previews

  • “NAM JUNE PAIK: THE FUTURE IS NOW”

    Tate Modern
    Bankside
    October 17, 2019–February 9, 2020

    Curated by Dr. Sook-Kyung Lee and Rudolf Frieling with Valentina Ravaglia and Andrea Nitsche Krupp

    Nam June Paik bypassed the dematerializations of art by his contemporaries in Fluxus and Conceptual art, envisioning a virtual, global communication network long before it arrived. Taking back roads to what he would dub the “electronic superhighway,” his 1963 debut show, “Exposition of Television–Electronic Music” (to be partly restaged at Tate Modern this fall), amped up musical experimentation via new media and viewer participation. In the decades that followed, he completed the logic of speculative spectacularization with works like Good Morning Mr. Orwell, 1984, the first immaterial multicity “show” simulcast IRT via satellite, which enlisted some of the entertainment world’s biggest names (Laurie Anderson, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed), and Wrap Around the World, 1988, with David Bowie. In mounting yet another Paik retrospective (of two hundred career-spanning works), Tate and coorganizing institution the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art take on the challenge of an uneven oeuvre—by turns ploddingly literal and dazzlingly ambitious—to recast these mediations of the mediatic as timely once again. Travels to the SFMOMA, spring 2021.

  • WILLIAM BLAKE

    Tate Britain
    Millbank
    September 11, 2019–February 2, 2020

    Curated by Martin Myrone and Amy Concannon

    Bodies outstretched, penetrated, erect, bent, or radiant are as omnipresent in William Blake’s visual work as geometrical figures in Constructivist painting. The boundaries that delineate their arms and torsos and heads declare themselves the most vital elements and principal conundrums of his style. Trunks can twist and chests be pierced in Blake’s pictures, and arms can reach painfully outward, but the “hard and wiry line of rectitude” enclosing them remains unfashionably unbroken. So much the worse for fashion. Tate’s comprehensive display of three hundred works from across Blake’s life should serve as a historical reminder that these thick, sensuous outlines of the body still have better fucking things to do than stand sentry in the metaphorical imagination of this or that fascist regime. They are the exclamation marks of the senses, in a Jerusalem without checkpoints.