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Relaxing and unwinding are the first things to do on holiday, but it’s best to have a cultural experience along the way, especially when you can spend the summer with artists like Raffaello and Elmgreen & Dragset.

When visiting Barcelona, it’s no exaggeration to stumble across Antoni Gaudí’s dazzling and unmistakable buildings on every road. For the first time in fifty years, France is hosting a major exhibition dedicated to Spain’s greatest Art Nouveau master. This exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris showcases the remarkable creativity of this extraordinary artist, who was as much at home in Catalonia at the end of the 19th century as he was in his furniture details and his universally admired architectural projects (Sagrada Familia).

During his short life, Raphael set the course of much of Western culture, but his work was fortunately prolific and his legacy and importance can only be compared to the greatest. On display at London’s National Gallery until the end of July, the exhibition is one of the first to showcase the master’s entire career, from his famous paintings and drawings to his architectural, poetic, sculptural -,and graphic works.

The exhibition “Useless Bodies?” by the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset is on show at the Fondazione Prada in Milan until the end of August. The theme is the current state of the body in the post-industrial age, in which our physical presence seems to be increasingly redundant. This shift is largely due to the pandemic and the subsequent rise of the home office.

Until September, local textile artist Teresa Lanceta’s stunning work at MACBA in Barcelona, showcasing her career from the 1970s to the present day. Lanceta discovered a primitive human code through textiles, which she then used to connect with different social groups, such as the Roma or the culture of the nomadic Moroccan weavers, bringing their artistic traditions and way of life into dialogue with her own tapestries, paintings and drawings, as well as her own theories.

Venice is worth a visit this summer for the Biennale of Fine Arts alone, and while you’re there, don’t miss the magnificent exhibition halls of the Palazzo Ducale, where Anselm Kiefer has created a huge show this time! The exhibition, open until October, is the centrepiece of MUVE Contemporaneo, organised by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, which aims to reflect on the always interesting relationship between contemporary art and museums. The series of paintings created especially for the Palazzo Ducale in 2020 and 2021 is set in the surroundings of the Sala dello Scrutinio, closely linked to the thirty-three monumental paintings on the ceiling and the heroic values of the palace. The exhibition is a great way of highlighting the role of contemporary art in reflecting on universal themes, going beyond Venice and pointing the way towards current philosophical perspectives.