Monday, 16 October 2017

Until Sunday 05 November, Simeon Barclay; until Sunday 04 February, Rachel Whiteread

Let me draw your attention to Tate Britain, the building and its galleries, anew. If you already know it please bear with me while I sketch its wonders for newcomers, or those who haven't visited for a while, mention the free 'Art Now', and introduce the (ticketed) special exhibition celebrating 30 years of the work of Rachel Whiteread.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Until Sunday 08 October

Gregory Crewdson's show Cathedral of the Pines at the Photographers' Gallery represents, to this reviewer, photography as time travel.* The reference is to 19th century America: pioneering; enduring. The setting, the pine woods of Western Massachusetts, were previously loud with saw milling, manly cries, and lumber camps. The people in the scenes, dressed plainly, with background props that look like heirlooms, are contemporary to the years 2013-14 when the shots were taken.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Until Sunday 24 September

JONGERIUS at The Design Museum Breathing Colour

Start here at the light 
box to see how colour changes against different lighting and backgrounds





AND colour
The Artist: Hella Jongerius studied (industrial design) at Eindhoven Design Academy. She started her own design studio, Jongeriuslab, shortly after graduating. If you fly KLM those interiors are her design. As are products for companies from IKEA to Vitra.

The Building: Master-planned by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), in conjunction with Allies and Morrison, and a design team led by John Pawson, the Design Museum opened in November 2016. A feast not only of architecture but of product design, technology, graphics, and fashion. Founded in 1989 by Sir Terence Conran.

Design Museum opening times: 
Open daily 10:00–18:00 (last exhibition entry 17:00)
The museum is open late on the first Friday of every month from 10:00–20:00 (last admission 19:00)

Adult £10.50
Student/ concession £8.00
Educational group booking price: £3-£7 per student (groups of 10 or more)
Family (1 adult + 3 children) £17.00
Family (2 adults + 3 children) £24.00
Child (6
15 years) £5.50
Children under 6 years free
Members free

The exhibitions ticket allows you entry into both of the current temporary exhibitions
Adult £18

Parabola bar cafe and restaurant, operated by Prescott & Conran
Monday to Wednesday 10:0023:00
Thursday to Saturday 10.0023:30
Sunday 10.0018.00

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Until Friday 15 September

Oxford Street is possibly one of the most underappreciated streets in London. It is  undergoing a marvellous renaissance. In a single brief visit last week, I was able to find streetscape art, architectural art and gallery art all flourishing off north Oxford Street in the area opposite Bond Street Tube.

Streetscape art
The tiny Bird Street runs from Oxford Street to Barrett Street just behind. Smooth as a billiard table artificial grass has been laid - making the little street feel like a breath of the countryside, even in the rain. A row of beach cabins have been installed (see left) and you can have your picture taken and instantly uploaded to your device.

Snazzy new architecture 
Walk to the end of Bird Street from Oxford Street and turn right into Barrett Street. Be careful crossing James Street and continue along the southside of the quiet pedestrianised enclave that leads to St Christopher's Place. There at the top you will find Jigsaw - in a sleek and modern building that somehow blends perfectly with its older neighbours. On the far left you will find my third surprise, the Tyburn Gallery.

Gallery art
The Tyburn Gallery is well named for the river of that name (now underground confined in a pipe) crosses Oxford Street at this point on its way down to the Thames. The gallery is showing Untitled, a group show of the work of five artists. Left is 'Hotel Globo' (2016) by M
ónica de Miranda, one of a series of 10 shot in an Angolan Hotel unchanged since the 1950s.

Joël Andrianomearisoa (his 'Passion labyrinth' from 2014 works with flat and folded black paper on a white ground, full of subtle interaction from every angle. It reads, to me, like a wonderful 3D (and rectangular) evocation of Kazimir Malevich's 'Black Square' (Malevich's memorable exhibition at Tate Modern was covered in this blog in August 2014). Three further artists complete the lineup. Victor Ehikhamenor shows large works of intricately perforated white paper. Edson Chagas shows us Luanda City in a series depicting 'everyday objects'. Some of the urban walls of Sfax in Tunisia form the basis for the work of Mouna Karray. Enjoy it all: the art; the architecture and design; the light, the peace, the super clean sparkle, the unhurried atmosphere - with little or no motorised traffic, you'll feel welcome here.

Tyburn Gallery
St. Christopher’s Place

26 Barrett Street
London W1
Tuesday–Friday 10am–6pm
Saturday 12pm–5pm

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Indoor glass to brighten your space

Ways to make the summer solstice last a little longer - but only until Sunday 23 July

Brian Clarke, a visiting Professor of Architectural Art at University College London, has been called 'the rock star of stained glass'. His 'Summer Solstice Screens', works in laminated glass, are being shown at the Heni Gallery in Soho.

There's nothing quite like stained glass to bring light and colour into interiors. The summer solstice marks the longest day. June and July represent peak sun, peak light and peak colour out of doors. But you can amplify the available light and try to prolong summer by bringing some of the light inside.
Shown here from the top are Clarke's 'Ascot' (2017), 'Wall Street' (2017), and lit by window light and itself lighting up one of the gallery windows, a version of the mesmerising 'Darkness Visible' (2012).

Heni Gallery
6-10 Lexington Street
London W1 
Check gallery for opening times 


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Until Friday 16 June The American Dream pop to the present at the British Museum

A way with car parts, fluorescent lights and lumber

Found in America at Waddington Custot shows us the work of three American sculptors who, inspired by the stuff of the rapidly industrialising US of the early 20th century, in the process forever changed the art of sculpture itself. The gallery is to be congratulated for assembling a show of the works of these Titans - John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin and Robert Indiana - each of whose work, by its boldness, enabled the eye of surely every artist since.

John Chamberlain, 1927-2011, image courtesy of Wikipedia

John Chamberlain's work is marvellous in its sensibility. taking the already ground-breaking 1940s abstract expressionist painting of the time into a further dimension, that of sculpture.  Shown below is Abby Cassidy, made from painted steel, the metal configured and interlaced in a way that as you gaze into its depths, offers a new delineation of volume. Tate Britain has two of his works from the 1960s.

John Chamberlain, Abby Cassidy, 2006, painted
and chromed steel © 2017 Waddington Custot 
Gallery reference B44034

Chamberlain''s raw materials are pieces of scrapped automobiles he selected from the mechanical car crushers of the time. As early as 1961 the works were shown at MOMA, alongside works by Duchamp, Picasso and Braque. 


 Dan Flavin, 1933-1996, Image courtesy of Wikipedia

I love the work of Dan Flavin. What he did with off-the-shelf fluorescent tubes and a limited colour range has never ceased to amaze and inspire me. I don't know what is at work: the physics of light; the chemistry of light; the physics and chemistry of its industrial production . . .? It all seems simple yet the effect on the optic nerve is profound. Waddington Custot have three works on show "monument" to V. Tatlin (1968), Untitled (1969), and Untitled (to Véronique) (1987). Even if you can't buy, go and see. Your optic nerve will thank you.


 "Robert Indiana [b. 1928] working in Maine" (Photo  courtesy Charles Rotmil, via Wikipedia)

Robert Indiana is our third American sculptor. Indiana, along with Dan Flavin and John Chamberlain, was one of the precursors of this paradigmatic shift in sculptural practice. The Waddington Custot exhibition shows three of his works from the 1960s and early 1970s. Here he recycled sections of wooden roof beams into sculpture. He adds rusted iron wheels and paints on alphanumeric symbols using stencils from commercial signs and packaging, all the materials 'found' and 'repurposed'. His interest in typography led him to create, in 1958, his well known 'Love' image where the letters LO, the O slanting, are stacked on top of the letters VE. Often reproduced, a version of this image can be seen in the complementary exhibition mentioned above at the British Museum. Waddington Custot also show his number sculpture ONE through ZERO (2003) made from panels of Cor-ten (marine grade) steel.

Until Saturday 01 July
Found in America
Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm
Saturday, 10am to 4pm