previews

  • Gilbert & George, England, 1980, 118 1/2 x 118 1/2".

    Gilbert & George

    Tate Modern
    Bankside
    February 15–May 7, 2007

    Haus der Kunst
    Prinzregentenstrasse 1
    June 9–September 16, 2006

    de Young Museum
    50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
    February 1–May 1, 2008

    Castello di Rivoli
    Piazza Mafalda di Savoia
    October 8, 2007–January 6, 2008

    Curated by Jan Debbaut

    Gilbert & George claim that “Most people who saw our last retrospective [in the UK] are dead,” but their influence on several generations of younger British artists is clear. The duo apparently lobbied Tate Modern for a retrospective, and the museum is now presenting the largest exhibition of their work to date (curated by Jan Debbaut), spanning the artists’ transgressive-conceptualist history from the early “living sculptures” to the present, including their postcard pieces, all forty-five “Pictures” series, and new works. Here, in Britain’s powerhouse of cultural tourism, G&G’s arch (in both senses) conservative performance of “life as art” and their obsession with identity will be refracted through their post-YBA role as national art icons. Travels to Haus der Kunst, Munich, June 9–Sept. 16; Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy, Oct. 8, 2007–Jan. 6, 2008; De Young Museum, San Francisco, Feb.–May 2008; and other venues.

  • Alvar Aalto, Shigeru Ban (Paper House), 1995, Lake Yamanaka, Yamanashi, Japan. Photo: Hiroyuki Hirai.

    Alvar Aalto

    Barbican Art Gallery
    Barbican Centre Silk Street
    February 22–May 13, 2007

    Curated by Shigeru Ban and Tomoko Sato

    Finnish architect Alvar Aalto said that “the Lord created paper for drawing architecture. Everything else is . . . misuse of paper.” So it is perhaps a grand irony that Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, recognized almost exclusively (albeit inadequately) for his innovative use of paper as a building material, is co-organizing (along with Tomoko Sato) the first British retrospective of Aalto’s work. Intended in part as a conversation between the two architects, the exhibition will not only present Aalto’s pioneering Nordic Modern work—which, it has been said, humanized modernism—but will also be a means of drawing out the unlikely similarities between the humanist Aalto and the humanitarian Ban. Along with explorations of twelve of Aalto’s most significant buildings and re-creations of some of their interiors, the show will investigate the ethical ramifications of architecture through the prism of these two kindred spirits’ works.