Salute better times: Fiat 500 Vintage ‘57

Wandering the bustling streets of Turin and on entering the vast space that is Centro Storico Fiat today, it is hard to imagine the austere Italy of post war years. The spacious 1907 art nouveau building has been exhibiting a rich collection of automotive and industrial designs, as well as advertising from Fiat since it first opened in 1963. It offers not only a compelling journey into the history of this Turin institution, but also tells the story of Italy through design. We... Read More

Political art: Imagined Futures

With contemporary art so deeply involved with the self, drunk on the vanity of the image, and so intertwined with the world of money, glitz and glamour, it is refreshing to come across an exhibition that is not afraid to be political. Hrair Sarkissian is involved with big explosive narratives. The Syrian born artist’s work is social theatre; at once part of a rich panorama of contemporary Arab art that, not surprisingly, has politics at its core. Born in Damascus in 1973... Read More

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

In his last collection before his death in February 2010, Lee Alexander McQueen returned to nature for inspiration. ‘I have always loved the mechanics of nature,’ wrote the designer. Plato’s Atlantis was inspired by Darwin’s 1859 the Origins of Species with a narrative that concerns itself with devolution rather the evolution of mankind. Here McQueen’s complex, digitally engineered prints, inspired by exotic sea creatures, meet intricate craftsmanship, meet technology,... Read More

Introducing the new Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 coupé

These are exciting times for Bentley – this is a radical marque in bourgeois disguise. Steering the creative energy is Luc Donckerwolke, the gifted design director who has been quietly, quietly making some fundamental changes here since he joined over two years ago. Soon on his arrival Donckerwolke formed an entirely new team (the ‘dream team’ as he likes to call them) of established and emerging international designers. He put forward plans for a contemporary studio... Read More

Celebrating World Book Day

Today is World Book Day and we are using this occasion to celebrate books in all their shapes and sizes. Contrary to predictions that the internet will erase our love and need for print, book publishing is on the rise pretty much everywhere around the world. The FT Weekend ran an uplifting piece recently about Self Publish, Be Happy, the online platform for self-published artists’ books. The London-based initiative with a focus on photography books has been a huge success... Read More

Staying Power: Photographs of black British experience

The V&A in London is displaying over fifty recently acquired photographs exploring the experiences of black people in Britain in the latter half of the 20th century, enhanced by excerpts from oral histories gathered by Black Cultural Archives. Over the last seven years the museum has been acquiring photographs by black photographers and those which document the lives of black people in Britain, a previously under-represented area in the V&A’s photographs collection. In... Read More