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Exhibition Review – Kader Attia: The Museum of Emotion at the Hayward Gallery from 13 February to 6 May 2019

The Hayward Gallery presents the first major survey in the United Kingdom of leading international artists: Kader Attia. The exhibition entitled The Museum of Emotion explores Attia’s work art from the past two decades. Attia grew up in Paris as the son of Algerian immigrants and in the first room Attia draws on the experience of often living between two very distinct cultural environments.

A recent video projection (La Tour Robespierre, 2018) investigate the ‘inhuman modernism’ of the Parisian banlieues where the artist grew up. Suggesting that the effects of colonialism are often replicated within the ‘mother country’.

Room two takes this idea a stage further by Attia with a focus on his work on people who are marginalised or live on the periphery of society – whether transsexuals, illegal immigrants, or the mentally or physically disabled. His photographic series, La Piste d’atterrissage (Landing Strip) (2000–2002) offers complex and intimate portraits of a community of transgender Algerian prostitutes in Paris, many of whom were illegal immigrants.

As a contrast The Field of Emotion (2018) juxtaposes images of male politicians and dictators including Hitler and Stalin with famous female singers known for their emotional or affective delivery like Aretha Franklin and Maria Callas. Underlying all these images is the idea that emotion can be mobilised for good or evil.

Room Four includes artworks, such as The Scream (2016) or Mirrors and Masks (2013), which suggests there is an under-acknowledged influence of African culture in Western art history and Measure and Control (2013) which looks at the way that the West uses classification as a way of making sense of the world.

Room Five is the most complex space and features Attia’s work that questions traditional museum presentation and how Western societies represent and engage with non-Western cultures.

The artist’s interest in the legacies of violent conflict is portrayed in his multi-channel video installation Shifting Borders (2018) which comprises of three separate videos as well as sculptures mostly dealing with conflicts in South Korea and Vietnam.

This complex and thought-provoking exhibition introduces the work of Kader Attia to a wider UK audience. His underlying theme to his work is the world today cannot be understood without taking into account the psychological and emotional aspects of society. With large-scale migration a reality across the globe, it is an important message that many move location but the psychological and emotional aspects of a person’s identity is often based in their homeland. Using the idea of repair, he seems to be suggesting that we should be building bridges rather than burning them.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and book tickets , visit the Southbank Centre website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
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Exhibition Review – diane arbus: in the beginning at the Hayward Gallery from 13 February to 6 May 2019


The Hayward Gallery presents a new exhibition entitled diane arbus: in the beginning, which includes nearly 100 photographs. The exhibition takes an in-depth look at the formative first half of Diane Arbus’ career, from 1956 to 1962, when the artist began to develop the style for which she later became celebrated.

Presented across the upper floor of the Hayward Gallery, this exhibition includes some fifty photographs which have never been shown in Europe, all vintage prints from the Diane Arbus Archive at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

In the exhibition, each photograph is presented on an individual free-standing wall and visitors are encouraged to navigate their own individual routes through the exhibition. Walking around these small mazes, visitors can give full attention to the portraits of a wide spectrum of post war American society. Arbus discovered the majority of her subjects in New York City and depicts a cross-section of urban life which including portraits of couples and children, local characters, carnival performers, strippers, and transvestites.

Diane Arbus first began taking pictures in the early 1940s when she was working with her husband, Allan Arbus in a fashion photography business. She studied photography with Berenice Abbott in the 1940s and Alexey Brodovitch in the mid-1950s. After attending Lisette Model’s photographic workshop in 1956, Arbus decided to pursue her own style of work.

In the early sixties, Arbus began to turn her back on her 35mm camera and started working with a square format (2 1/4-inch twin-lens reflex) camera. Her portraits using this new format began to be recognised as a distinctive feature of her work. The photographs range from the mundane, Boy stepping off the curb, N.Y.C. 1957–58 to the bizarre, Jack Dracula at a bar, New London, Conn. 1961 and often offer a grainy surreal quality.

Whilst some photographs have the instant quality of street photography, others tend to be more traditional portraits. Arbus’ style began to get noticed and she was awarded Guggenheim Fellowships in 1963 and 1966 for her project on ‘American Rites, Manners, and Customs.’ However her work was not widely known and was not financially rewarding.

To create more financial security, Arbus made a portfolio of original prints entitled ‘A box of ten photographs’, which was meant to be the first in a series of limited editions of her work. The exhibition concludes with a separate gallery presenting A box of ten photographs, the portfolio Arbus produced in 1970 and 1971 comprising some of her best known works in square format including Identical twins, Roselle, N.J. 1967 and A Jewish giant at home with his parents in the Bronx, N.Y. 1970.

Arbus committed suicide in 1971 and since her death as been an artist that has often divided opinion. While many have praised the way that Arbus engages with direct personal encounters with her subjects. Others have suggested her choice of subjects led to an exploitative type of ‘Freak’ show.

The Hayward Gallery was the first UK institution to exhibit Diane Arbus’ photographs in a major retrospective back in 1974 and now offers visitors the opportunity of considering the legacy of one of the influential American photographers of the mid 20th century.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and book tickets , visit the Southbank Centre website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Exhibition Review: Space Shifters at the Hayward Gallery – 26th September 2018 to 6th January 2019


The Hayward Gallery presents a new exhibition entitled Space Shifters which features artworks by 20 leading international artists that challenges the visitor’s sense of space and perception. Many works in the exhibition interact directly with the Gallery’s distinctive architecture using  reflective or translucent materials like glass, resin and mirror.

The exhibition presents a range of historical and contemporary sculptures, as well as immersive, site-specific installations. It also premieres several major new commissions.  Participating artists include: Leonor Antunes, Larry Bell, Fred Eversley, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jeppe Hein, Roni Horn, Robert Irwin, Ann Veronica Janssens, Anish Kapoor, Yayoi Kusama, Alicja Kwade, John McCracken, Josiah McElheny, Helen Pashgian, Charlotte Posenenske, Fred Sandback, Monika Sosnowska, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané,DeWain Valentine, and Richard Wilson.

The earliest works in this group show are often associated with the ‘Light and Space’ movement which originated in the mid-1960s in the Los Angeles area. At this time, a number of the American artists included in the exhibition began experimenting with unconventional materials and innovative fabrication processes.  Helen Pashgian contributes several epoxy and acrylic spheres and a series of large acrylic columns which use varying degrees of transparency and light to generate optical effects.

Many of the works created by these artists allow viewers to both see into as well as through the material of a solid sculpture. Robert Irwin’s work Untitled (Acrylic Column), 1969–2011 is a large clear acrylic column that rises over 4.5 metres in the Hayward’s upper gallery.

Using an innovative spinning casting process, Fred Eversley creates vivid coloured lenses through which viewers can explore the world in many different hues.

Larry Bell is represented in the exhibition by his first large-scale installation Standing Walls (1969/2016). Viewers can enter to experience its different reflections and effects.

Contemporary artist Ann Veronica Janssens demonstrate the diversity of perceptual effects using glass by exploring colour in radically different ways. Janssens bonds reflective film between sheets of smashed glass for her Magic Mirrors.

In the first gallery,  Jeppe Hein’s 360° Illusion V, 2018, a huge rotating mirror sculpture constantly changes the reflections of the surrounding architecture and viewers.

Other reflective highlights of the exhibition include: Yayoi Kusama’s renowned Narcissus Garden (1966-), a landscape of hundreds of large stainless steel spheres.

Using the outside light, Sky Mirror, Blue (2016) by Anish Kapoor captures a piece of the sky and reflects it onto  one of the Hayward Gallery’s sculpture courts.

Alicja Kwade’s WeltenLinie (2017) is shown for the first time since its premiere at the last Venice Biennale. This installation encourages the viewer to walk around and through its structure of frames, as objects seem to change appearance.

Occupying an entire upper gallery, Richard Wilson recreates his monumental installation 20:50 (1987). Thousands of litres of recycled oil form a waist-high horizon that surrounds the viewer as they proceed down a gangway.

Leonor Antunes  has created a piece that cascades downward from one of the new Hayward Gallery ceiling full of  brass shapes.

And while wandering through the galleries, visitors encounter Josiah McElheny’s Interactions of the Abstract Body (2012) which keeps perceptions shifting – trained dancers wearing mirrored wooden costumes interact with visitors as well as other artworks in a continuously changing performance.

This enjoyable and entertaining exhibition uses the Hayward Gallery’s unique architectural features to the full with works that fill the spaces with a variety of reflective effects. Visitors can engage with the works to create a number of perceptual effects to create an ever-changing landscape. The exhibition illustrates the fascination and skill of artists to find different ways of looking at the world around us, sometimes the changes are subtle whilst others can be dramatic and disorientate the viewer. The exhibition is a fitting conclusion to events celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Hayward Gallery and provides evidence that the Hayward Gallery often offers a different experience to many of the other galleries in London

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and book tickets , visit the Southbank Centre website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Space Shifters at the Hayward Gallery – 26th September 2018 to 6th January 2019

Hayward Gallery’s Autumn exhibition Space Shifters features artworks by 20 leading international artists that alter or disrupt the visitor’s sense of space and re-orient their perception of their surroundings in ways that are subtle yet dramatic. The works in the exhibition focus the attention of the viewer on the act of perception whilst transforming their experience of the Gallery’s distinctive architecture. Often constructed from reflective or translucent materials like glass, resin and mirror, the artworks in the show aim to elicit surprising responses that are both physiological and psychological. They also comprise an alternative history of minimalism: not a geometric, austere, serial minimalism, but one with a more alluring, elegant and playful sensibility.

Space Shifters presents a range of historical and contemporary sculptures, as well as immersive, site-specific installations. It also premieres several major new commissions.  Participating artists include: Leonor Antunes, Larry Bell, Fred Eversley, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jeppe Hein, Roni Horn, Robert Irwin, Ann Veronica Janssens, Anish Kapoor, Yayoi Kusama, Alicja Kwade, John McCracken, Josiah McElheny, Helen Pashgian, Charlotte Posenenske, Fred Sandback, Monika Sosnowska, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané,DeWain Valentine, and Richard Wilson.

The earliest works in this group show are often associated with the ‘Light and Space’ movement which originated in the mid-1960s in the Los Angeles area. At this time, a number of the American artists included in the exhibition were experimenting with unconventional materials and innovative fabrication processes. One of the few female artists associated with Light and Space, Helen Pashgian contributes several epoxy and acrylic spheres and a series of large acrylic columns which use varying degrees of transparency and light to generate optical effects.

Many of the works created by these artists allow viewers to both see into as well as through the material of a solid sculpture. Robert Irwin’s work Untitled (Acrylic Column), 1969–2011 is a monumental and majestic clear acrylic column that rises over 4.5 metres in the Hayward’s upper gallery, yet is almost imperceptible, save for its refractive properties. Using an innovative spinning casting process, Fred Eversley creates sensuous coloured lenses through which viewers can witness the world anew.

Larry Bell, who explores similar concerns through the medium of glass, is represented in the exhibition by his first large-scale installation Standing Walls (1969/2016). Viewers can enter to experience its compounding reflections and effects whilst seeing themselves within the sculpture. Contemporary artists Ann Veronica Janssens and Roni Horn demonstrate the diversity of perceptual effects using glass by exploring colour in radically different ways. Janssens bonds reflective film between sheets of smashed glass that give her Magic Mirrors a dynamic, iridescent shine, while Horn’s large cast-glass lozenge Untitled (“Everything was sleeping as if the universe were a mistake.”), 2012–13 seems to contain an uncanny depth and liquidity.

In Space Shifters, several artists ponder the notion of reflection and that its definition holds a double meaning: the physical mirroring of an object and the contemplative act. The most dramatic example of this is Jeppe Hein’s 360° Illusion V, 2018, a huge rotating mirror sculpture that presides over the first gallery. This work reflects the surrounding architecture as well as groups of viewers, drawing them in with simultaneous inversions. Other reflective highlights of the exhibition include: Yayoi Kusama’s renowned Narcissus Garden (1966-), a landscape of hundreds of stainless steel spheres. Engaging the external environment, Sky Mirror, Blue (2016) by Anish Kapoor dramatically shifts a portion of the sky onto one of the Hayward Gallery’s distinctive sculpture courts.

Alicja Kwade’s WeltenLinie (2017) is shown for the first time since its premiere at the last Venice Biennale. This installation encourages the viewer to walk around and through its structure of frames, as objects seem to change appearance – a greyish rock turns to rusted metal, while a wooden tree trunk becomes a gleaming silver impression of itself.

Occupying an entire upper gallery, Richard Wilson recreates his monumental installation 20:50 (1987). Thousands of litres of recycled oil form a waist-high horizon that surrounds the viewer as they proceed down a gangway spliced through the inky liquid. The artwork’s glossy surface will reflect the Hayward Gallery’s new pyramid roof lights and the open sky beyond.

Several new commissions in the exhibition play off of the unique brutalist architecture of the Hayward Gallery building, taking on some of its more transitional spaces like the staircases and corridors. Daniel Steegmann Mangrané is inspired by the shape of the poured concrete stairwells and he has created, especially for this exhibition, curtains that echo their curves. Creating an equally delicate piece that cascades downward from one of the new Hayward Gallery ceiling coffers, Leonor Antunes conjures a light-filled volume of brass shapes. And while wandering through the galleries, visitors will encounter Josiah McElheny’s Interactions of the Abstract Body (2012) which keeps perceptions shifting – trained dancers wearing mirrored wooden costumes interact with visitors as well as other artworks in a continuous performance.

With spatial perception at its centre, Space Shifters is a fitting conclusion to the Hayward Gallery’s 50th anniversary, highlighting and making the most of some of the renovated building’s architectural features.

For more information , visit the Southbank Centre website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Exhibition Review: Lee Bul at the Hayward Gallery from 30th May to 19th August 2018


The Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery presents an exhibition featuring one of the most acclaimed contemporary artists from Asia, Lee Bul from South Korea.

The exhibition bring together over 100 works from the 1980s up to the present day, the artist’s early performances often included appearing in public spaces, such as airports, wearing large soft-fabric forms with appendages. Through these tactics, Lee Bul attempted to address many important issues including the oppression of women in Korean society, and the ways in which popular culture in both the East and West shapes and manipulates our understanding of ‘feminine’ beauty. 

Some of the costumes from this period are suspended from the ceiling alongside some figures from the artist’s Cyborg series that was first exhibited in New York in 1998. Whilst the artist is strongly influenced by South Korea’s political past, since 2000 she has explored utopian theories rooted in a number of areas including science fiction, folklore,  urbanism, futurism and architecture.

Crashing includes sculptural works from the Cyborg and Anagram series which question the merging of  humans and machines.

Dominating the first room is Civatis Solis II which creates a large reflective landscape with flame like lights flickering, the work is influenced by ‘City of the Sun’ written by 16th century writer Tommaso Campanella.

Room three has a seedy oversized bathtub filled with dark ink surrounded by images of snowy mountains. The work entitled Heaven and Earth (2007) references the tragic death of a student protestor who was murdered in a bathtub and the struggles of Korea to find solutions to its political problems.

Another work, Bunker (2007/12) creates a cave like sculpture in which visitors enter into a soundscape. Other works are influenced by utopian ideals of transforming more natural worlds into artificial cities, some made of fragile substances like glass.

The theme of how technology can bring benefits but also disaster is carried on in the upstairs galleries which is dominated by Willing To Be Vulnerable (2015-16), which features a giant foil Hindenburg Zeppelin.

In the final room, the main work is Via Negativa II (2014) which is a mirrored labyrinth is which people’s appearances are fragmented in endless ways.  

This fascinating exhibition explores many strands of utopian ideas, Lee Bul’s works offer a curious collection of objects that asks the question ‘what would utopia look like?’ Many utopian writers have offered some answers but there is always the nagging doubt that rather than finding utopia it is likely to be a form of dystopia.

This utopia/dystopia paradox is one of the main themes of the exhibition and has a particular relevance for many of the questions about artificial intelligence and bioengineering that we face today. 

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

For more information , visit the Southbank Centre website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Southbank Centre 2018 Visual Art Highlights

Lee Bul, Willing to be Vulnerable, 2015-16, Photo: Algirdas Bakas, Courtesy of Studio Lee Bul;

Highlights for 2018 for the Hayward Gallery, Hayward Gallery Touring and Arts Council Collection, include the first partnership with Art Night 2018, a new David Batchelor installation, iconic immersive work by Lee Bul and the first UK retrospective of Andreas Gursky.

Hayward Gallery Roof Lights, credit Richard Battye, FCB Studios;

David Batchelor’s new installation will illuminate Hayward Gallery’s iconic newly-refurbished roof lights from 22 November 2017

The Andreas Gursky retrospective will be the first exhibition to take place at Hayward Gallery since its two-year refurbishment, opening on 25 January 2018

A newly announced mid-career survey by acclaimed South Korean artist Lee Bul will open in May 2018 at Hayward Gallery spanning her iconic early work, immersive architectural installations, and new site-specific commissions.

Dj set by Alva Noto, Installation view at Village Underground. Courtesy the artist and Art Night 2017. Photo by Rama Knight

Hayward Gallery will partner with Art Night 2018 to present an ambitious 24-hour programme of art events and new commissions on 7 July 2018 at Hayward Gallery, and in other venues across London

Hayward Gallery Touring launches a new exhibition Hand Drawn, Action Packed in September 2018, featuring ten major international artists exploring the infinite narrative possibilities of drawing

In 2018, the Arts Council Collection will present three new touring exhibitions: On Paper which will celebrate the physical properties of this commonplace medium; In My Shoes, which will explore the ways UK artists have represented themselves since the 1990s; and Criminal Ornamentation curated by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE

Counting down to the reopening of Hayward Gallery in January 2018, a major new commission by artist David Batchelor will be unveiled on 22 November. Sixty Minute Spectrum (2017) will transform London’s skyline and celebrate the Gallery’s newly-restored iconic pyramid roof lights, originally designed by Sir Henry Moore, flooding them with dramatic colour that moves gradually through the visible chromatic spectrum – from red to violet – every sixty minutes.

For more information , visit the Southbank Centre website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

A Short Guide to the Southbank Centre

sb1

The Southbank Centre

Location – Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

The Southbank Centre is one of the premier Art and Culture venues in London, it is located on the South Bank of the Thames. The centre consists of three main venues (the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Hayward Gallery. It also has a number of smaller performance spaces such as the Purcell Room and Poetry Library.

mundella

Bust of Nelson Mundella at Southbank Centre

The Southbank Centre has its origins in the 1951 Festival of Britain which was built on this site, however a large number of buildings were only temporary, a notable exception being the Royal Festival Hall. Other buildings were added in the 1960s and 1970s until it was decided in the 1980s to rename the complex the Southbank Centre. The Centre is a favourite of many Londoners despite its concrete and rather grey exterior. Recent changes have included a wide range of restaurants and a number of outside exhibitions which has added to the attraction of the Southbank has a meeting place and social hub even if you are not attending one of the events in the centre. It is one of the most visited artistic venues in London with over three million visitors each year. It puts on over a thousand performances of Music, Dance and Literature annually and an amazingly wide range of performing arts. One of the more unusual aspects of the centre is the Skate park situated in the undercroft, although this has developed independently of the centre it has become a mecca for Skateboarders in London.

sb skate

For the visitor to London, the Southbank not only offers a wide range of attractions but is ideal to sit in the large foyers with a coffee and watch the world go by.

Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery closed on 21 September 2015 for two years of essential repair and maintenance.

During this time, Southbank Centre’s classical programme continues at Royal Festival Hall with chamber performances taking place at St John’s Smith Square

To find out about the wide range of events at the Southbank Centre visit their website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here