MODERN TIMES – responding to chaos
An exhibition of drawing and film selected by Lutz Becker
Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge
16 January – 14 march 2010
including works by Maliheh Afnan and Susan Hefuna
Susan Hefuna, Building, pen on paper, 60x88 cm, 2009 (left)
Maliheh Afnan, Blackboard, graphite on paper, 50x65 cm, 1987 (right)
"Modern Times" is a new series of exhibitions where we invite creative people to trace pathways through the 20th and 21st centuries. Each exhibition builds an informal, accumulative history of the art of our times.
Lutz Becker is a film-maker, painter and curator. Born in East Berlin, he came to London to study at the Slade and stayed on. For this exhibition he combines 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.
Presented non-chronologically to explore links across time and geography, the exhibition covers Italian Futurism, Russian Constructivism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism and Conceptualism. It includes work by well known artists such as Boccioni, Malevich, Mondrian, Grosz, Klee, Pollock, de Kooning, Judd, Giacometti, Bourgeois, Beuys, Serra and Twombly, as well as artists sidelined by mainstream 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.
For more information click here