Winter Highlights

The Painting Imperative recommends…

Picasso Black and White

Guggenheim, New York City

October 5, 2012–January 23, 2013

Picasso Black and White is the first exhibition to explore the remarkable use of black and white throughout the Spanish artist’s prolific career. Claiming that colour weakens, Pablo Picasso purged it from his work in order to highlight the formal structure and autonomy of form inherent in his art. His repeated minimal palette correlates to his obsessive interest in line and form, drawing, and monochromatic and tonal values, while developing a complex language of pictorial and sculptural signs. The recurrent motif of black, white, and gray is evident in his Blue and Rose periods, pioneering investigations into Cubism, neoclassical figurative paintings, and retorts to Surrealism. Even in his later works that depict the atrocities of war, allegorical still lifes, vivid interpretations of art-historical masterpieces, and his sensual canvases created during his twilight years, he continued to apply a reduction of colour.


Peter Doig: Imaginary Places

MAC, Belfast

16 November – 20 January, 2013

Doig’s subjects are often sourced from film stills and photographs, emanating a quiet nostalgia. He records places at the fringes of normality, anonymous locations where the urban and natural worlds meet. Known for his innovative exploration of landscape Doig’s work plunges the viewer into an unreliable world of reflections inviting us to consider the status of the people, places and events that populate his pictures, whether they exist in private or public realms, in personal or shared experiences.  His rigorous approach to surface, texture and colour puts him among the most inventive painters of his generation, leaving a profound influence on young artists and contemporaries alike.


A Bigger Splash: Painting After Performance

Tate Modern, London

14 November, 2012 – 1 April, 2013

This exhibition takes a new look at the dynamic relationship between performance and painting since 1950. Contrasting key paintings by Jackson Pollock and David Hockney, the exhibition considers two different approaches to the idea of the canvas as an arena in which to act: one gestural, the other one theatrical. The paintings of the Vienna Actionists or the Shooting Pictures of Niki de St Phalle will be re-presented within the performance context that they were made, and juxtaposed with works by artists such as Cindy Sherman or Jack Smith that used the face and body as a surface, often using make-up in work dealing with gender role-play. The exhibition proposes a new way of looking at the work of a number of younger artists whose approach to painting is energised by these diverse historical sources, drawing upon action painting, drag and the idea of the stage set.


Capogrossi: A Retrospective

Guggenheim, Venice

September 29, 2012–February 10, 2013

This retrospective explores Giuseppe Capogrossi’s unique contribution to 20th-century art, tracing the evolution of his signature glyph in grandiose orchestrations of abstract mark and colour.  Capogrossi: A Retrospective brings together over seventy paintings and drawings in a long overdue examination of the artist’s career.


Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925

MoMA, New York City

December 23, 2012–April 15, 2013

In 1912, in several European cities, a handful of artists—Vasily Kandinsky, Frantisek Kupka, Francis Picabia, and Robert Delaunay—presented the first abstract pictures to the public. Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925 celebrates the centennial of this bold new type of artwork, tracing the development of abstraction as it moved through a network of modern artists, from Marsden Hartley and Marcel Duchamp to Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich, sweeping across nations and across media. The exhibition brings together many of the most influential works in abstraction’s early history and covers a wide range of artistic production to draw a cross-media portrait of these watershed years.


K. H. Hödicke – Painting, Sculpture, Film

Berlinische Galerie, Berlin

22 February – 27 May, 2013

For more than half a century, the work of K. H. Hödicke has been firmly associated with Berlin. Born in Nuremberg in 1938, the artist later made his home in this city, where he began producing his versatile, multi-genre œuvre in 1957. The Berlinische Galerie holds a large and representative cross-section of his paintings, sculptures, objects and prints. These provide the basis for the first all-round retrospective to be devoted to the artist in Berlin for twenty years. They will be complemented by loans of other major works.

With his openness to so many media, from new forms of painting and sculpture to objects and film, K. H. Hödicke has influenced countless young artists and made an enduring mark on the Berlin art scene. His creativity is governed by his very own cryptic sense of humour and an astonishing diversity which is never gratuitous. Inspired by the spontaneity and individuality of the informal, Hödicke has developed a personal form of art which manages both to capture contemporary moods like a seismograph and render historical details with precision. The Berlinische Galerie will show a selection of major groups of his work, focusing on the 1960s and 1970s.