previews

Hans Hartung, T1948-38 (2406-0), 1948, oil on canvas, 38 1/8 x 51 1/8".

Barcelona

“BE-BOMB”

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
Plaça dels Angels, 1
October 5 - January 7

Curated by Serge Guilbaut and Manuel Borja-Villel

Navigating French historian Serge Guilbaut’s theory that America swiped postwar modernism from war-ravaged Western Europe is like driving an old Citröen instead of a new Ford. The oddball design and hydraulics may take getting used to, but its concept is, well, interesting. For the test drive, Guilbaut’s 1983 book How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art may be a bit ambitious; better just to see the theory realized. “BE-BOMB: The Transatlantic War of Images and All That Jazz, 1946–1956,” which gathers together some four hundred works by approximately 150 artists, represents the period when modern art’s center moved from Paris to New York. But whether the work of artists like Alfred Manessier and Marcel Barbeau supports Guilbaut’s claim that American critics unjustly considered postwar French art “pointless and meaningless” is an open question.