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 to a special preview of Mirror Piece II, a long-admired performance... Read More

Lee Ufan’s Relatum – Stage opens at Serpentine Galleries

Once-upon-a-time ‘Rock on Top of Another Rock’ lived in Kensington Gardens Hyde Park outside the Serpentine Galleries. The public sculpture by Swiss artist Fischli & Weiss stayed here until a few years ago, its public life prolonged for its popularity, and it made me smile every time I walked, jogged, or ran past it. It was so simple and so perfect for this magical little corner of London. As seasons changed so did these seemingly... Read More

Design exhibition: The Future Starts Here

‘The future is up for grabs,’ according to Rory Hyde, co-curator of The Future Starts Here, an upcoming exhibition at London’s V&A which sets out to explore the power of design to shape the world of tomorrow. ‘This is not a speculative show,’ he warns me at the preview this morning. Rather this exhibition, which has taken two years to research – working with architects, designers, scientists, inventors around the world –... Read More

Ferrari: Under The Skin opens at Design Museum

‘If you can dream it, you can do it,’ said Enzo Ferrari famously. His is a fascinating story and a brand built entirely on passion and determination. Enzo, in the midst of post-war austerity in Italy, and against all odds, set out to conceive a company that creates pure and efficient sports and race cars, incredible examples of industrial design and objects of great beauty. According to Sir Terence Conran: ‘We have all at some... Read More

Exhibitions – Basquiat: Boom for Real at the Barbican

‘I get my facts from books, stuff on atomisers, the blues, ethyl alcohol, geese in Egyptian glyphs,’ wrote Jean-Michel Basquiat, the American artist who, in his short life (1960-1988), drew, painted, wrote, made lyrical, vibrant, radical, exciting, colourful, powerful works of art. ‘I don’t know how to describe my work,’ he said later. ‘It’s like asking Miles, how does your horn sound?’ Basquiat:... Read More

Interview Yana Peel: Serpentine Gallery CEO discusses arts and ideas

The Serpentine Galleries hold a unique position. They are nestled in Kensington Gardens in London’s glorious Hyde Park. They occupy discreet spaces and you may not even notice them walking by. Yet the two boutique galleries – Serpentine and Sackler – have held some of the most exciting exhibitions in the city. Then there is the annual commission for the Serpentine Gallery pavilions – one of the most anticipated events in the architecture... Read More

The new V&A Exhibition Road Quarter in picture

Last night saw the opening of V&A Exhibition Road Quarter – the much-anticipated new addition to my favourite London gallery. The work of Amanda Levete and her architecture practice AL_A, it includes a dramatic entrance onto Exhibition Road, and an impressive courtyard that celebrates the V&A’s storied past. New spaces for exhibitions include the Sainsbury Gallery, Sackler Courtyard and Blavatnik Hall. The scheme has taken... Read More

Exploring the power of architectural photography

The power of architectural photography, how it shapes our senses and directs our experience of space is explored in Building Images. The exhibition, currently running Sto Werkstatt in London until 25 March, features a selection from the 2015 Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Awards. On show are work by overall winner Fernando Guerra, and short listed entrants Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre, Doublespace, Christopher Frederick Jones, Laurian Ghinitoiu, Mark... Read More

Rebel painter: Richard Diebenkorn

Painting was out of fashion in the 1990s. When I enrolled on a foundation course in art and design age 18, as an art form it was, you could say, discouraged. The contemporary art world was consumed with more theatrical forms of expression than the humble paint on canvas. Alas I was too young and impressionable to march ahead with the only way I could express my inner world. This came to mind whilst visiting Richard Diebenkorn at the Royal Academy... Read More

Horst: a magician with light

‘Electric Beauty’ are four black and white photographs taken by Horst P Horst in 1939. They are a satirical comment on the futility of extreme modern beauty treatment, fashionable in the 1930s, at a time when the world was on the brink of war. We see the model undergo various bizarre procedures, yet she seems blissfully unaware – in one she is even wearing a creepy mask – of the danger of electrocution. The sinister atmosphere... Read More

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