Heads up: art exhibitions to see in January 2024

Start the year right with the Wallpaper* pick of art exhibitions to see in January 2024

woman amid cloud of feathers: Judy Chicago artwork from one of the art exhibitions to see in January 2024
(Image credit: Judy Chicago: Feather Room, 1966–2023, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2023 (Image credit: Foto: Agostino Osio))

Determined to catch more exhibitions in 2024? You've come to the right place. From group shows to piercing retrospectives and exquisite photography, here's our edit of don't-miss art exhibitions to see in January.

Art exhibitions to see in January 2024

Poetry meets performance in Julianknxx’s film installations at Barbican’s Curve in London

dark installation view of film on big screen

(Image credit: Julianknxx: Chorus in Rememory of Flight Installation view Barbican Art Gallery 14 September 2023 – 11 February 2024 © Eva Herzog / Barbican Art Gallery)

Julianknxx, aka artist Julian Knox, is experiencing a sharp rise in his career; his work is currently featured in two London exhibitions, Tate Modern’s ‘A World In Common’ (until 14 January), and his solo show ‘Chorus in Rememory of Flight ’ at Barbican’s Curve (until 11 February 2024).

Drenched in blue from floor to ceiling the latter space is occupied by three film installations: two ‘encounters’ and one longer narrative art film. Taking inspiration from Toni Morrison’s writing on ‘rememory’, and in its title nodding to a book by Lorna McDaniel, the exhibition uses music, dance, poetry and interview footage to explore the Black experience across Europe, where Julianknxx spoke to people in Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp, London, Marseille, Barcelona and Lisbon.


Discover Sheila Metzner’s jewel-toned fashion photography in Los Angeles

‘Sheila Metzner: From Life’ Getty Los Angeles exhbition: portrait of womann in gold dress on chaise longue

Fragrance. Art Deco, 1984, Sheila Metzner (American, born 1939). Pigment print Getty Museum. Gift of Sheila Metzner

(Image credit: © Sheila Metzner 2023.41.2. Courtesy of Getty Museum)

Working in tones and textures as rich as classic oil paintings, Sheila Metzner uses photography to make monumental landscapes and delicate still lifes, though she is best known for her unique and elegant work in fashion. 

Her soft-focus, jewel-toned pictures of creamy-skinned models in languorous positions led Getty Museum curator Paul Martineau to include her in his epic ‘Icons of Style’ exhibition in 2017. ‘She invited me to visit her studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and I became intrigued by the beauty of her modernist compositions, as realised through the painterly Fresson process. I imagined an exhibition where I could place fashion pictures next to florals to heighten their formal qualities.’ That exhibition, ‘Sheila Metzner: From Life’ is on view at the Getty Center through 18 February 2024. 


‘They Got Time, You Belong To The City’: Alvaro Barrington looks back in Paris

exibiton imagey

Alvaro Barrington, untitled Pac (detail), 2023.

(Image credit: Courtesy Thaddaeus Ropac gallery, London · Paris · Salzburg · Seoul Photos: Charles Duprat © Alvaro Barrington)

The film Breakfast at Tiffany’s opens with Holly Golightly in evening wear as dawn breaks over New York, looking at the jewels in the window while eating a croissant. Where has she been? Why is she alone on Fifth Avenue at dawn dressed for a party? Alvaro Barrington’s ambitious exhibition at Thaddaeus Ropac’s Paris Pantin gallery, ‘They Got Time: You Belong to the City’ (until 27 January 2024), opens with this scene, although rather than a pearl necklace, we see Holly Golightly looking wistfully at a gregarious Dennis Rodman with his tongue out, tempting her and taunting her. Holly is on the other side of the glass, looking in at something she can’t have. This exhibition deals with the reality of growing up in a city of dreams.

Alvaro Barrington grew up in New York as the son of Haitian and Grenadian migrant workers, and his memories of his childhood are marked by both the work he saw his family put into raising him and the possibilities that surrounded him.


Carlijn Jacobs and Sabine Marcelis create a surreal fantasy at Foam, Amsterdam

photography exhibition

(Image credit: © Carlijn Jacobs)

From the album cover of Beyoncé's Renaissance to fashion campaigns, Dutch photographer Carlijn Jacobs’ work is in demand, her fantastical distortions of reality depicting a world that doesn’t yet exist. Now, Jacobs has united with designer Sabine Marcelis on the design of her first solo photography exhibition, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, at Foam, Amsterdam (until 21 January 2024), presenting existing work and new pieces.


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Olafur Eliasson's work, Firefly biosphere (falling magma star), 2023, inside Azabudai Hills Gallery

(Image credit: Jens Ziehe. Courtesy of Olafur Eliasson and Azabudai Hills Gallery)

Looping abstractions formed from spiralling modules of interconnected polyhedra. Circular drawings created by desert sun and winds. Dancing trajectories of water droplets caught in light while falling through darkness. According to the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, these works are threaded together by ideas of ‘deep time, slowness, motion and geometry’ – and they can now be viewed at Azabudai Hills Gallery (until 31 March 2024), part of the major new district and cultural hub in the heart of Tokyo that opened in November 2023 (see our Azabudai Hills walkthrough with Thomas Heatherwick).

The culmination of three decades of planning, Azabudai Hills is inspired by the idea of a modern urban village, with three skyscrapers rising into the clouds, between which flows a green network of Heatherwick Studio-designed lower-level architecture and landscaping, housing offices, residences, shops, health clinics, a hotel and a school.


‘Inside Other Spaces’: explore women’s immersive art in Munich

blue immersive artwork

Aleksandra Kasuba: Spectral Passage, 1975. Installation view. Haus der Kunst, 2023

(Image credit: Foto: Agostino Osio)

Arriving at Haus der Kunst in Munich, you are welcomed by a monumental exterior designed in the Classical style. In spite of a contentious past that began with navigating the complexities of early 20th-century German history, the iconic museum has long since begun an inclusive and optimistic new chapter. This is embodied by an inspiring and immersive new exhibition ‘Inside Other Spaces. Environments by Women Artists 1956 – 1976’ (until 10 March 2024).

In the mid-20th century, the Argentine-Italian visionary Lucio Fontana was the first artist to describe his large-scale, ephemeral works as ambienti spaziali or ‘spacial environments’. They dance a careful line between art, design and architecture. Haus de Kunst’s director Andrea Lissoni describes how, ‘an environment is an immersive artwork isolated from the surrounding space’. A particularly vivid example is the hypnotic blue of Aleksandra Kasuba’s Spectral Passage, 1975.

‘Inside Other Spaces’ brings together 11 women artists known for pioneering immersive art: Judy Chicago, Lygia Clark, Laura Grisi, Aleksandra Kasuba, Lea Lublin, Marta Minujín, Tania Mouraud, Maria Nordman, Nanda Vigo, Faith Wilding, and Tsuruko Yamazaki. To put the show together, a skilled team of conservationists and art historians have sourced photographs and archives to recreate these environments.


Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.