Wonderland.

MODERN COUPLES: ART, INTIMACY AND THE AVANT-GARDE

Barbican’s new exhibition is exploring famous artists and their love affairs.

(LEFT) George Platt Lynes, James Leslie Daniels, c.1937 © 2018 Estate of George Platt Lynes Beth Rudin DeWoody
(RIGHT) Frida Kahlo, Le Venadita (little deer), 1946, Private Collection, Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

George Platt Lynes, James Leslie Daniels, c.1937 © 2018 Estate of George Platt Lynes Beth Rudin DeWoody
Frida Kahlo, Le Venadita (little deer), 1946, Private Collection, Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

In a digital age of swiping, matching and ghosting, surely love has never been so complicated, right?

Maybe. But the London Barbican’s autumn exhibition is proving that we might be seriously underestimating the last century, as real-life artist couples throughout history, their explosive relationships, and the impact on their creative endeavours has been documented in extensive showcase, Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde.

Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar. Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West. Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. Over 40 famous pairs (writers, musicians, painters, photographers and more) are featured in the retrospective, which lays bare their love letters, photographs and even gifts – exploring everything from their desires, synergy, and seminal fruits of their labours, to even often their untimely demises.

Modern Couples also gives deserved visibility to female artists who historically may have taken a backseat to their male partners. Oh, and that fuckboys (yep, you heard), have roamed these lands for a lot longer than we originally thought.

Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde is on at the Barbican Art Gallery until Jan 27. Find out more here

(LEFT) Dorothea Tanning and Max Ernst with his sculpture, Capricorn, 1947
© John Kasnetsis
(RIGHT) Tamara de Lempicka, Les deux amies, 1923, Association des Amis du Petit Palais, Geneve

Dorothea Tanning and Max Ernst with his sculpture, Capricorn, 1947
© John Kasnetsis

(LEFT) Imogen Cunningham, Edward Weston and Margrethe Mather, 1922 George Eastman Museum © Imogen Cunningham Trust. All rights reserved.
(RIGHT) George Platt Lynes, Paul Cadmus and Jared French, 1937 © 2018 Estate of George Platt Lynes, Courtesy of Soloman R Guggenheim Museum, New York

Imogen Cunningham, Edward Weston and Margrethe Mather, 1922 George Eastman Museum © Imogen Cunningham Trust. All rights reserved.
George Platt Lynes, Paul Cadmus and Jared French, 1937 © 2018 Estate of George Platt Lynes, Courtesy of Soloman R Guggenheim Museum, New York

Photographer unknown, A. Rodchenko and V. Stepanova descending from the airplane. (for the film The General Line by Sergei Eisenstein), 1926, Courtesy Rodchenko and Stepanova Archives, Moscow

Photographer unknown, A. Rodchenko and V. Stepanova descending from the airplane. (for the film The General Line by Sergei Eisenstein), 1926, Courtesy Rodchenko and Stepanova Archives, Moscow
Words
Maybelle Morgan
MODERN COUPLES: ART, INTIMACY AND THE AVANT-GARDE

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