2020 as a year has passed by being in a lockdown and staying indoors due to the ongoing pandemic.  With this most of the art exhibitions, art fairs, and museums around the world have been closed for visitors for most months of 2020. But that doesn’t mean that the art and cultural world has stopped. Though art galleries around the world may be temporarily closed, many museums and exhibitions have taken a step forward this year to host virtual experiences and tours showcasing different artists and their works. What better than to enjoy the cultural world by relaxing on your couch in these times. Here is a list of 10 such virtual exhibitions –

1. Art Basel | Virtual Exhibitions

Exhibit: Online Viewing Room
Curator: Art Basel

Art Basel launched a virtual platform named “Online Viewing Room” to collect leading galleries and art enthusiasts. It hosted 5 editions of digital exhibitions through 2020 which were featured in 255 galleries around the world. Art, installations, sculpture, and many more were exhibited in these digital exhibitions. Online Virtual Room exhibited the works made this year and exclusively featured works created in the 20th century live. At the beginning of the launch of online viewing rooms, there were some technical glitch and difficulties which are expected when taking a new digital initiative. They were resolved by the technical team of Art Basel. Over the course of the exhibition, many artworks have been sold to seasoned and new collectors. 

Link to website: www.artbasel.com/ovr 

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Art Basel © Apollo Magazine
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Art Basel’s online viewing room © Stephen Friedman Gallery
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Art Basel’s online viewing room © The New York Times

2. As Above So Below

Exhibit: MFA Thesis
Curator: Tufts University

“As Above So Below” is an MFA thesis virtual exhibition exhibiting the work of 17 artists under the Tufts University graduate program. Every artist has a dedicated web page in the virtual exhibition along with the catalogue of works. The online catalogue can be used to make a virtual tour of the show. The artwork exhibited is a result of the two years of studio-based research created by the 17 student artists. The exhibition has been online since September 8th, 2020. Though the graduating class of 2020 has accepted the online exhibition format, a physical exhibition will be held at Aidekman arts center. The date of the physical exhibition is yet not declared. 

Link to website: artgalleries.tufts.edu/blog/news/2020/05/18/as-above-so-below/ 

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As above so below © Tufts university art galleries
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As above so below © Tufts university art galleries

3. Bodies of Light | Virtual Exhibitions

Exhibit: Glass Sculptures and Paintings
Curator: Lina Vincent

Bodies of Light is an exhibition showcasing the glass sculptures and paintings of sculptor Hemi Bawa. The exhibition is curated by Lina Vincent and is launched by Art Speaks India. The online show has a conversation of the artist with Anjali Srinivasan and Sisir Sahana. Along with the online exhibition, there is a photo contest running throughout the course of the exhibition. The contest invites photo entries from people explaining the theme of the exhibition. The duration of the exhibition is from November 22nd, 2020 to January 15th, 2021. 

Link to website: www.artspeaksindia.com/ 

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Bodies of Light © Vogue
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Bodies of Light © www.artspeaksindia.com/

4. Broad Museum

Exhibit: Contemporary art
Curator: Broad Museum

The Broad is a contemporary art museum located in Los Angeles. During the lockdown, their hashtag #TheBroadFromHome has a compilation of their digital initiatives. It includes contemporary art and permanent exhibitions which are exhibited on their website. It also has a series called “The Infinite Drone” which has videos through which people can experience their artwork through immersive light and sound. Under the hashtag #TheBroadFromHome, a series of music, poetry, workshops, and conversations are also made available online completing the collection. 

Link to website: www.thebroad.org/fromhome  

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Broad Museum collection © Beverly Press
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Broad Museum collection © The Broad
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Broad Museum collection © The Broad

5. Known Creates Unknown | Virtual Exhibitions

Exhibit: Presentation of Kumaresan Selvaraj
Curator: Exhibit320 

Known Creates Unknown is an online solo presentation of the works of the artist Kumaresan Selvaraj. It was showcased by Exhibit320 and exhibits the idea of layers through stacked sheets of paper. The stacked papers appear to be a singular mass until observed closely. The artist describes these references as his memories and thoughts. The exhibition was online from November 10th, 2020 to December 31st, 2020.

Link for viewing: www.theartplatformindia.com/ 

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Known Creates Unknown © Vogue

6. Leila Alaoui: Rite of Passage

Exhibit: Works of Leila Alaoui
Curator: Ekow Eshun

Leila Alaoui: Rite of Passage is a virtual tour of the beautiful Somerset House Exhibition. It is broadcasted by Ekow Eshun and exhibits some of the most beautiful portraits of recent times. The work belongs to Leila Alaoui, a French – Moroccan photographer who was killed in the 2016 terrorist attack. After the digital walkthrough, you can listen to a pre–recorded online talk on Alaoui’s works. The exhibition is held in partnership with the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair and with the help of The Leila Alaoui Foundation which has been created to preserve her work, defend her values and support artistic engagement. 

Link for the tour: www.somersethouse.org.uk/blog/virtual-tour-leila-alaoui-rite-passage 

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Leila Alaoui’s work © Apollo Magazine
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Leila Alaoui’s work © Apollo Magazine

7. Lobsteropolis

Exhibit: Paintings & sculptures by Philio Colbert 

“Lobsteropolis” is a virtual stroll around Lobster land, a showcase of large-scale paintings and sculptures by the artist Philip Colbert on his favorite cartoon lobster persona. The virtual exhibition exhibits pop paintings made by the artist. As one navigates through the virtual tour, one can zoom in and out on the paintings and sculptures on display. The exhibition was online till 29th November 2020. The exhibition is called Colbert’s biggest showcase ever and is the world’s first robot-led viewed exhibition. 

Lobsteropolis © FAD magazine
Lobsteropolis © Hindustan Times

8. London art week digital | Virtual Exhibitions

Exhibit: Pre – contemporary art exhibition
Curator: London art week digital

This is a pre-contemporary art exhibition having online selling exhibitions, events, tours, and talks included in the program. The winter edition which ran from 27th November 2020 to 4th December 2020 brought together around 50 international dealers in the virtual tour. The exhibition includes historical portraits and the works of British women artists. Along with this, there was an online symposium held to celebrate the legacy of Raphael on his 500th death anniversary.

London art week digital © the fine guide
London art week digital © Philip Mould

9. Museum of Modern Art

Exhibit: 86,000 online artworks
Curator: MoMA & Google Arts and Culture Partnership

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is located in New York and covers digital bases by making a collection of around 86,000 artworks available online. Art lovers can browse through the works that are currently on display or have been recently added to the online collection. It also includes a catalogue of artists that have been featured in the online exhibition. The online exhibitions have been developed by a partnership between the museum and Google Arts and Culture Partnership.

Link to website: www.moma.org/collection/ 

MoMA online exhibition © The Architect’s Newspaper
MoMA online exhibition – virtual views © MoMA

10. The Tomb of Pharaoh Ramses VI | Virtual Exhibitions

Exhibit: Archaeological sites of Egypt
Curator: Egyptian Tourism Authority

The Egyptian government launched a campaign named “Experience Egypt from home” under which they launched a series of virtual tours. The virtual tours give the opportunity to the visitors to experience many heritage and archeological sites in Egypt as well as visit the country’s famous museums. Among these is the 3D virtual tour of the tomb of Pharaoh Ramses VI. The tour features some of the most well-preserved wall reliefs and decorations from the tomb.

Tomb of Pharaoh Ramses VI ©Archinect

Khyati Antrolia is an architect, writer, bibliophile, explorer and a history lover who is interested in architectural research and journalism. She hopes to inspire people and play a role in changing the world for the better. She believes in the power of words as much as the power of love.