Exploring an unparalleled period in American art, this long-awaited exhibition reveals the full breadth of a movement that will forever be associated with the boundless creative energy of 1950s New York.
In the “age of anxiety” surrounding the Second World War and the years of free jazz and Beat poetry, artists like Pollock, Rothko and de Kooning broke from accepted conventions to unleash a new confidence in painting.
Often monumental in scale, their works are at times intense, spontaneous and deeply expressive. At others they are more contemplative, presenting large fields of colour that border on the sublime.
These radical creations redefined the nature of painting, and were intended not simply to be admired from a distance but as two-way encounters between artist and viewer.
It was a watershed moment in the evolution of 20th-century art, yet, remarkably, there has been no major survey of the movement since 1959.
South African artist William Kentridge (b.1955, Johannesburg) is renowned for his animated expressionist drawings and films exploring time, the history of colonialism and the aspirations and failures of revolutionary politics.
In this major exhibition of six large-scale installations by the artist, music and drama are ruptured by revolution, exile and scientific advancement.
Highlights include the film work Second-hand Reading (2013), installation O Sentimental Machine (2015) and The Refusal of Time (2012), an immersive work created with composer Philip Miller, projection designer Catherine Meyburgh, choreographer Dada Masilo, scientist Peter Galison and collaborators from around the world.
From dance as activism to British Sign Language, interaction with robots to political posturing: what do languages of the body reveal or conceal about the experience of inhabiting one?
Workshops & activities!
– Zine workshop with Collective Creativity artists
– Voguing mini-ball
– Social robotics
– Body to Brain (science of high-fives to face-palms)
– Performance workshop on the language of healthcare with Josh Bitelli
– ‘Speaking Without Words’ with autism expert Phoebe Caldwell
– ‘Fat Activism’ with author and activist Charlotte Cooper
– ‘Body Language and rhetoric’ with physiologist Harry Witchel
An exhibition of new paintings by American artist Peter Saul. This is the first London exhibition by Saul, who remains a vital presence in American painting through more than fifty years.
Peter Saul was born in San Francisco in 1934. Following his studies at the California School of Fine Arts and Washington University, St. Louis, he settled for six years in Paris, an unusual choice for a young artist at a time when New York City was the place to be. Saul has remained something of an outsider ever since.
Neither a believer in the promise of abstraction, nor a disciple of the Existentialist philosophies underlying the artspeak of the day, Saul remained true to his personal influences and obsessions: French academic painting, MAD magazine, artists such as Paul Cadmus and Rosa Bonheur.
Saul embraced narrative and figuration in painting when painting was supposed to be non-objective (if one didn’t already believe painting to be dead). His ironic and caustic humour, love of the grotesque and dogged insistence on the necessity of a picture to tell a story, have left him at odds with every dominant style and “-ism” of the past five decades.
Saul has developed into a profound history painter whose ambivalent politics and lurid imagery further complicate the reception of his painting. Consequently, he has long existed outside the canon of acceptable contemporary artists, a radical fringe figure who nonetheless exerts profound influence on younger artists.
Despite spending his whole professional life in the Belgian seaside town of Ostend, James Ensor was very successful in his lifetime and exerted considerable influence on the development of Expressionism. An innovator and an outsider, he rebelled against the conservative art teachings of the late 19th century academy in Brussels, drawn instead to the avant-garde salons where his radical creative vision could thrive.
Ensor’s childhood spent among the fantastical treasures of his family’s curiosity shop offers a clue as to how the seeds of this wild imagination were sown. The imagery of masks and carnivals runs through much of his work, from vibrant colours and flamboyant costumes to an ever-present sense of drama and satire.
We invited the artist Luc Tuymans, a fellow Belgian and admirer of Ensor, to curate this unique exhibition. Taking a personal view, Tuymans looks back at Ensor’s singular career through a selection of his most bizarrely brilliant and gloriously surreal creations.
Revel in some of the most interesting, most transgressive moments in cinema, as we explore the trashier side of celluloid.
From famously grubby origins as a fairground attraction, film is looking pretty respectable these days: there are reviews in broadsheet newspapers, directors recast as ‘auteurs’ and the pomp and circumstance of international festivals.
But for all this, the movies have never been entirely co-opted into official ‘high-culture’. Part art form, part mass entertainment, they have always had a trashier side, and this has made it one of the great pleasures of cinema-going across the years. If we stick with only ‘good films’ and ‘acceptable’ content, well, we’re missing out on some of the greatest moments in all cinema.
In this spirit, Barbican invites you to revel in some of the most interesting, most transgressive moments committed to celluloid, carefully curated by our team.
Featuring work by Catherine Breillat, Werner Herzog, Douglas Sirk and ‘Pope of Trash’ John Waters, among many others, this season of arthouse shockers, exploitation classics, ‘failed art movies’ and outrageous melodrama feature questionable morals, shocking endings, a bit of nudity and a whole bunch of raised-eyebrow moments.
The original contemporary late night event. Friday Late celebrates all aspects of contemporary visual culture and design in society, bringing audiences face-to-face with leading and emerging artists and designers through live performance, film, installation, debate, DJs and late-night exhibition openings.
This October the V&A is teaming up with online magazine and collective gal-dem. Made up of over 50 women of colour, gal-dem offers their take on the world. With an all-female line up, as we invite you to twerk to empowerment, share a soul food recipe and hear London’s best MCs.
This is the first of two events in collaboration with gal-dem, as part of preparations for V&A East, our new museum planned for East London opening in 2021. Part two will be held close to the site of the new Museum in February 2017 – watch this space for further details!
‘Day of the Dead’ party with set to include a scare fest of surprises; Tarot Card readings, circus performers, fire eaters plus a world class magician in Marcus Lewis, formerly of Head Hacking.
The club will receive the Halloween makeover with spiders, clowns and ghouls floating around the venue for a once in a lifetime crazy golf experience whilst DJs keep players going into the night. With four diverse courses on offer and Halloween themed cocktails.
Unlock the future with an in-house Tarot Card reading, watch in marvel of the London’s finest fire eaters and dodge circus performers taking over the space in between courses all at the city’s best crazy golf venue.
Expect scary creatures jumping out from hidden spaces around the four courses sure to keep the most fearless clutching on to your (golf) balls.
Bart’s Dog Kart will be on hand to supply hot dogs and nachos throughout the fright fest alongside special tasty-yet-horrifying cocktails the many bars.
The club will continue to open seven days a week from 12:00 until 11:00pm. Weekday and Sunday tickets are priced at £9.50 per person with Friday and Saturday tickets priced £10.50.
Straight from the sold out run at Vault Festival where it was awarded Pick Of The Year, Skin a Cat is a bracingly candid account of sex and shame, gut-wrenching and side-splitting by turns, this is a truly alternative coming of age story about going all the way.
Every teenager thinks they’re the only one not having sex. But for Alana, it may well be true. She really wants to, but luck is clearly not on her side. Soon she can’t help wondering: Is it this tricky for everyone else? Because no one ever said it was going to be this complicated. 😫
The show follows Alana on an awkward sexual odyssey with a kaleidoscope of off-kilter characters: from getting her first period at nine years old and freaking out her frantic mother, to watching bad porn at a house party with her best friend’s boyfriend, to a painful examination by an overly cheery gynaecologist – all in the pursuit of losing her virginity and finally becoming a woman, whatever that means…