Barbican’s Modern Couples explores art, intimacy and the avant-garde

‘Some women fight and others do not,’ observes Joan Didion in her The White Album. ‘Like so many guerrillas in the wars between sexes, Georgia O’Keeffe seems to have been equipped early with an immutable sense of who she was and a fairly clear understanding that she would be required to prove it,’ the American author writes of the great American painter. Much like... Read More

Hayward Gallery’s Space Shifters offers new perspectives

We live in peculiar times. Reality, fact, truth is under fire – replaced with a cocktail of fiction. Increasingly we are made to feel detached from the reality of others as news, war, death all become passing images. So, it feels apt to turn it all up-side-down – to see all around from different perspectives. This is the theme behind ‘Space Shifters’, the new exhibition... Read More

London Design Festival highlights at the V&A

The London creative season is in full swing with London Design Biennale at Somerset House and London Design Festival spread to almost every corner of this great city. The hub at the V&A is possibly the best place to get a feel for the more conceptual work. The festival is celebrating its sixteenth birthday as well as its tenth year collaborating with the museum. For... Read More

Highlights from London Design Biennale 2018

‘Emotional States’ sets the theme for the 2018 London Design Biennale with Somerset House once again forming the brilliant backdrop to installations conceived by architects, designers and artists from six continents. The responses are varied. Apart from a handful of pavilions seemingly concerned with pleasing the instagram crowd, most others have responded with emotion... Read More

BMW and Art Basel tackle identity, migration and the slave route

‘An intercontinental and multinational geography describing the circulation of ideas between Africa, Europe and the Americas,’ is how Jamal Cyrus describes the concept behind his latest work-in-progress. The Houston-based artist is exploring areas of the United States, Europe, Africa and Latin America – tracing the migration of slaves and assessing their cultural... Read More

Serpentine Pavilion 2018 by Frida Escobedo

This is the 18th Serpentine Pavilion, the temporary installation appearing each summer in London’s Kensington Gardens. It is the work of Frida Escobedo, a complex and fascinating architect with a small studio in Mexico concerned with reactivating urban spaces. In Hyde Park, her practice imagines a courtyard of light, water and geometry. It takes the form of an enclosed... Read More

Designed in the USSR: 1950-1989

Soviet design at its peak between 1950 to 1989 was dynamic, different and complex. On the one side were consumer and domestic products for daily use. Then there was a rather more controlled side to design directed by the state which impacted on advertising, film posters and educational literature. The Soviet Union’s isolation helped create a bit of a design bubble, yet... Read More

Design Museum opens Hope to Nope, Graphics and Politics

I witness the global financial crash, enter the Arab Spring, observe Barak Obama’s vibrant presidential years, then Trump’s messy aftershock – sit in support of demonstrators in the Occupy movement and Deepwater Horizon oil spill, feel the shock and horror of the Charlie Hebdo attack and face the tragedy that is Brexit. The lack of windows and natural light in the... Read More

Enter the fascinating universe of Joan Jonas

Yesterday I found myself immersed in the work of Joan Jonas, lost in thought in the vast, subterranean Tate Modern Tanks and then in Herzog & de Meuron’s twisting, spiralling Switch House. Walking through her life’s work, I felt compelled to enter her imaginary, real, brilliant, often bizarre and always colourful worlds. Then downstairs in the Tanks, we were treated... Read More

Book review: FuturBalla, Life Light Speed

I have long been intrigued by the Italian futurists. Radical in its early days, the movement was fascinated by progress, speed, modernity. When researching The Life Negroni, we travelled around Italy in search of arts and ideas, of elements that make this classic cocktail so timeless and so special. We soon realised how interlinked the Negroni is with this creative movement... Read More