London’s Cultural Banquet. What to Feast your Eyes upon in the coming weeks.

Here is my pick of some things to go and see over the next week or two…

James Turrell at PACE Gallery (Green Park)

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PACE Gallery offers up some of the most exciting cross-medium art events and exhibitions world wide. Last year Jay-Z graced their New York space for 6 hours to perform his song ‘Picasso Baby’ whilst Marina Abramović circled him like an ethereal bird, alongside other many other performative artists. Sounds strange – but it was fascinating. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMG2oNqBy-Y&feature=kip) The gallery showcases and represents some of the most exciting contemporary artists working today; James Turrell being one of them. I first encountered Turrell’s work in Venice during the Biennale and his work utterly astounded me.  Working mainly through the medium of LED light in installed spaces, Turrell’s work is mesmerizing and completely immersive. Intensely bright rectangles of changing colours seep out of their ‘frames’ towards you. Upon experiencing his work ‘Acton’ a friend of mine actually back away in shock from the uncertainty of not knowing where his art begins and ends.

At the PACE gallery’s space behind the Royal Academy, Turrell’s work is currently on display. His pieces are beautiful, immersive and refreshingly different. Go and take a look. Continue reading

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Life inside a Cabinet of Curiosity: Sitting on the Sofa with Sir John Soane and Mariano Fortuny

Domenico Remps (1620–1699) (photo from WGA)

Philip Hoare wrote a great article a few weeks ago for the Guardian (my fave) about the resurgence of curiosity for the Cabinet of Curiosity in museums today. He highlighted upcoming exhibitions and new forms of curation that reveal a taste for stuffed animals and objects of naturalia within the realm of fine art. In recent years the type of objects and means of display pioneered within the Renaissance Wunderkammer (aka Cabinet of Curiosity) has gained momentum due to artists such as Damien Hirst reinventing them. The structure of the cabinet is intriguing and to have a single art piece or show based on it is fascinating. However what I am more interested in is what happens when you build your Wunderkammer around you in your home and you become the central object? Continue reading

Truly Splendid: Sensing Spaces at The Royal Academy

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Yesterday I realised it really is worth being friends with The Royal Academy. Last night I spent around three hours wandering through their latest exhibition: Sensing Spaces. Seven leading architects from around the world have designed installations to transform the Royal Academy’s galleries. It is innovative and incredibly refreshing and I already want to go back again.

As you enter the gallery you are at a crossroads. A huge wooden structure enticing you to the left, a metallic arch in front, and a dark silent room to your right. The first room is an introductory room – with two sleek tables topped with interactive iPads explaining who the architects are and what concepts lie behind their installations. But all I want to do is go and explore. Cleverly the RA have made no narrative or set path to follow. This exhibition is more about becoming aware of the spaces around you as you enter them, not about following a story. Continue reading