3 Must-See Art Exhibitions of Summer 2017


Lauded by the fashion and tech worlds alike, Iris van Herpen is now the subject of a retrospective at the Dallas Museum of Art. Forty-five of the Dutch designer’s otherworldly pieces will be on display, culled from 15 collections spanning from 2008 to 2015 that trace her use of experimental materials like iron filings in resin, umbrella tines and magnets. At her spring 2017 “Between the Lines” collection, for example, Van Herpen collaborated with Canadian architect Philip Beesley on expandable laser-cut Mylar fabrics, in addition to incorporating polyurethane that was hand-painted through injection molding. Van Herpen is best known for pioneering the use of 3-D printing technology in clothing, a production innovation that landed her dresses on Time’s list of the Top 50 Inventions of 2011. Her clientele list is equally impressive, and includes fellow boundary-pushers Lady Gaga, Grimes and Björk, who sported van Herpen on her Biophilia album cover and tour. Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion runs until Aug. 20.


There’s no mistaking an Irving Penn photograph: from the minimal light grey or white backgrounds, to diffused lighting and immaculate compositions, his visual aesthetic seems etched into the very fibre of fashion and cultural history. His striking black-and-white photography of the 1940s and ’50s seemed tailor-made for the architectural fashions of designers such as Dior and Balenciaga, often shown off by model and muse Lisa Fonssagrives, who eventually became his wife.

Over his nearly 70-year career, Penn was also a storied portraitist who captured previously unseen sides of such personalities as Truman Capote, Salvador Dali, and Pablo Picasso. Meanwhile, his still-life and beauty photography pushed the extremes of his art, often capturing a sense of the grotesque in moments of splendour. See the most comprehensive exhibition of the photographer’s work to date, “Irving Penn: Centennial,” on view now at The Met Fifth Avenue until July 30, 2017.


Though he may be best known for his smiling, almost violently happy anime creatures and cartoon flowers, Takashi Murakami has become one of the foremost artists of our time and a pop culture icon, having collaborated with the likes of Kanye West and Louis Vuitton. The Japanese artist, who expertly plays with high and low art and culture, is being celebrated in a major retrospective and accompanying monograph, “Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The show features 50 works that span three decades of his career, including some never-before-seen early pieces, along with more recent monumentally scaled paintings, many of which are rooted in traditional Japanese art and folklore. While Murakami’s work is often injected with a whimsical sense of humour, the pop-artist is also concerned with deeper undercurrents, offering astute social and cultural commentary beneath the sweet façade of cute anime and video-game characters. Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg is on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago from June 6 to September 24.