Time Out says
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The UK's leading international arts centre
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Barbican is currently closed, with its programme suspended until May 1.
The Barbican Centre lures fans of serious culture into a labyrinthine arts complex, part of a vast concrete estate that also includes 2,000 highly coveted flats and innumerable concrete walkways. It's a prime example of brutalist architecture, softened a little by time and some rectangular ponds housing friendly resident ducks.
The focus is on world-class arts programming, taking in pretty much every imaginable genre. At the core of the music roster, performing 90 concerts a year, is the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), which revels in the immaculately tuned acoustics of the Barbican's concert hall. The art gallery on the third floor stages exhibitions on design, architecture and pop culture, while on the ground floor, the Curve is a free exhibition space for specially commissioned works and contemporary art. The Royal Shakespeare Company stages its London seasons here, alongside the annual BITE programme (Barbican International Theatre Events), which cherry-picks exciting and eclectic theatre companies from around the globe. There's a similarly international offering of ballet and contemporary dance shows. And there's also a cinema, with a sophisticated programme that puts on regular film festivals based around farflung countries or undersung directors.
As if that wasn't enough, the Barbican Centre is also home to three restaurants, a public library, some practice pianos, and even a large, succulent-filled conservatory. This cultural smorgasbord is all funded and managed by City of London Corporation, which sends some of the finance industry's considerable profits its way. It's been in operation since 1982; its uncompromising brutalist aesthetic and sometimes hard-to-navigate, multi-level structure was initially controversial, but it's getting increasingly popular with architecture fans and instagrammers alike.
|Transport:||Tube: Barbican; Rail/Tube: Moorgate|
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Toyin Ojih Odutola: A Countervailing Theory
Drawing, for Toyin Ojih Odutola, is a form of storytelling. These new works, exhibited around the 90-metre sweep of the Barbican Curve, form part of an epic series relaying an imagined ancient myth. The artist uses pencil, pastel, ballpoint pen and charcoal...Until Sunday January 24 2021
Sure, it's nice to order off the menu, but sometimes you just want to go for Dubuffet. And there'll be plenty to feast your eyes on in this ambitious retrospective of the radical French artist's painting. Over his 50 year career (he died in 1985), Jean...Painting Until Sunday January 17 2021
The Ghost Light
The Royal Court and the National Theatre of Scotland have already created works this year named after the ghost light – that is, the single bulb left illuminated in an empty theatre – and now the Barbican joins them with its first show back post-lockdown....Experimental Tuesday November 24 2020 - Saturday December 5 2020