art exhibitions Boston

7 Unmissable Art Exhibitions To See In Boston In 2020

From futuristic installations to Japanese masterpieces, the best art exhibitions in Boston in 2020 will appeal to all art tastes. New exhibitions are opening throughout the year, with plenty of unique art exhibitions in the city that you simply have to see. There’s street artists, women in fashion, fairytale photographs and so much more.

Get ready to explore this cultural city and take in some world-class artwork along the way…

Best Art Exhibitions To See In Boston In 2020

1. Yayoi Kusama: Love is Calling – Institute of Contemporary Art

Artist Yayoi Kusama is bringing to life their immersive and kaleidoscopic display of the artist’s Infinity Mirror Rooms. As you walk through the installation, you’ll be enchanted by the darkened, mirrored room. Firstly, it’s illuminated by inflatable, tentacle-like forms. Then, Kusama’s own voice can be heard reciting a poem in Japanese. The exhibition has a chillingly unique atmosphere you’re going to have to experience for yourself.

Tickets are selling out fast, so get on this one ASAP.

2020 Dates: Now – February 7th, 2021

The 7 Best U.S. Art Exhibits To See In 2020
© Yayoi Kusama/Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

2. Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation – Museum of Fine Arts Boston

This superb exhibition showcases the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the icon of the post-graffiti moment in 1980s New York City. As street art moved from city walls and subway trains onto canvas and into the art world, Basquait made his mark.

This exhibition will show his works in painting, sculpture, drawing, video, music, and fashion. There will also be works by his contemporaries—and sometimes collaborators—A-One, ERO, Fab Five Freddy, Futura, Keith Haring, Kool Koor, LA2, Lady Pink, Lee, Rammellzee, and Toxic.

2020 Dates: April 5th – August 20th

yellow and blue painting inspired by graffiti by Jean-Michel Basquiat made with acrylic and oil paintstick on canvas

3. Made It: The Women Who Revolutionized Fashion – Peabody Essex Museum

This show stopping exhibition will show more than 100 works, spanning 250 years. It’s all about recognizing women’s often-overlooked contributions to the fashion and design industry. From Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress to Elsa Schiaparelli and Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, to experimental labels like Chromat, Made It features street fashion, ready-to-wear, and haute couture.

2020 Dates: May 16th – September 7th

4. Raúl de Nieves – Institute of Contemporary Art

Want to see unusual and super colourful art? New York–based artist Raúl de Nieves is an interdisciplinary artist, performer, and musician. His vibrant work ranges from stained-glass-style narrative paintings to energetic performances, to colourful sculptures with bells, beads, bangles, sequins, and other everyday materials. It’s a little weird, and a lot of fun.

This is his first museum presentation in Boston, so make sure to check it out!

2020 Dates: July 22nd – January 2nd, 2021

art exhibitions Boston
© Raúl de Nieves

5. Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection – Harvard  Art Museums

During the Edo period in Japan (1615–1868) Edo (present-day Tokyo) was the largest city in the world. This exhibition shows stunning examples of some of the most beautiful art from the time. Handpainted screens and hanging scrolls on silk and paper, coupled with books, handscrolls, fans, sculpture, and a lantern tell a fascinating story of Edo art.

This is one of the largest exhibitions ever held at the Harvard Art Museums.

2020 Dates: February 14th – July 26th

art exhibitions Boston

6. Lucian Freud: The Self-Portraits – Museum of Fine Arts Boston

With more than 40 works on canvas, paper, and etching plate that runs from the 1940s to the early 21st century, this will display a lifetime of self-portraits from the famous British painter. They trace the evolution of Freud’s technique and style; they also show a life’s journey, from young boy to old man, in what was basically an ongoing study of the process of ageing.

It’s easily one of the must visit art exhibitions in Boston in 2020.

2020 Dates: March 1st – May 25th 

art exhibitions Boston

7. Make Believe – Museum of Fine Arts Boston

“Make Believe” is a photography exhibition with major fairytale vibes. Sleeping figures float, women weave spiderwebs, magicians cause children to disappear, and homemade airships fly over icebergs. The exhibition brings together five artists who stage scenes for the camera to address a wide range of social and cultural issues.

The theme of the photographs includes the role of women in the Middle East, climate change, going childhood to adolescence, and fears of loneliness and loss. There’s some unusual photos, but you’ll love them all.

2020 Dates: Now – January 20th

Chromogenic print of a floating girl by Hellen van Meene

Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

View stories