Press room

Barbican 2020 highlights

A black and white photograph, a person walking on a road with their hands in their pockets. Sunil Gupta's Christopher Street

In 2020, the Barbican’s year-long season Inside Out will explore the relationship between our inner lives and creativity. The season will showcase the work of artists who have found pioneering ways to articulate their innermost thoughts, feelings and desires, and how this can help us to better understand ourselves and empathise with each other’s experience of the world.

Highlights from next year’s programme, some of which are part of Inside Out, include Autism and Cinema: An Exploration of Neurodiversity, a Barbican Cinema season exploring neurodiversity in collaboration with the Centre for Film and Ethics at Queen Mary University of London; Beethoven Weekender, two full days of the great composer’s music as well as talks and family events; Isadora Now, an evening of performance paying tribute to the American dancer Isadora Duncan taking place in Barbican Theatre; and Masculinities: Liberation through Photography, a Barbican Art Gallery exhibition that explores the ways in which masculinity is experienced, performed, coded and socially constructed as expressed and documented through photography and film from the 1960s to the present day.


Alternate Realities
Mon 13–Sun 19 Jan 2020, Cinemas 2 & 3 and Cinema Café
Part of
Inside Out

Barbican Cinema is delighted to showcase highlights from Sheffield Doc/Fest’s pioneering digital art strand, with two works from the festival’s Alternate Realities exhibition of interactive and immersive non-fiction.

In the interactive installation Echo, by Georgie Pinn, audiences step into the shoes of another through a virtual mirror, select a shared story and discover layers of themselves echoed back. The Barbican presentation of Echo features new, intimate stories never shown before. 

Alongside Pinn's work, Rob Eagle’s augmented reality installation Through the Wardrobe playfully invites visitors into a wardrobe where the possibilities of gender are endless. The viewer is invited to explore the belongings of others and play with their own ideas of gender identity.

These installations are accompanied by two screenings: Agostino Ferrente’s Selfie (Italy 2019, dir Agostino Ferrente) and Enrico Masi’s Shelter - Farewell to Eden (Italy/France 2019, dir Enrico Masi), two powerful films that examine identity and depict intensely personal experiences in new and innovative ways.

Alternate Realities is presented by Sheffield Doc/Fest and the Barbican, with support from Arts Council England.

Her Lens, His Story: Female Directors and Masculinities
Wed 26 Feb–Tue 10 Mar 2020
Part of
Inside Out

This explores complex, revealing and often provocative takes on men and masculinity, as seen through the lens of female filmmakers around the world.

As the Barbican Art Gallery explores how masculinity has been depicted by artists and photographers over the decades, the Barbican Cinemas present a series of feature films by female directors, including Edith Carlmar, Kinuyo Tanaka, Larisa Shepitko and Shahrbanoo Sadat, many of which are very rarely screened in the UK, that offer interesting and insightful depictions of its male characters.

Featuring films from the UK, Norway, the Soviet Union, Argentina, Australia, Afghanistan and Japan, Hers Lens, His Story shows how great female directors have reversed the traditional male-female gaze to give us exciting and challenging male characters across multiple genres, including film noirs, melodramas, comedies and war movies.

Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests – Reel #10 (U*) with a new soundtrack created and performed by Leif
Thu 27 Feb 2020, Cinema 1
Part of
Inside Out

Barbican Cinema, as part of its regular Silent Film & Live Music series, presents a selection of Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, the series of short, silent black-and-white film portraits made by Warhol at the Factory between1964-66. Reel #10, which includes Lou Reed, Edie Sedgwick, poet John Ashbery and filmmakers Jonas Mekas and Paul Morrissey will be screened accompanied by a new soundtrack created and performed by Leif

The Screen Tests were conceptualised as cinematic versions of mug shots, ID photos or photo booth photos. The sitters were filmed in a small space against the wall where a tripod-mounted 16mm Bolex camera, lights and a chair had been set up. They were asked to sit for three minutes – much longer than the exposure time of a photo. The sitters’ responses to this ‘ordeal’, and their decisions about how to ‘perform’ themselves for the camera, make these films hugely revealing, as well as riveting viewing. 

Leif is a UK-based DJ and producer, author of over 20 EPs and three acclaimed albums, most recently appearing on labels such as Whities, Livity Sound and Idle Hands.

London International Animation Festival: The Inner Life
Feb–Dec 2020
Part of
Inside Out

Artists and filmmakers express a range of inner lives, complex emotions and personal experiences in this curated selection of animations, presented in a four-part series throughout 2020, curated by the London International Animation Festival (LIAF).

In the first LIAF event, Inside the Mind, we rediscover some of the most celebrated and talked about films from recent festival editions that explore the concept of an inner life.

London International Animation Festival: Inside the Mind
Wed 19 Feb 2020, Cinema 2
Part of
Inside Out

Featuring work from the UK, Ireland, Estonia and the USA, Inside the Mind shows how artists use animation to engage with first person narratives and to express the otherwise inexpressible.

Autism and Cinema: An Exploration of Neurodiversity
Thu 2–Wed 29 Apr 2020
Part of
Inside Out

This season is presented in collaboration with the Centre for Film and Ethics at Queen Mary University of London as part of a research project supported by Wellcome. It debates new ideas arising from the relationship between autism and cinema.

Bringing together a diverse selection of films, ranging from documentary to animation, and genre-twisting fiction to experimental filmmaking from within the autistic community, this programme asks how the language of cinema can be challenged and changed by autistic perspectives.

The film programme will include: Temple Grandin (dir Mick Jackson, US 2010); Le Moindre geste (The Slightest Gesture) (dirs Jean-Pierre Daniel, Fernand Deligny, Josée Manenti, France 1971), Mulholland Drive (dir David Lynch 147 min, US 2001) Jigsaw (dir Robina Rose, UK 1980) and Life, Animated (dir Roger Ross Williams, US 2016).

The season opens on World Autism Awareness Day; all screenings are relaxed.

Inner States – A series of first-person films
June 2020
Part of
Inside Out

Inner States, curated by the Barbican Cinema and film scholar, Professor Alisa Lebow, is a programme dedicated to first-person films that harness the medium to express an interiority rarely achieved on film.

Every film in this series – which will include Fix Me (dir Raed Andoni, Palestine (State of), France, Switzerland 2009); Heart of a Dog (dir Laurie Anderson, US 2015); No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, Belgium/France 2015) offer, in some way, a journey to the inner sanctum of the self: be it the experience of loss, loneliness, madness, or just the simplicity of keen observation from a unique vantage point. At a time when social norms are rapidly changing and the boundaries between private and public are less and less clear, they offer a profound insight into a cinematic account of the self and its relation to others and to the world.

Co-curated with Alisa Lebow, Professor of Screen Media, University of Sussex.

Supported by Sussex Docs, School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex.

Out in the Shadows: Queer expression in times of cinema censorship
July 2020
Part of
Inside Out

Out in the Shadows: Queer expression under times of cinema censorship will look at how LGBTQ+ filmmakers have expressed queer sexuality in times of repression and censorship.

Some of the greatest films of all time have been made by LGBTQ+ directors, although many were working at times of history when identifying as queer was taboo, and even a criminal offence.

Despite creating films which featured no explicitly queer content, which would have led to their films being banned or heavily censored, a number of LGBTQ+ filmmakers created work that managed to express their sexuality, through coded storytelling, symbolism, aesthetic and inventive technique.

The programme will include films from the US, the UK, the Soviet Union and the Middle East, including a screening of Lebanese filmmaker Mazen Khaled’s remarkable Martyr (Lebanon, 2017), in which a fateful trip to a beach provokes complex emotions in a group of young men and Sergei Parajanov’s landmark The Color of Pomegranates (US 1969).

These filmmakers show that great queer art can flourish in the darkest of times, out in the shadows.


Bach: A Beautiful Mind
Sat 18 Jan–Sat 19 Jan 2020, Milton Court Concert Hall, all day
Part of
Inside Out

Bach: A Beautiful Mind is a weekend that explores different aspects of the genius and unbounded artistic personality of Johann Sebastian Bach through music and talks. Some of the liveliest musical minds of our time will engage with the composer, helping audiences to delve into Bach's inner life over three concerts. Harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and author James Gaines explore Bach’s genius and the astonishing story of Frederick the Great and The Musical Offering. The encounter of the radically contrasting personalities of the monarch and the composer in 1747 was of profound symbolic significance in the history of artistic thought. Audiences are also introduced to Bach the Craftsman, as Accademia Bizantina performs one of his greatest masterpieces, The Art of Fugue. Bach as a devout Christian is explored in the third concert, as the Academy of Ancient Music and baritone Benjamin Appl present Bach’s transcendental and timeless vocal writing in a selection of sacred solo cantatas.

Beethoven Weekender
Sat 1 Feb–Sun 2 Feb 2020, various venues, all day

Building on the success of the biannual Sound Unbound festival, the Barbican’s Beethoven celebrations centre around a Beethoven Weekender which offers a fresh and informal way to experience and explore Beethoven through concerts, talks and family events. Central to the weekend will be a full Beethoven symphony cycle performed by five of the UK’s leading orchestras with their chief conductors, introduced by Classic FM presenter and Beethoven expert John Suchet. s t a r g a z e, a network of multi-talented and classically-trained European musicians, presents a contemporary take on Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 with Matthew Herbert’s Beethoven NEIN!  And BTHVN on TOUR, an exhibition from Beethoven’s birth place, Beethoven-Haus Bonn, will include objects that give audiences a more intimate look at the composer, such as his ear trumpet, sketch books, an original print by Andy Warhol, and Beethoven’s own violin, performed in concert. The exhibition is created by DHL and Beethoven-Haus.

Part of Barbican Presents and Beethoven 250.

Max Richter: Voices
Mon 17 & Tue 18 Feb 2020, Barbican Hall

The Barbican has co-commissioned Voices, a new work by composer Max Richter, known for his style that combines the classical tradition with the experimentalism of contemporary electronica. The world premiere performance will be given by an orchestra featuring a radically reimagined instrumentation. With this new commission, Richter continues his long-established relationship with the Barbican. Most recently he co-curated the Barbican’s marathon weekend of music and film, Sounds and Visions, with artist Yulia Mahr (May 2018), which followed on from a performance of his landmark eight-hour piece Sleep in an overnight event at Old Billingsgate alongside the Max Richter Ensemble in May 2017.

Produced by the Barbican.

New York Philharmonic: Mahler Symphony No 1, and Mahler Symphony No 2
Thu 30 Apr & Fri 1 May 2020, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm

The New York Philharmonic’s visit to the Barbican in Spring 2020 marks the first London appearances of conductor Jaap van Zweden as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. He leads the Philharmonic in two performances centring around Mahler’s Symphonies No 1 & 2. The orchestra’s relationship with Gustav Mahler goes back to the very early 20th century, when the great composer himself was the orchestra’s Music Director. The visit also features critically-acclaimed pianist Daniil Trifonov performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 25 on the first night, and soprano Joelle Harvey and mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, joining the orchestra and London Symphony Chorus on the second night for Mahler’s Resurrection symphony.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner: Beethoven’s Complete Symphonies
Mon 11–Sat 16 May 2020, 7.30pm

As part of the continued Beethoven 250 celebrations at the Barbican, Sir John Eliot Gardiner brings his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique to the Centre, to perform a full cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies across five concerts.

Founded in 1989 by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the orchestra strives to provide bold new perspectives on the music of the 19th and early 20th centuries through its stylistic fidelity and intensity of expression.

Part of Barbican Presents and Beethoven 250.

Damon Albarn:  The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows
Tue 26 May 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm 
Part of Inside Out

Singer, songwriter and composer Damon Albarn’s new project The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows, which is inspired by the landscapes of Iceland, will receive its UK premiere at the Barbican in May next year. The title is taken from a John Clare poem entitled Love and Memory.

Damon Albarn will perform this new, very personal, piece with an ensemble and specially commissioned visuals. What can be more fascinating than the signs of the passage of time and the fragility of nature?

Damon Albarn is a singer, songwriter, composer and producer, and founder member of Blur, Gorillaz and The Good, The Bad & The Queen.

Produced by the Barbican.

The Jungle
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
& London Symphony Orchestra / Rattle 
Sat 30 & Sun 31 May 2020, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm

Barbican International Associate Ensemble, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis comes to the Barbican for a residency, including a collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle on the European premiere of Marsalis’ The Jungle (Symphony No. 4), inspired by the multicultural asphalt jungle of New York City (further residency details tba).

Produced by the LSO and the Barbican.

Erland Cooper: An Orkney Triptych
with the London Contemporary Orchestra
Sat 13 Jun 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm

Part of Inside Out

Hailing from the archipelago of Orkney in Scotland, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper explores the natural world of birds, the sea and landscape, manifesting in an immersive collection of music, words and imagery. Originally part of The Magnetic North and Erland & The Carnival, Cooper returns to the Barbican in June 2020 after his sell-out solo debut in Spring 2019. He will be joined by the London Contemporary Orchestra for a transportive journey across a trilogy of albums inspired by Cooper’s childhood home of Orkney, its air, sea, land, community and native dialect. The evening will combine his debut solo record Solan Goose (2018) and the award-nominated Sule Skerry (2019). The concert will also preview the final record in this series, which looks at the islands’ land community, myth and mythology (to be released in 2020). 

The evening will also feature a spoken word contribution from award-winning author of Amy Liptrot whose book The Outrun is a Sunday Times top ten bestseller and winner of the 2016 Wainright Prize. 

Produced by the Barbican.

London Symphony Orchestra highlights

Nathalie Stutzmann and violinist Alina Ibragimova perform on 9 January; Elim Chan conducts the world premiere of James Hoyle’s Thymiaterion on 27 February; March sees André Thomas presenting Symphonic Gospel Music; Karina Canellakis’ LSO conducting debut; and Susanna Mälkki conducting Debussy’s La mer. Music Director Sir Simon Rattle marks Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with the oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives and Ninth Symphony in January and February. LSO Principal Guest Conductors Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth focus on Shostakovich and Bartók, with Noseda also conducting James MacMillan’s St John Passion on 5 April. LSO Discovery celebrates its 30th anniversary with a showcase concert on 17 May, before Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra come together with Sir Simon and the LSO for two concerts. LSO Artist Portrait violist Antoine Tamestit gives three concerts in late spring, and 4 June sees Sir Simon exploring Percy Grainger’s music.

BBC Symphony Orchestra highlights

The BBC Symphony Orchestra brings its distinctive style and eclectic programming to the Barbican in 2020. The European premiere of David Lang’s prisoner of the state, his response to Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio (11 January), celebrates Beethoven 250 (Barbican co-commissioned); and Nicole Paiement makes her BBCSO debut conducting the UK premiere of Joby Talbot’s Everest (UK premiere, co-produced with the Barbican). Based on the tragic climbing disaster on Mount Everest in 1996, the opera will conclude the BBC SO’s season (20 June). Another cornerstone of the Beethoven celebrations will be Richard Farnes conducting one of Beethoven’s most personal works, Missa Solemnis with the combined forces of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (4 March). Elsewhere, David Walliams brings his best-selling children’s books to the Barbican as part of the BBC SO’s highly-successful author-led events (2 May) and Principal Guest Conductor, Dalia Stasevska returns with the UK premiere of Helen Grime’s Violin Concerto performed by Leila Josefowicz (17 April).


Viviana Durante Company – Isadora Now
Fri 21–Sat 29 Feb 2020, Barbican Theatre

Press night: Tue 25 Feb 2020, 7.45pm
Part of
Inside Out

A remarkable evening of performance paying tribute to the American dancer Isadora Duncan, a timeless feminist icon who made work that enabled women to express themselves physically on their own terms.

To open, a rare opportunity to see Duncan’s own choreography. Dance of the Furies was created in 1905 and exemplifies daring, courage and ambition - qualities that were widely disapproved of in female dancers at the time. Next the evocative Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan by Frederick Ashton, performed here by the legendary ballerina Viviana Durante in her first solo appearance for a decade. And to close, UNDA (Waves), a new and fearless group piece by choreographer Joy Alpuerto Ritter set to specially composed live music by Lih Qun Wong.

Ballet Black – Mixed Bill
Thu 26–Sun 29 Mar 2020, Barbican Theatre
Press night: Fri 27 Mar 2020, 7.45pm

The hugely popular Ballet Black is back with a mixed bill full of lyrical contrasts and beautiful movement.

For her latest programme, Artistic Director Cassa Pancho brings original work: The Royal Ballet’s Olivier Award-winning choreographer Will Tuckett blends classical ballet, poetry and music to explore ideas of home and belonging while Mthuthuzeli November contemplates the purpose of life in The Waiting Game. Expect sensational solos, seductive duos and fiercely dynamic pieces performed seamlessly by the group.

Ballet Black is transforming the dance landscape by giving a platform to artists of black and Asian descent as well as to new and established choreographic voices whose unexpected stories and themes come from the heart to resonate with modern audiences.

Schaubühne Berlin – Orlando
Thu 2–Sun 5 Apr 2020, Barbican Theatre
Press night: Thu 2 Apr 2020, 7.45pm

Live cinema meets performance in this galloping romp through 400 years of history starring a heroine who is born a hero, or a hero who becomes a heroine. For Orlando, it doesn’t really matter.

As visionary today as it was when written in 1928, Virginia Woolf’s dazzling novel on gender fluidity is gleefully adapted, extending across centuries to the present day. As Orlando travels between historical periods, countries and lovers, glancing knowingly at the audience, their journey is caught on camera, mixed with pre-recorded footage and projected – all with a wardrobe team making quick-fire changes in plain sight.

Regular collaborators Katie Mitchell and Alice Birch explore Woolf’s material, interweaving life and art, reality and fiction, in an optimistic examination of how people, nature, systems and reigns are in a constant state of flux.

Orlando is performed in German with English surtitles.

Internationaal Theater Amsterdam – Death in Venice
Thu 16–Sun 19 Apr 2020, Barbican Theatre

Press night: Thu 16 Apr 2020, 7.45pm
Part of
Inside Out

An intense infatuation fuels the tension between social expectations and personal desire in a show that deftly combines theatre and music, directed by Ivo van Hove.

Celebrated author Thomas Mann is in crisis. He is struggling with writer’s block and a forbidden attraction to a young boy. Secluded in his workshop, he creates a fictional counterpoint of himself: Von Aschenbach, the man he dares not be in real life. A classical score played live by Britten Sinfonia supports the ensuing whirl of emotions portrayed onstage as he sends his alter ego to Venice.

Adapted by former Dutch poet laureate Ramsey Nasr, who performs the role of Aschenbach, Death in Venice is based both on Mann’s intimate novella and the author’s own life. New music by American composer Nico Muhly features alongside Strauss and Schoenberg.

Death in Venice is performed in Dutch with English surtitles.

Belarus Free Theatre – Dogs of Europe
Wed 13–Sat 16 May 2020, Barbican Theatre
Press night: Thu 14 May 2020, 7.45pm
Part of
Inside Out

From one of the world’s bravest theatre companies comes a visceral, psychological drama set in the near future, depicting a dystopian super-state in which individual rights have given way to control.

In 2049 a murder investigation sets a man on a quest, his search bringing him to former Belarus and Russia, now a single European territory ruled by an all-seeing secret service. But his journey becomes less about the origins of this reactionary regime, more a revelation about his own role in its creation. Based on the novel published in 2017, by contemporary Belarusian author Alhierd Bacharevic, Dogs of Europe is both an epic fantasy and a political thriller about the dangers of looking away when authoritarianism takes root.

Exiled from their native country, the co-founders of Belarus Free Theatre are political refugees who make underground work that plays to courageous audiences in secret locations across Minsk.

Dogs of Europe is performed in Belarusian with English surtitles.

Odéon–Théâtre de l'Europe – The Glass Menagerie
Fri 5–Thu 11 Jun 2020, Barbican Theatre
Press night: Fri 5 Jun 2020, 7.45pm
Part of
Inside Out

Stage and screen star Isabelle Huppert plays Amanda in Tennessee Williams’s bewitching masterpiece about loneliness, lost dreams and illusions. Director Ivo van Hove collaborates with the renowned Odéon–Théâtre de l’Europe on the classic memory play.

Well-bred but having fallen on hard times, Amanda is locked in a life she never imagined with her two adult children. Aspiring poet Tom works in a factory as the main provider, slipping away to the movies whenever he can to escape his mother’s oppressive nostalgia. Laura, a fragile, self-conscious soul never leaves home, contenting herself with a collection of tiny glass animals. The arrival of a ‘gentleman caller’ one evening holds the promise of so much more.

The Glass Menagerie is performed in French with English surtitles.


Masculinities: Liberation through Photography
Thu 20 Feb–Sun 17 May 2020, Barbican Art Gallery
Media View: Wed 19 Feb 2020, 10am–1pm
Part of
Inside Out

Barbican Art Gallery will stage Masculinities: Liberation through Photography, a major group exhibition that explores the ways in which masculinity is experienced, performed, coded and socially constructed as expressed and documented through photography and film from the 1960s to the present day. The exhibition brings together over 300 works by over 50 pioneering international artists, photographers and filmmakers such as Laurie Anderson, Richard Avedon, Reinke Dijkstra, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Peter Hujar, Isaac Julien, Annette Messager, and Catherine Opie alongside a lesser-known and younger generation of artists including Cassils, Sam Contis, George Dureau, Karen Knorr, Elle Pèrez, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Hank Willis Thomas, Karlheinz Weinberger and Marianne Wex among others.

With ideas around masculinity undergoing a global crisis and terms such as ‘toxic’ and ‘fragile’ masculinity filling endless column inches, the exhibition will chart the representation of masculinity in all its myriad forms, rife with contradiction and complexity. Touching on themes of patriarchy, power, queer identity, race, sexuality, class, female perceptions of men, heteronormative stereotypes, and fatherhood, the works in the exhibition present masculinity as a largely unfixed performative identity shaped by cultural, political and social forces, with photography and film central to the way in which masculinity is shaped and understood.

Toyin Ojih Odutola: A Countervailing Theory
Thu 26 Mar–Sun 26 Jul 2020, The Curve
Media View: Wed 25 Mar 2020, 10am–1pm
Free admission

Opening Spring 2020, Barbican Art Gallery presents the first-ever UK commission by Nigerian-American artist Toyin Ojih Odutola, a site-specific installation for The Curve. An epic cycle of new work unfurls across the 90-metre long gallery, exploring an imagined ancient myth conceived by the artist.

Working exclusively with drawing materials, including pastel and charcoal, Ojih Odutola’s works often take the form of monumental portraits, which retain a remarkable intimacy despite their scale. She approaches the process of drawing as an investigative practice, through which to explore an intense engagement with mark-making and its potential for meaning. Ojih Odutola recognises that the pen is ‘a writing tool first’, playing with the idea that drawing can be a form of storytelling. She proposes speculative fictions through her practice, inviting the viewer to enter her vision of an uncannily familiar, yet fantastical world. Working akin to an author or poet, she often spends months creating extensive imaginary narratives, which play out through a series of works to suggest a structure of episodes or chapters. Drawing on an eclectic range of references, from ancient history to popular culture to contemporary politics, Ojih Odutola encourages the viewer to piece together the fragments of the stories that she presents.

Michael Clark
Fri 12 Jun–Sun 30 Aug 2020, Barbican Art Gallery
Media View: Thu 11 Jun 2020, 10am–1pm

The Barbican will stage a major summer exhibition in the Art Gallery exploring the work of choreographer and dancer Michael Clark. 2020 marks the 15th year of Michael Clark Company’s ongoing collaboration with the Barbican as an Artistic Associate. This unprecedented presentation of Clark’s work establishes his radical presence in British cultural history and explores his inimitable combination of classical and contemporary influences such as ballet and punk.

Looking back to his meteoric rise as a young choreographer in the 1980s, the exhibition presents a comprehensive vision of Clark’s career to date and explores his unique multi-disciplinary approach that incorporates a wide range of subcultural influences. Film, photography and material from Clark’s practice are presented together with his legendary collaborations across visual arts, music, fashion and film. New commissions include Charles Atlas revisiting the acclaimed Hail the New Puritan (1986) which featured Leigh Bowery and The Fall, along with work by Sarah Lucas, Wolfgang Tillmans, Cerith Wyn Evans, Peter Doig, Silke Otto-Knapp, Duncan Campbell and others. 

Jean Dubuffet
Wed 30 Sep 2020–Sun 17 Jan 2021, Barbican Art Gallery
Media View: Tue 29 Sep 2020, 10am–1pm
Part of
Inside Out

This major exhibition of the French artist Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) spans more than four decades in the studio and is the first in the UK in over 50 years – celebrating one of the most powerful and provocative voices in the postwar avant-garde. Drawing from international collections and featuring rarely exhibited pieces, this show will highlight Dubuffet’s radicalism as he experimented with materials and aimed to create what he described as ‘an art that is directly plugged into our current life, that immediately emanates from our real life and our real moods’.

Dubuffet was one of the first to be interested in ‘Art Brut’ – a phrase he coined, which literally translates as ‘raw art’. He was gifted a copy of Hans Prinzhorn’s influential Artistry of the Mentally Ill (1922) and began corresponding with untrained artists, but it was not until 1945 that he visited a number of psychiatric hospitals and after learning more, began to collect the work of patients. The exhibition will centre around a gallery dedicated to Dubuffet’s collection, demonstrating how its return in 1962 from a ten year period of loan to the US contributed to a major shift in his practice. Continuing with significant bodies of work including the ‘Hourloupe’ cycle and ‘Coucou Bazar’, the exhibition champions Dubuffet’s spirit, which has made him such an important influence for artists working since.

Shilpa Gupta
The Curve, Barbican Centre
Autumn 2020, dates tbc

Free Admission
Part of
Inside Out

A site-specific installation in The Curve from the acclaimed Mumbai-based artist for her first solo show in a London institution. Shilpa Gupta’s practice poetically explores physical and ideological boundaries and how, as individuals, we come to feel a sense of isolation or belonging.

Solo exhibitions of Gupta’s work have been held at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, Arnofini in Bristol, OK Centrum in Linz and Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem; Gupta has also participated in biennales in Berlin, Kochi, Lyon, Gwangju, Havana, Yokohama and Liverpool. Her work has been presented in displays at the MoMA, New York; Tate Modern, London; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the New Museum, New York; and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek.