Ala Brasini, Rome
From Oct 10th, 2018 to Feb 24th, 2019
More information: see here

This exhibition celebrates a number of the most important artists from the Abstract Expressionist group of the New York School, that included avant-garde painters, poets, dancers, and musicians in the 1950s and 1960s. The most famous member of the movement was Jackson Pollock, known for his experimental paint dripping technique often called action painting. The exhibition includes around 50 works, including Pollock’s stunning Number 27, aside works by peers like Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, and Franz Kline. This extraordinary event includes works loaned from the prestigious Whitney Museum in New York, and is one of the most anticipated of 2018.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester

Uffizi Gallery, Florence
From October 29th, 2018 to January 20th, 2019
More information: see here

Leonardo’s Leicester Codex, now in the private collection of Bill Gates, will be returning to Italy for the first time in two decades to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the luminary’s death. The Uffizi’s Aula Magliabechiana will be host the Codex and visitors will be able to leaf through its 72 pages of notes and sketches dating from 1504 to 1508 via a multimedia tool.

Picasso: Metamorfosi

Uffizi Gallery, Florence
From October 18th, 2018 to February 17th, 2019
More information: see here

One of the most important exhibitions in Milan this year, this group of 200 pieces that juxtapose the Spanish author’s art with that of the ancients, has been curated to illustrate Picasso’s relationship with myth and legend through his career. Fauns, centaurs, and minotaurs frequently figure in his work as a comment on anything from the violence of war to unbridled eroticism, and the Spanish artist often reinvented iconic myths in his depictions.

Travel Specialists

Maria Landers

Brian Dore