previews

  • Ibrahim El-Salahi, Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams I, 1962–63, oil on canvas, 108 1/2 x 108 1/2".

    “Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist”

    Tate Modern
    Bankside
    July 3–September 22, 2013

    Curated by Salah Hassan

    Perhaps more than any institution of its ilk,Tate Modern has made a commitment to expanding—or even exploding—the Euro-American canon of postwar art. This initiative underpins its staging of “Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist,” a retrospective (organized by New York’s Museum for African Art) of one of a generation of African artists who forged a complex syncretism from the wreckage of high modernism. Although his integration of painting, drawing, and writing has brought him scholarly recognition as a founding figure of the Khartoum school, the Anglo-Sudanese artist is only belatedly receiving the more widespread attention he deserves. An accompanying catalogue features contributions by El-Salahi and fellow artist Hassan Musa, along with essays by Sarah Adams, Ulli Beier, Iftikhar Dadi, Chika Okeke-Agulu, and the curator.

  • Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, Centre Pompidou, 1971–77, Paris. Photo: David Noble.

    “Richard Rogers: Inside Out”

    Royal Academy | Burlington Gardens
    6 Burlington Gardens
    July 24–October 13, 2013

    Curated by Jeremy Melvin

    In more ways than one, the career of British architect Richard Rogers has been defined by contradiction. Stylistically, he has merged a modernist faith in technology and the open plan with a colorful Pop-inflected exuberance, an amalgamation immortalized in his design (with Renzo Piano) for the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Ideologically, he has maintained a steadfast faith in the transformative potential of public architecture, even as some of his most celebrated projects have been corporate headquarters for private clients, the iconic Lloyd’s building in London among them. These tensions are perhaps a symptom of architecture’s unstable position in postwar culture, as the field has increasingly been asked to define corporate or institutional identity rather than address deeper aesthetic or functional questions. As the situation has grown only more acute with the ever-accelerating flow of global capital, this detailed examination of Rogers’s architecture in light of his activities as a speaker, writer, and activist should prove all the more urgent today.