London, an exhibition at Barbican Art Gallery celebrates 40 artist couples
By RICCARDO BIANCHINI - October 19, 2018
From October 10, 2018, through January 27, 2019, Barbican Art Gallery in London hosts the exhibition “Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde”.
The exhibition is organized by the Centre Pompidou Metz in collaboration with Barbican Centre and curated by Emma Lavigne, Jane Alison, Coralie Malissard, Elia Biezunski, and Cloé Pitiot.
“ Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde” presents forty art duos whose work deeply influenced 20th-century European and American art in a number of creative disciplines, including painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design, literature, and performing arts.
Cover image. Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde, installation view featuring Pablo Picasso, Portrait de femme,1938 (detail), Barbican Art Gallery, October 10, 2018 – January 27, 2019
The exhibition features a sequence of rooms dedicated to different couples.
Each room presents an ensemble of artworks – together with documents, letters, writings, books, and photographs – aimed to explore the artists’ personal and creative encounters, particular moments in their life and work, and their common interests and obsessions. The exhibition also features two special sections, one dedicated to Surrealism’s “Chance Encounter” and the other to radical Lesbian artists of the Parisian Left Bank during the 1920s and 1930s.
One of the most interesting aspects of the exhibition is its multidisciplinarity – by presenting artist couples active in almost all fields of the 20th-century creative panorama – and cross-disciplinarity – by focusing on duos cross-breeding different creative fields, such as music and visual arts (Alma Mahler and Oskar Kokoschka, for example), fashion design and painting (Emilie Flöge and Gustav Klimt), poetry and visual arts (such as Federico García Lorca and Salvador Dalí).
Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde, installation view featuring Frida Kahlo, Le Venadita (little deer), 1946.
The 40 couples
Aino and Alvar Aalto
Vanessa Bell and Roger Fry
Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant
Benedetta and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
Lilya Brik, Osip Brik, and Vladimir Mayakovsky
Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore
Leonora Carrington and Max Ernst
Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin
Natalie Clifford Barney and Romaine Brooks
Nancy Cunard and Henry Crowder
Sonia Delaunay and Robert Delaunay
Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener
Emilie Flöge and Gustav Klimt
Federico García Lorca and Salvador Dalí
Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov
Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici
Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson
Winifred Roberts and Ben Nicholson
Hannah Höch and Til Brugman
Hannah Höch and Raoul Hausmann
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera
Dora Maar and Pablo Picasso
Alma Mahler and Gustav Mahler
Alma Mahler and Oskar Kokoschka
Maria Martins and Marcel Duchamp
Margrethe Mather and Edward Weston
Lee Miller and Man Ray
Lee Miller and Roland Penrose
Tina Modotti and Edward Weston
Lucia Moholy and László Moholy-Nagy
Gabriele Münter and Wassily Kandinsky
Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz
PaJaMa: Paul Cadmus, Jared French, and Margaret French
George Platt Lynes, Monroe Wheeler, and Glenway Wescott
Lilly Reich and Mies van der Rohe
Lavinia Schulz & Walter Holdt
Varvara Stepanova and Alexander Rodchenko
Toyen and Jindrich Styrsky
Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Jean Arp
Dorothea Tanning and Max Ernst
Marianne von Werefkin and Alexej von Jawlensky
Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West
Virginia Woolf and Leonard Woolf
Unica Zürn and Hans Bellmer
Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde
Barbican Art Gallery, Silk Street, London, United Kingdom
October 10, 2018 – January 27, 2019
Standard ticket: £16
(all pictures © John Philips / Getty Images, courtesy of Barbican Centre, London)
Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde, Installation view featuring Diego Rivera, Les vases communicants, 1938.
Tamara de Lempicka, Les deux amies, 1923.
Romaine Brooks, Portrait of Luisa Casati, 1920.
Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde, installation views.
Robert Delaunay, Formes circulaires, Soleil no2, 1912-1913.
Jean Arp, Tänzerin (Danseuse), 1925 and Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Triptyque, 1918.
Mikhail Larionov, Paysage, 1912; Natalia Goncharova, Rowers, 1912; Natalia Goncharova, La lampe électrique, 1913
Installation view featuring Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici.