BRIGHTON, UK — If a picture is worth a thousand words, Nihilistic Optimistic is worth about a million. The new show from Tim Noble and Sue Webster at Blain Southern is super photogenic, and therein may lie its appeal.
Art always has some sense of place, whether it is the result of where it was created or the setting it is placed in, but art as a place can be something truly transporting that goes beyond installation to become a world unto itself. I’ve seen shades of this in two current shows, Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe’s Stray Light Grey that subverts Marlborough Gallery into urban backrooms and Andrew Ohanesian’s The House Party at Pierogi’s Boiler Room that brings suburbia to Brooklyn, and even in the ongoing, heavily atmospheric theatre experience Sleep No More with its beautiful 1930s time travel. All of these have led me to think on one of the most engaging and curious of these kinds of art experiences: the Dennis Severs’ House in London.
World-renowned artist Damien Hirst created two art works for a new London restaurant that opened last week, Tramshed.
LONDON — If you’re looking for respite from the bacchanalian bustle of the Big Smoke at 20 degrees or just looking to punctuate those protracted bouts of sun-worshipping, don’t miss the following.
BBC reported this morning that a sculpture by sculptor Barbara Hepworth has been stolen in South London. Scrap metal thieves are suspected to be behind the theft, indicative of a growing problem with scrap metal theft in the UK. The bronze sculpture, titled “Two Form (Divided Circle)” from 1969, was pulled from its plinth on Monday night.
You can’t see out of the east-facing window of artist Dragica Carlin’s London studio, because of all the paintings that are stacked against it. But if you could, you’d be looking straight towards the site of the 2012 Olympic Games, in Hackney, east London. Carlin came to London from Croatia nearly twenty years ago, and like hundreds of other artists, she was attracted to Hackney because of its vibrant and edgy street life and its low-rent studios (it has been estimated that there are more studios here per capita than anywhere in the world). But in the months since London won the right to host next year’s Olympics, fending off rivals such as New York City, the lives of artists and other residents have been transformed in sometimes unwelcome ways.
Last week, Sotheby’s art handlers took their fight to London but today they’re back in New York and manning the picket lines on York Avenue.
“Does anyone still wear a hat?” This lyric from Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece musical Company, as crooned out by Elaine Stritch, rung in my head as I found out that master milliner Stephen Jones’s show Hats: An Anthology would travel across the pond from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London to the Bard Graduate Center in New York City this Fall. Though English aristocracy continues to include interesting headwear in their luxe lexicon (remember the Royal Wedding?), are hats still so much a sartorial staple in the United States that they warrant an exhibition?
LONDON — We are now six days into the unrest that started in the Greater London neighborhood of Tottenham, spread throughout London and then erupted across England. London has been relatively — but tenuously — calmer than it was on Monday night, when looting, arson and violence escalated and reached new and disparate parts of the city … What’s been more interesting to me, however, has been the ways in which many denizens of England have established identities as non-rioters or anti-rioters and expressed criticism through social media and images circulated through it.
This past weekend was the annual Frieze Art Fair, held in London. Featuring over 150 galleries from all the best Western nations (and maybe a few others), the Frieze Art Fair is one of the largest and most notable in the world. This was my first outing to Frieze, and people keep asking me “How was it?” I think “how it was” can best be summed up as the top 5 parts of Frieze I actually remember (presented here in no particular order).
In what can only be seen as a sign of the coming apocalypse, the Iranian government has proven itself to be too futuristic and modern for the citizens of London’s South Kensington neighborhood. Critics of the building are even appealing to Prince “I hate modern architecture” Charles to help their case.
Xylo is a street artist who has just started mounting fake iPhones to the walls of London. They’re designed to raise awareness about the electronic worker suicides in China and some of the social injustices feeding our electronic obsession.