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 the handful of female artists struggling within a very male modern art... Read More

Learning from the Eameses

‘Is design an expression of art?’ we hear a voice ask Charles Eames to which he replies ‘design is the expression of purpose’. The video completes The World of Charles and Ray Eames, a brilliant look into the life and work of Charles (1907-1978) and Ray (1912-1988) Eames, two of the most celebrated designers of the last century. With its timeless modernist aesthetic and utopian vision, London’s Barbican Centre is a perfect set for... 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... 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... Read More

Constructing Worlds: Architectural Photography

Should architecture photography look beyond documenting the built environment? This is the question raised by Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age, the latest exhibition at London’s Barbican Art Gallery. Here the curators have set out to explore the power of photography to reveal wider truths about our society. And it is an interesting glimpse into our world. The Barbican Centre, itself a utopian statement and... Read More

Exhibition review: Jim Dine

What would you think of a show where every print was covered with hammers and saws and an almost endless variety of spanners, scissors, tongs, pliers, and pincers? Jim Dine’s A History of Communism at London’s Alan Cristea Gallery offers a complex array of impressions. I came away impressed with the ingenuity, intrigued and a little moved too, but also somewhat uneasy. Let me explain. Dine has used a series of lithographic stones left over... Read More

Serpentine Pavilion by Sou Fujimoto

This is the latest Serpentine Gallery Pavilion designed by Sou Fujimoto and unveiled yesterday. At 41, the Japanese architect is the youngest creative to participate in the design of this temporary structure that resides in London’s Kensington Garden for four months. His creation is a delicate, three-dimensional latticed structure made of 20mm fine steel poles that forms a lightweight and semi-transparent sculpture almost blending in... Read More

Frieze London 2012 in picture

‘Frieze week’ is about to come to an end. London once again turned into one giant art and design fair as galleries small and large from around the world exhibited their work. At the centre was Frieze London in Regent’s Park, featuring this year Frieze Masters – here to give the contemporary work on show at the main event a narrative and a context within art history. Elsewhere Pavilion Art and Design London displayed... Read More

Memory Marathon at the Serpentine

‘We move so fast that memory is something we can only try to grasp,’ says Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei. The annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion – this year created by Ai in collaboration with architects Herzog & de Meuron – inspires Memory Marathon. The three-day event sees leading artists, writers, filmmakers, scientists, architects, musicians and theorists gather together in a continuous, performative programme... Read More