Political art: Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy

Ai Weiwei’s work is full of contrasts and contradictions. They are at once robust and fragile, awkward and meticulously crafted, brutal and beautiful. The making reflects the message. Ai sculpts handcuffs from the precious jade, scribbles the Coca Cola logo on an ancient vase, and smashes another in a photographic sequence as a note on history, value, life. Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy of Arts is the Chinese artist’s first retrospective... Read More

Italian Futurism 1909-1944

Italy was a relatively new country at the beginning of the twentieth century. It was barely 30 years old – the industrial north and traditional farming communities in the south had little in common. This was the Italy Benito Mussolini grew up in. It was also where the avant-garde Futurist movement was born. The Italian Futurists worshiped modernity. They admired industry, speed, technology, planes and automobiles. ‘We declare that... Read More

Pavilion architecture and design

‘Exhibition design,’ says Andrew Groarke, one of the duo behind architecture firm Carmody Groarke, ‘is about a memorable visitor experience.’  He should know having recently designed the Frieze Art‘s pavilion in London. Erected in Regent’s Park, the temporary giant tent houses one of the capital city’s largest yearly art fairs. Yet instead of designing a simple protective cover, Carmody Groarke chose to manipulate... Read More

PAD London: Objects of desire

London turned into a giant art fair in October as representatives from galleries from around the world descended on the capital city to take part in the now highly established Frieze Art Fair and Pavilion of Art & Design London – both offering art for sale and attracting international buyers and collectors as well as art and design enthusiasts. The two affairs that run simultaneously from 13 – 17 October, though, couldn’t be more contrasting.... Read More