Willem de Kooning
A new series of exhibitions where creative people are invited to trace pathways through the 20th and 21st centuries, building an informal, accumulative history of the art of our times. In this occasion are on show drawings and film selected by Lutz Becker; the subtitle 'responding to chaos' reflects the predicament of artists addressing a period marked by totalitarian regimes, world wars, the threat of nuclear or climatic extinction, and accelerating technological and social change. It includes work by Boccioni, Malevich, Mondrian, Grosz, Klee, Pollock, de Kooning, Giacometti, Bourgeois, Beuys, Serra, Judd and Twombly, as well as artists sidelined in the mainstream of art history.
Modern Times is a new series of exhibitions where we invite creative people to trace pathways through the 20th and 21st centuries. Exhibition by exhibition, the series will build an informal, accumulative history of the art of our times.
Lutz Becker is a film-maker, painter and curator of exhibitions. Born in East Berlin, he came to London to study at the Slade and stayed on. For this exhibition he combined drawing, the oldest and most fundamental medium, with film, one of the most modern. Both, in their own ways, embody time and a sense of the transient.
The subtitle ‘responding to chaos’ reflects the predicament of artists addressing a period marked by totalitarian regimes, world wars, the threat of nuclear or climatic extinction, and accelerating technological and social change. Theirs is a distinctly urban art, largely uninvolved in the contemplation of nature. As the novelist Malcolm Bradbury has observed: ‘Modernism is our art; it is the one art that responds to the scenario of our chaos.’ Lutz Becker explores the urge towards abstraction and its ongoing dialogue with figuration, and the conversation between the geometric and the gestural.
While being presented non-chronologically – to explore links across time and geography – the exhibition runs the gamut from Italian Futurism and Russian Constructivism via Abstract Expressionism to Minimalism and Conceptualism. It includes work by well known artists such as Boccioni, Malevich, Mondrian, Grosz, Klee, Pollock, de Kooning, Giacometti, Bourgeois, Beuys, Serra, Judd and Twombly, as well as artists sidelined in the mainstream of art history.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with essays by Lutz Becker, Iain Boyd Whyte, David Elliott and Nicholas Wadley. It also provides the context for programmes of talks, music and films.
Modern Times: Connecting Composers
a weekend of concerts, talks, films
February 19, 2010 - February 21, 2010
The international summer school for new music in Darmstadt, Germany began in 1946 as one of many attempts to regenerate the city following World War II. Composers such as Messiaen, Varese, Berio, Boulez, Cage, Stockhausen and Xenakis taught on the courses and their impact on the new music scene has been profound.
At the centre of the weekend is a new film by David Ryan and Andrew Chesher including live performances, interviews with Pierre Boulez, Brian Ferneyhough, young composers on recent courses and distinguished performers such as the Arditti String Quartet, as well as archival footage. The result is a film that captures the intense creative focus the Darmstadt courses inspire.
The concerts, curated by Roger Redgate, present many of the major figures associated with the courses through their chamber music.
Modern Times: Modernism and Utopia, Day Conference
Saturday 27 February
A day of illustrated talks with panel discussion and film clips introduced by Lutz Becker.
2010 New Music Series
This vibrant programme of Sunday Coffee Concerts and New Music Mornings presented by the Camberwell Composers' Collective begins on Sunday 24 January. Featuring portrait concerts of David Lang and Michel van der Aa, musicians Jane Chapman and Joby Burgess and ensembles House of Bedlam and the Southbank Gamelan Players.
Image: Franciszka Themerson, Gustav Klucis
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