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5 Art Exhibitions We’re Excited About This Month


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As August appears and summer starts to wind down, you may be wondering how you can creatively take advantage of the season. Fortunately, we know plenty of ways you can enjoy the warm weather—all while taking in some art and culture.

With this selection of can't-miss August art exhibitions, you can see some of the best contemporary art outside the walls of a museum. Set entirely en plein air, these summer spectacles offer the best of both worlds, letting you explore sculptures, installations, and even photographs in sunlit settings.

Take advantage of August's warm weather with these 5 outdoor exhibitions on view this month.


En Plein Air at the High Line


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In 2014, the High Line opened in Manhattan. Formerly a section of railway, this elevated park is now a popular place to sit, stroll, and, until early next year, see art. En Plein Air, an exciting outdoor exhibition named after the tradition of painting outdoors, showcases work by contemporary artists, including Daniel Buren, Ei Arakawa, and Lara Schnitger.

While all of the pieces featured in this show are installations, En Plein Air promises an eclectic experience. “The eight featured artists approach the history, methodologies, and content of outdoor painting from a variety of perspectives,” the green space's website explains. “Some of the artists make work exclusively to be shown outside, while others turn nature into both the subject and the medium used to create their paintings. Still others challenge elementary distinctions between nature and the artificial.”

En Plein Air is on view until March 2020.


Frieze Sculpture 2019 at Regent's Park


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Every year, London's popular Regent's Park is transformed into an open-air gallery. Aptly titled Frieze Sculpture, this outdoor exhibition space is part of Frieze Art Fair, an event that spotlights over 170 galleries and presents work from both up-and-coming and well-established artists.

Like most contemporary art fairs, Frieze features an array of art across all kinds of mediums—with its collection of sculptures among its most anticipated.  “This temporary sculpture park,” Frieze explains, “with works by prominent artists from around the world, promises to intrigue and give pleasure to the many hundreds of thousands of residents, workers and tourists who will visit the gardens over the summer months.” The best part? You don't need a ticket to enjoy Frieze Sculpture. The entire exhibition is free!

Frieze Sculpture closes on October 6, 2019.


Les Extatiques at La Défense


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Usually, La Grande Arche, a modern monument inspired by the Arc de Triomphe, is the main attraction at Paris' La Déense. However, for a few months, Les Exactiques will fill the financial district with a collection of colossal sculptures.

This year, artistic director Fabrice Bousteau has come up with a creative theme: air and wind. This choice, he says, was inspired by the space itself, as he notes that the La Défense district was “invented to reflect the air of modernity” in the French capital. Of course, the contemporary artists behind the sculptures have put their own playful spin on this concept, crafting everything from a larger-than-life lotus to the tentacles of a giant octopus.

Les Exactiques is live until October 6, 2019.


Helsinski Photo Festival in Helsinki


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While most outdoor exhibitions feature sculpture and installations, some simply offer a new way to experience two-dimensional works. The Helsinski Photo Festival, for example, aims to “push the boundaries for exploring photography in Finland and brings photography back to the streets.”

In addition to presenting photographs by both Nordic and international photographers, this unique festival features artist talks, workshops, and seminars. The non-profit event hopes that these programs will encourage audience members to connect to the craft and see it through a new lens.

This event is open until September 9, 2019.


Vancouver Mural Festival in Vancouver


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Another outdoor exhibition dedicated to a two-dimensional medium is the Vancouver Mural Festival. At this 10-day event, street art enthusiasts can explore and experience the colorful side of the seaport.

Described as an “inclusive event intended for all classes, cultures, genders, ages, abilities, and beyond,” the Vancouver Mural Festival aims to aid the area's artistic and cultural development. While Create Vancouver Society, the non-profit behind the event, works year-round to achieve this goal, the popular festival offers a “platform for Vancouver's diverse art scene to contribute to the city’s cultural legacy for years to come.”

The Vancouver Mural Festival ends on August 10, 2019.


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Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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