previews

  • Eugen Batz, The Spatial Effect of Colors and Forms, 1929, tempera, pencil on paper, 15 1/2 x 13". From “Bauhaus: Art as Life.”

    “Bauhaus: Art as Life”

    Barbican Art Gallery
    Barbican Centre Silk Street
    May 3 - August 12

    Curated by Catherine Ince and Lydia Yee

    The exuberance of daily life at the Bauhaus is part of why the school continues to hold sway over our imagination. Performance, lavish costume balls, and sundry forms of experimentation and play were all essential activities. Too often, these seemingly contemporary practices are considered ancillary to the school’s history. But this exhibition, on the heels of major retrospectives at both Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, ventures another pass at the storied design school, this time with an eye for the social. Hundreds of objects, photos, and ephemera—including works by Josef and Anni Albers, Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and László Moholy-Nagy, as well as many lesser known Bauhausler—are assembled to support a comprehensive account of life at the school. An accompanying tome offers essays by the curators, Éva Forgács, Kathleen James-Chakraborty, Philip Ursprung, and others.

  • “Tino Sehgal 2012”

    Tate Modern
    Bankside
    July 24 - October 28

    Curated by Jessica Morgan and produced by Asad Raza

    Writing a “preview” of a Tino Sehgal show is like telling a soothsayer’s fortune. What can you say in advance of a work that only exists as a contemporaneous situation, and that, furthermore, is entangled in an apparatus (the Tate Modern’s spectacular, annual Unilever Series in the Turbine Hall) that embargoes any pertinent preproduction details? Given that Sehgal often targets the art world’s ecosystem, this critic begins to feel that his own convoluted divagations are anticipated, nay, encouraged—complicit with a dialectical conspiracy that intensifies with each attempt at escape. All according to script. Anyway, I hazard that the work will involve nonprofessional actors who will “interpret” a set of instructions that will at once miff and seduce. Also, the exhibition is Sehgal’s first-ever commission and overlaps with London’s Cultural Olympiad, both facts that may or may not be relevant to the piece. Guess you’ll just have to see for yourself.