Serpentine Pavilion 2024 by architect Minsuk Cho is a joyful concept, full of intrigue and surprise

Serpentine Pavilion by Minsuk Cho. Image (c) Iwan Baan for Serpentine Galleriies

The 2024 Serpentine Pavilion is imagined as a cluster of islands with each structure unique in its size, form, feel and function. The creative work of Seoul-based Korean architect Minsuk Cho and his firm Mass Studies, Archipelagic Void is a refuge for park strollers, and it acts as a space to host and elevate visitor experiences during Serpentine Galleries’ lively program of events that run from June to October. Take a look here

New York Artist Julie Mehretu discusses her approach to the BMW Art Car #20

Julie Mehretu and the BMW Art Car #20. Photo credit BMW

‘There is something investigatory and playful about motor racing. It’s a form of sport, a form of imagination, a form of creativity. It’s an important place in the imagination. I was fascinated to play in that place,’ says the Ethiopian American artist Julie Mehretu speaking of the latest BMW Art Car #20 she designed for the carmaker before it hits the racetrack at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Read the full interview here

Personal Structures biennial art exhibition in Venice addresses intricate narratives within our global community

Maisara Baroud ‘I’m Still Alive’ at Foreigners in their Homeland by Palestine Museum US. Personal Structures 2024, Palazzo Mora. Photo credits Federico Vespignani for Personal Structures

“With Personal Structures, even the most minimalist works are subjective, personal, the result of the artist’s own conditions and circumstances,” says Sara Danieli, head of art at European Cultural Centre, the independent organisation that runs the biennale contemporary art exhibition Personal Structures in Venice. “In this sense, we conceive the exhibition as a platform that values the diversity of artistic approaches and expressions, with the intention of documenting plurality.”

In its seventh edition and running alongside though independent of the official la Biennale di Venezia, the 200 artists from 51 countries exhibiting at the historic Venetian palazzos Bembo and Mora and Marinaressa Gardens individually and collectively reflect on the intricate narratives within our global community.

There is so much to see and so much to take in at Personal Structures. Many of these artists are not represented within global institutions. These are different voices with varied experiences who together form a much-needed layered set of conversations around what it is to be human. All this is thanks to Personal Structure’s unwavering commitment to maintaining an open platform by avoiding the didactic route, allowing individual artistic circles self expression and curational autonomy to speak more fluidly—a concept often missing from such large group shows.

Take a closer look here

Shirin Neshat latest body of work, ‘The Fury’, is a timely politically charged artwork

Still from The Fury by Shirin Neshat, 2023

Upstairs at the Goodman Gallery in London hang large-scale black-and-white photographs of women. Look closer at their naked bodies, parts of which are symbolically covered, and these women of various ages and ethnicities bear signs of abuse and mutilation. Meanwhile, downstairs in the gallery, the video installation tells the stylised, fictional story of a woman struggling with her memories of imprisonment and rape.

‘The Fury’ is the latest body of work by the New York-based Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat, who, since the 1990s, has captivated viewers — and in some instances caused controversy — through an art that investigates gender and society, time and memory, the individual and the collective, and the complexities and contradictions of Islam, told through a personal and diasporic lens.

Neshat’s mesmerising, cinematic, large-scale black-and-white photography is overlaid with handwritten Farsi calligraphy — poetry, prose — inviting the viewer to read more than the surface image. Likewise, with her feature films and film installations, she has created her own unique moving image language.

‘The Fury’ was shot in June 2022 near Neshat’s Brooklyn studio. In the film, the female protagonist is played by Iranian-American actor Sheila Vand, while the remaining cast are Neshat’s co-students from her African dance class. In the film, dance expresses liberation — it is fundamental to the storytelling. Choreographed by Neshat’s teacher, the climax scene is a stirring ritual of movement expressing protest and rage, performed to the haunting vocals of Tunisian musician Emel Mathlouthi, singing “Soltane Ghalbha” (meaning king of hearts, a heartfelt Iranian love song from 1968), the melody slowed down, and the lyrics retold in Arabic.

I spoke with Shirin Neshat to see what she hopes the viewer will take from this body of work.

See the full interview here

Shirin Neshat Flavia #2, from The Fury series, 2023 © Shirin Neshat/Goodman Gallery

‘Georg Baselitz: Sculptures 2011-2015’ opens at the Serpentine, London

Georg Baselitz “Zero Mobil” (2013-2014) © Jochen Littkenmann for Georg Baselitz At Serpentine

Ten wooden sculptures by the German artist Georg Baselitz, each shaped from an individual tree trunk, stand and recline and hover over the daylight-lit rooms of the Serpentine South gallery. Some are enormous, carved with twisting and turning shapes and crude, rough edges. They are at once overpowering yet soft and gentle. And there is humor and humanity in their interactions.

“Georg Baselitz: Sculptures 2011-2015” is the first public showing of this body of work, created between the dates on the title and modelled on himself and his wife Elke, a life-long inspiration and artistic partner, with subjects that reflect on history, personal life, childhood memories. “What is essentially being exhibited is like a cabinet of wonders: a sphere within a sphere within a sphere from a tree trunk with a chainsaw,” says Baselitz of the exhibition.

Read the full review here