National Museum of Qatar, Doha
All eyes will be on the state of Qatar in March with the long-awaited launch of its National Museum. The Doha-based building, designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel in the shape of a desert rose, will no doubt be an essential cultural destination in the Gulf.
A star attraction in the new institution is the original palace of the former Emir, Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani (1880–1957), which is at the heart of the museum. Contemporary works commissioned for the new building include a sculpture by the Syrian artist Simone Fattal, Gates of the Sea, which evokes the petroglyphs found at the Al Jassasiya rock-carving site.
Humboldt Forum, Berlin
A major new museum complex, the Humboldt Forum is due to open in September in Berlin’s reconstructed city palace. Collections belonging to Humboldt University and the city of Berlin will be housed at the new mega-museum, while objects from Asia and Africa drawn from regional collections, and permanent displays on the history of the German capital, will also go on view. “It will be a centre for exhibitions, performances, and – perhaps its key purpose – civic debates,” says Neil MacGregor, the chair of its international advisory council.
Bauhaus Museum, Dessau
The 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus school, which taught and influenced many Modern greats, is to be celebrated throughout Germany in 2019. The centrepiece will be the launch of a new 3,500 sq m museum in the town of Dessau. The institution houses the vast collection of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, numbering more than 49,000 items by practitioners such as architect Walter Gropius and artist, designer and choreographer Oskar Schlemmer. The collection will be displayed on the upper floor in a suitably minimalist “Black Box”. According to the museum, “collecting, preservation and conservation” will be central to its existence.
A vast and ambitious new photography venue is due to open close to London’s Whitechapel Gallery this autumn. The new venue is run by the Swedish organisation Fotografiska, which founded a privately-run museum in Stockholm in 2010. Up to seven exhibitions will be shown across 89,000 sq ft of space.
“The gallery will present commissioned series documenting current affairs, exhibitions drawn from Fotografiska’s growing collection and a wide range of themed group shows,” say the founders.
The Shed, New York
Only new works will be shown at The Shed, a cutting-edge $550m interdisciplinary arts centre due to open on the west side of Manhattan this spring. The building’s outer movable shell, part of the Diller, Scofidio + Renfro design, coasts on steel tracks, and is already a New York talking point. Commissions announced include the concert series Soundtrack of America, conceived by artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen, which examines the impact of African-American music on contemporary culture. For its inaugural Open Call programme, curators at The Shed have selected 52 under-the-radar artists and collectives.
V-A-C Foundation, the contemporary art foundation set up by the natural gas billionaire Leonid Mikhelson, is behind the new 20,000 sq m GES-2 complex that will open later this year in Moscow.
The new centre is in a former power plant, located near the Kremlin and built in 1907, restored by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. An artist residency block and amphitheatre form part of the sprawling new culture hub. Artists represented in the V-A-C collection include Wassily Kandinsky, Gerhard Richter, and Dayanita Singh.