previews

  • John Baldessari, God Nose, 1965, oil on canvas, 68 x 57".

    John Baldessari, God Nose, 1965, oil on canvas, 68 x 57".

    John Baldessari

    Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
    Plaça dels Angels, 1
    February 5–April 25, 2010

    Tate Modern
    Bankside
    October 13, 2009–January 10, 2010

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
    5905 Wilshire Boulevard
    June 20–September 12, 2010

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    October 17–January 9, 2010

    Curated by Leslie Jones and Jessica Morgan

    “Pure Beauty” seems a funny name for a retrospective of an artist who cremated all his paintings in 1970 and voided the photographed faces of dozens of Hollywood starlets with signature colored spots, but of course an unsettlingly ironic humor runs through Baldessari’s career. This expansive exhibition should connect the proverbial dots with more than 130 works from five decades of collage, video, installation, and—yes— painting. In Los Angeles the artist’s influence looms (conspicuously) large. Accompanied by a catalogue with essays from Bice Curiger, David Salle, and ten others, Baldessari’s first British retrospective should reveal how far his pioneering brand of California Conceptualism extends.

  • John Cage preparing a piano, ca. 1950. Photo: Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

    John Cage preparing a piano, ca. 1950. Photo: Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

    John Cage and Experimental Art

    Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
    Plaça dels Angels, 1
    October 23, 2009–January 10, 2010

    Henie Onstad Art Centre

    January 25–May 30, 2010

    Curated by Julia Robinson

    For John Cage, immanence was bliss. His work and worldview perennially straddled radical materialism and romantic yen. Letting sounds be sounds, allowing chance to rule, Cage’s anarchic leveling of materials and events redefined the work, the score, the act. This large-scale survey at MACBA, produced with Henie Onstad Art Centre, promises to unveil the full and often paradoxical swath of Cage’s practice with more than two hundred recordings, scores, and objects—from his early prepared-piano compositions, to works that emphasize his pedagogical impact at Black Mountain and the New School, to performance-based and collaborative engagements with technological systems (including the mesmerizing HPSCHD, 1967–69). Catalogue essays by Yve-Alain Bois, Robinson, and others will further expound Cage’s ardent dedication to not composing.

  • Katja Eydel, Model ve Sembol Die Erfindung der Türkei (The Invention of Turkey) (detail), 2005/2006, photo installation, wallpaper with a series of 42 color photographs, each 16 x 13".

    Katja Eydel, Model ve Sembol Die Erfindung der Türkei (The Invention of Turkey) (detail), 2005/2006, photo installation, wallpaper with a series of 42 color photographs, each 16 x 13".

    Modernologies

    Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
    Plaça dels Angels, 1
    September 23, 2009–January 17, 2010

    Curated by Sabine Breitwieser

    The dual condition of modernity—at once enlightenment project (secular democracy, social equality, and universal human rights) and catastrophe (totalitarianism, imperialism, exile, and world war)—provides a notoriously fraught heritage for our present. Assembling about one hundred works made over the past half century by thirty-one artists and collectives, from older generations (Gustav Metzger, Dan Graham, Gordon Matta-Clark) to midcareer and emerging figures (Runa Islam, Paulina Olowska, Marine Hugonnier), curator Sabine Breitwieser (along with fellow catalogue essayists Cornelia Klinger and Walter Mignolo) hopes to reveal new ways of comprehending modernism’s parallel valences, its perceived failures and unfulfilled promises.