previews

  • Ian Hamilton Finlay

    Fundació Joan Miró
    Parc de Montjuïc s/n
    February 26–April 18, 1999

    Crank, seer, publicist, poet, Ian Hamilton Finlay (b. 1925) is that quintessential British eccentric who cultivates with fierce self-protection his famous Scottish garden, Little Sparta, which pilgrims speak of as his greatest work. Finlay is Neoclassicist and neo-Romantic, didactic and liberal, an insider and an outsider, the master of the politico-poetic sound bite incised in stone (by hired craftsmen; the patrician poet doesn’t lift a chisel). This substantial show, organized by the Miró Foundation’s director, Rosa Maria Malet, and Finlay himself, includes recent and older work as well as a new piece commissioned specially for this exhibition.

  • Perejaume

    Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
    Plaça dels Angels, 1
    April 22–June 20, 1999

    Perejaume’s subject is landscape, and though he often describes himself as a painter, his means also include writing, photography, sculpture, and installation. His irony is not corrosive, but rather is intended to open up multiple perspectives, to infiltrate the gap between presence and thought: “I am not speaking of the impossibility of painting,” he has said, “but of the persistent need to contemplate as if we were painting.” The 139 works in this retrospective, curated by Carles Guerra and Marcia Tucker, are organized thematically rather than chronologically. The catalogue includes essays by the curators, Boris Groys, and Pere Gimferrer, who introduces a selection of Perejaume’s writings.

  • Merce Cunningham

    Fundació Antoni Tàpies
    Aragó 255
    February 4–April 4, 1999

    Merce Cunningham’s extraordinary career is virtually inseparable from innovation in American dance, music, and art over the past half century. Among the first to use “chance procedures” as the basis for choreography, he freed dance movement from slavish adherence to the score. This show (which evolved out of Aperture’s Merce Cunningham: Fifty Years [1997]) was organized by Germano Celant, who has been remarkably resourceful in tackling the inevitable difficulties of exhibiting ephemeral art. Choreographic notation, musical scores, costumes, stage sets, and a full video archive of Cunningham performances come together in Barcelona. Feb. 4–Apr. 4; travels to Fundação de Serralves, Porto, Portugal, Sept. 10–Nov. 7; Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Jan.–Mar. 2000; Palais Liechtenstein, Vienna, May 2000.

  • Art & Language

    Fundació Antoni Tàpies
    Aragó 255
    April 15–June 20, 1999

    In the polemical atmosphere from which Conceptual art emerged in the late ’6os, the British collective Art & Language produced densely wrought philosophical texts that challenged the antipodal relationship between linguistic or critical practice and art making. As Conceptualism became its own orthodoxy in the late ’70s, A&L disbanded its influential organ Art-Language, and today just two of the original members, Michael Baldwin and Mel Ramsden, operate under the A&L banner. This exhibition addresses the entire scope of the collective’s output, including essays, recordings, posters, and ephemera—even paintings. A program of musical, theatrical, and cinematic events is planned, and former Art-Language editor Charles Harrison has assembled a two-volume catalogue.