Tag Archives: Barbican Art Gallery


The experience [of moving from the San Francisco Bay Area to Alabama] shaped me in a way no other locale would have; I became more adept in detecting the shades of my otherness in various spaces—more privy to the subtleties of privilege and prejudice as well as language. This helped me become more acutely aware of the implications of selfhood and how context defines and shifts one’s sense of purpose and belonging. I desperately needed to understand what this meant and how best to articulate it for myself, to be more informed and prepared for what was now my life. I wasn’t a natural writer and miscalculations were a constant. However, in the realm of the visual I found a home, and that has been my way of understanding the world onward. — Toyin Ojih Odutola

Toyin Ojih Odutola’s first exhibition in Britain—A COUNTERVAILING THEORY, now on view at the Barbican—is “an exploration of social hierarchies and the consequences of transgressing power dynamics. The story unravels across the 90-meter stretch of the gallery, each of the forty new works [pastel, charcoal, and chalk drawings on linen] charting an episode, akin to a graphic novel writ large on the walls.”*

For this Barbican commission, the artist collaborated with conceptual sound artist Peter Adjaye to create “an immersive soundscape that evolves throughout the space as the story unfolds.”* The exhibition catalog includes a new essay by Zadie Smith and an interview with the artist by exhibition curator Lotte Johnson.


Through January 24, 2021.

The Curve—Barbican Centre

Silk Street, Barbican, London.

Toyin Ojih Odutola, A Countervailing Theory, Barbican Art Gallery, August 11, 2020–January 11, 2021, from top: Semblance of Certainty, 2019; A Parting Gift; His and Hers, Only, 2019; Introductions: Early Embodiment, 2019; To See and To Know; Future Lovers, 2019; Ojih Odutola, A Countervailing Theory exhibition catalog (2), inside view and cover image, courtesy and © the artist, Zadie Smith, Barbican Art Gallery, and Jack Shainman Gallery. Images courtesy and © the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.


The first major European retrospective of the artist’s work in half a century, LEE KRASNER—LIVING COLOUR brings together nearly 100 paintings, drawings, collages, and photographs by this pioneer of Abstract Expressionism.

A section of the exhibition at the Barbican reproduces Krasner’s small upstairs studio at the house in the Springs (East Hampton) she shared with Jackson Pollock during the decade of their marriage—from 1945 until Pollock’s death in a car crash in 1956—after which she took over Pollock’s studio and began her work on large, unstretched canvases.

After London, the show will travel to Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt.


Through September 1.

Barbican Art Gallery

Silk Street, London.

See Mary Gabriel, Ninth Street Women—Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art (New York: Little, Brown, 2018).

From top: Lee Krasner, Polar Stampede, 1960, the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, courtesy Kasmin Gallery, New York, photograph by Christopher Stach; Lee Krasner, Desert Moon, 1955, LACMA, © 2018, Digital Image Museum Associates, LACMA, Art Resource, New York, Scala, Florence; Krasner, circa 1938, photographer unknown; Lee Krasner, Palingenesis, 1971, courtesy Kasmin Gallery; Lee Krasner, Abstract No. 2, 1946–1948, Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, photograph provided by IVAM; Lee Krasner, Icarus, 1964, Thomson Family Collection, New York City, courtesy Kasmin Gallery, photograph by Diego Flores; Lee Krasner, Bald Eagle, 1955, collection of Audrey Irmas, Los Angeles, photograph by Jonathan Urban. Images courtesy and © the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.