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European Islands for Art Lovers in 2022
A selection of exhibitions to see on your way to the beach
Around the Globe 15 Aug 2022

This summer is a good time to hit the road again and get away from it all.
With travel restrictions off, you might want to choose one of the beautiful islands of Europe, where you can have a colourful vacation and enjoy some art.
If you happen to be visiting Hydra, Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca,Tenerife, Samos or Crete, here’s a selection of art exhibitions and museums to check out while on your travels:

HYDRA is one of the top destinations for art lovers, known for its art and cultural activities, this summer has opened a long-awaited exhibition:

nstallation view of the exhibition Jeff Koons: Apollo, DESTE Foundation Project Space, Slaughterhouse, Hydra, Credits: Jeff Koons, Photo: Eftychia Vlachou

After being postponed for two years due to the pandemic, DESTE Foundation presents the much anticipated Jeff Koons: Apollo on view at the Slaughterhouse until October 31, 2022. Koons links the contemporary with ancient Greece in a metaphysical exhibition showcasing new sculptures, including the over 2.3 metres tall polychromed Apollo Kithara (2019–2022) and other elements, such as burning candles, music, burnt sage and roasted offerings which activate the senses.
On top of the Slaughterhouse there’s a 9.1 metre Apollo Wind Spinner (2020–2022), greeting the people from afar at the port of Hydra.

MALLORCA has so much more to offer than beautiful beaches, mountain landscapes, and Spanish architecture. The island owns the reputation of a creative hub due to its museums and independent galleries, but also for preserving local traditions in ceramics and glassblowing. Here are the must see galleries and exhibitions:

Per Barclay, Bailarina (Catherine), Photo credit: Es Baluard Museu d’Art Contemporani de Palma

If you are in Palma, Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum displays Personae: Masks Against Barbarism, to be seen until January 8, 2023. The exhibition is a revision of the Es Baluard Collection based on the topic of identity and how the human body is a reflection of the socio-political circumstances of every epoch with artists such as Robert Mapplethrope, Juan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Christian Boltanski and Marina Abramović, among others.

Marina Abramović, Portrait with matches; Exhibition LIFE DEATH INBETWEEN, curated by Sydney Fishman, Photo credit: Marco Anelli and Galleria Horrach Moya

Kewenig Gallery is showing the Korean artist Kimsooja and Horrach Moya Gallery presents Marina Abramović with LIFE DEATH INBETWEEN.

The central courtyard of CCA Andratx, Photo credit: Maria Nitulescu

CCA Andratx is a gallery and artist in residency space dedicated to contemporary art. This summer CCA is presenting different exhibitions in parallel, including two solo shows of Xenia Hausner and Cathrine Raben Davidsen.

Exhibition view, Photo credit: Can Prunera Museu Modernista, Mallorca

North of Palma, in Sóller there’s Can Prunera Museu Modernista, housed in an early 20th century modernist mansion. Its collection includes a wealth of local artists, as well as the internationally acclaimed: Klimt, Kandinsky, Fontana, Magritte, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rebecca Horn or Gaugin, all worth seeing.

Aerial view of Illa del Rei, Photo credit: Hauser & Wirth Menorca

MENORCA and the beautiful Illa del Rei is home to Hauser & Wirth, a special place to experience art in connection with education, nature, food, and the conservation project to protect the historical site of a former 18th century naval hospital. The current program introduces Rashid Johnson with his first solo show in Spain. To be seen until November 13, 2022, the exhibition Sodade explores themes of longing, displacement and narratives around migration through a range of iconographies.

Zush at Museu d’Art Contemporani (MACE), Photo credit Fundació Suñol

IBIZA has been identified with the boho lifestyle, design and fashion since the ‘60s, when craftsmen, artists and hippies came to the island. Today, Evissa is a mix of local and international people, stars, old hippies, artists and designers who have moved into the typical white houses with simple aesthetics.

The art scene stays active with CAN, a brand new art fair and Museu d’Art Contemporani(MACE) with a permanent collection and Zush a Evissa, a temporary exhibition with over a hundred works created by the artist while he lived in Ibiza, to be seen until November 30, 2022.

José Herrera, Velar la forma, retrospective and participatory exhibition, Photo credit: TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes

TENERIFE is the biggest of Spain’s Canary Islands and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world because there’s always beach weather.

Tenerife preserves in great condition the historic quarters of artistic value, museums and villages full of tradition. The art museums have a tendency to focus on local artists:

Museum of Contemporary Art Eduardo Westerdahl houses a number of artworks from Canary Island artists such as Oscar Dominguez, Ceasar Manrique and Lola Massieu. The museum has a cinema and lecture space for readings, workshops or music.

TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes is a multi-functional cultural centre which hosts the Óscar Domínguez Institute of Contemporary Art, the Tenerife Photography Center, the Tenerife Library, a small auditorium and a Café/Restaurant. Until September 11, 2022 the exhibition space presents a retrospective of the Tenerife born artist, José Herrera.

Maria Louizou, Six Breaths Per Minute, 2021, Ceramic sculptures and vocal performance,
Photo credit: Art Space Pythagorion, Schwarz Foundation

SAMOS is known as the birthplace of the Greek mathematician Pythagoras, the astronomer Aristarchus and the philosopher Epicurus. 

The island with virgin landscapes, made of colour and light is home to the Art Space Pythagorion, built by the Munich-based Schwarz Foundation. The goal of the private non-profit institution who supports international cultural projects is to enrich the island’s cultural life. The two-story white building hosts the recently opened exhibition, HANDMADE: On the Social Dimensions of Craft – to be seen until September 25, 2022. The curator Katerina Gregos focused on the topic of craft-based or hand-crafted work in the contemporary art field, showcasing both Greek and international artists, accompanied by the educational programme HANDMADE / TELL A STORY.

Snake Goddess from the palace at Knossos, 1650 – 1550 BC,
Heraklion Archeological Museum, Photo credit: Maria Nitulescu

CRETE is the largest Greek island, with pristine beaches and rich offerings for foodies or wine lovers. In Heraklion, you can expect to find plenty of culture and history, however a visit to the Archaeological Museum will provide you with an understanding of Crete’s complex history. The museum contains by far the most important and complete collection of Minoan art worldwide. But if you want to explore recent Greek art, in Rethymno there’s the Contemporary Art Museum of Crete with a permanent collection from the 1950s onwards, showcasing Lefteris Kanakakis along with  other contemporary artists.

Text and Credit by Maria Nitulescu 

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