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)

turrell

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

Advertisements

Keeping up with Kandinsky

I keep bumping into Wassily Kandinsky. In the last month I have been fortunate enough to see three works of his, in totally different places, that I had never seen before. Foraging in action.

IMG_7349

I have a fondness for Russian artists at the beginning of the 20th century having written my dissertation on the works of Kazimir Malevich and Aleksandr Rodchenko. Economically, socially and politically it was a period of rapid change. An industrial boom changed Moscow and St. Petersburg which between 1910-14 became ‘cosmopolitan’ centers. At the same time the Tsarist regime that had ruled Russia for centuries was heading towards its downfall. The rise of revolutionary fever at the beginning of the century culminated in the October Revolution of 1917, when Lenin’s Bolshevik party seized power after the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II. In the decades leading up to this, life in the evolving cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg became disorientating. As Marx claimed in the communist manifesto “all that is solid melts into air”: here modernism is encapsulated in a single phrase. All of the past was melting into the steam billowing out of the factory chimneys. It’s out with the old and in with the new. Continue reading