Kapoor: Turning the World Upside Down

Turning the World Upside Down brings out the child in us. There is something elementary in the concept behind Turner prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor’s latest sculptures, yet the experience of viewing our reflection, and that of the surrounding Hyde Park, in simple, distorted and upside down forms is a strangely liberating, almost healing experience. #gallery-6 { margin: auto; } #gallery-6 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align:... Read More

Exhibiting minimalism: John Pawson

British architect John Pawson is either very lucky, or very well connected, to have his first solo exhibition at London’s Design Museum while he is still practicing his craft. John Pawson: Plain Space celebrates the master of minimalism’s career from the early 1980’s to the present day through a series of photographs, correspondence and architectural drawings and models. #gallery-7 { margin: auto; } #gallery-7 .gallery-item { float:... Read More

Ai Weiwei’s 100m Sunflower Seeds

The latest installation to fill the enormous Turbine Hall at London’s Tate Modern is an inch-thick carpet made of over a hundred million tiny artworks collectively knows as Sunflower Seeds. Each intricately handcrafted porcelain sunflower seed carries its own unique note delivered by the skilled craftsmen of Jingdezhen. Sunflower Seeds is the work of Ai Weiwei and the eleventh in the Unilever Series to fill this challenging space at the London gallery. The Chinese artists... Read More

The artist and their milieu

There was a time when an artist’s retrospective would see his or her paintings hung in some sort of chronological order – nothing more. That is how Oskar Kokoschka’s paintings in the 60’s and Picasso’s ceramics in the 70’s were introduced to London. It was how, more recently, New York’s MoMA exhibited an expanse of Claude Monet’s work with one room given to his haystacks, another to the Japanese bridge at Giverny and another to the row of poplars lining... Read More

PAD London: Objects of desire

London turned into a giant art fair in October as representatives from galleries from around the world descended on the capital city to take part in the now highly established Frieze Art Fair and Pavilion of Art & Design London – both offering art for sale and attracting international buyers and collectors as well as art and design enthusiasts. The two affairs that run simultaneously from 13 – 17 October, though, couldn’t be more contrasting. Frieze is a racy affair... Read More

Learning from manga

The former BMW design director Chris Bangle once told me he believes at times form needs to follow fantasy. ‘For the future of car design, function is the last refuge of the unimaginative,’ he concluded. The Japanese are masters of fantasy – reflected through their imaginative, virtual worlds of animation and comics, anime and manga. Bangle may have said this to ruffle the stiff collars of the automotive world, but can car design learn from this, and is it right to... Read More

Car design trends from Paris Motor Show 2010

The mood at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris could be summarised in the few words uttered by Peugeot’s design director Gilles Vidal. ‘We are going through big changes in the automotive world,’ the visionary French designer said as he guided me though 200 years of Peugeot’s research and development displayed on the stand. ‘Progress in this area won’t only be through engines and technological solutions, but about making our cars lighter, more efficient... Read More

Maxxi: Hadid’s Stirling Prize winner

These are images of the RIBA Stirling Prize 2010 winning design by architect Zaha Hadid. Described as ‘a building for the staging of art’, her striking new Maxxi Museum of 21st Century Art in Rome is the first Italian public museum devoted entirely to contemporary art and architecture. Maxxi sits on the outskirts of the city, locally juxtaposed with army barracks and industrial warehouses, overlooking central Rome. Its structurally complex design comprises... Read More