Tag Archives: exhibition

Passive Aggressive notes exhibition in Hoxton Square. Go if you want. It’s up to you, I don’t mind either way, really

Walking through Shoreditch the other day and a piece of paper on the footpath caught my eye

It read: PLEASE DON’T SIT HERE OR USE THIS DESK AREA IF YOU CAN’T LEAVE IT CLEAN AND IN THE SAME CONDITION YOU FOUND IT. THAT MEANS DON’T LEAVE COFFEE CUPS, OLD COPIES OF NUTS, HALF EATEN SUBWAYS ETC FOR ME TO CLEAN UP. LEAVE MY PERSONAL ITEMS THE HELL ALONE AND DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT, ADJUST MY CHAIR. 

This made me smile as it reminded me of my old office, where the art director’s chair was plastered with a note saying DO NOT MOVE THIS CHAIR, DO NOT SIT IN THIS CHAIR, DO NOT ADJUST THIS CHAIR. Needless to say, everyone tiptoed round that (usually unoccupied) chair like it was an unexploded bomb. 

So I picked up the little note to save and that’s when I noticed a smaller stamp at the bottom, and realised it was actually an advertisement for a Passive Aggressive Notes exhibition in nearby Hoxton Square. I popped along and found the walls plastered with notes left to inconsiderate housemates about all kinds of domestic crimes, such as one on a half eaten piece of pizza that read ‘Next time, just take the whole slice, OK?’

The exhibition is inspired by the website passiveaggressivenotes.com which was started in 2007 by veteran house sharer Kerry Miller. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Things to do

“Maybe, Maybe Not” exhibition at Dreamspace Gallery, Old Street

The-Benefit-of-Hindsight_Beckaotic_72dpi If you’re near Old Street between now and the 12th of June, drop into the Dreamspace Gallery, where artists Rebecca Machin and Alix Smith will be showing their latest paintings, collages, graphic works and screenprints… 

The artists describe the exhibition as a ‘tongue in cheek confessional by two artists who make sense of the world through humour and play. Beauty meets bolshie in a vibrant show of the bold and the subtle. Believing that nothing is final and that life is a state of flux, both artists thrive on the notion of multiple meanings and engage spectators by openly inviting interpretation and contradiction.’  

And Bec has kindly sent me one of her pieces (above).

Ahh, hindsight. Always twenty twenty, isn’t it? As someone said recently, if only there was an Apple Z key for real life. 

I went to school with Rebecca (Hollywood Senior High School, fantastic school, now sadly demolished. Wish I’d appreciated it more at the time… there’s that hindsight again) so will be going to the private view tomorrow night…. speaking of which, I really should put some washing on & think about my outfit… it’s not every day I, err, leave the house.

The Dreamspace Gallery is at 1-3 Dufferin Street, EC1Y 8NA. Open to visitors Monday to Friday from 9am to 5.30pm and is free. All the art will be for sale. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Things to do

Le Corbusier at the Barbican

corb

The Barbican – does any other London landmark divide visitors more dramatically? – is hosting Le Corbusier – The Art of Architecture until May 24 2009.

As usual, just finding the exhibition is a vintage Barbican experience – it’s badly sign-posted, the lifts have their own set of rules and the vast estate is almost deserted, despite its central location. The only people you pass on the windy terraces and dark walkways are bewildered souls anxious to find the centre before their performance starts. It’s all a bit post-apocalyptic until you eventually reach the buzzing foyer, which is full of people necking wine and chatting on the red leather benches and trying to find the loo before their show starts. 

Tip: If you do visit the Barbican in the future, just follow the yellow line painted along those dark, endless walkways (it really is a yellow brick road) – and you’ll get to there eventually.

Le Corbusier, according the exhibition brochure, was the most important architect of the 20th century, his built legacy unparalleled. The Barbican is the logical place to host such an exhibition – he would have felt right at home among the concrete walkways and looming tower blocks. 

pcorb-model

Scattered among his many drawings, sculptures and models are some original, now rather tatty, prototypes – chairs and even an entire kitchen from an apartment block he designed in Marseille. I liked the postcards he’d sent from hotel rooms around the world, and snapshots of him at work. There is even one of him with Albert Einstein at Princeton, both of them looking quietly chuffed.

corb-kitchen3

There is a wooden model of his beautiful church in Ronchamp, which I have visited and will never forget. In real life it’s much larger than it looks in pictures, with a roof that’s based on the form of a crab shell. Built from concrete, it has stained-glass windows that reflect watery blue-green lights across the curved walls. It’s a little like being in an vast underwater cave,  and very peaceful. If you’re ever in the Alsace region of France it’s worth a visit – you can also drink lots of Riesling and overdose on Münster cheese, but beware of ticks.  The only unfortunate part of the journey was that one of our party was bitten by a one carrying Lyme’s Disease and ended up seriously unwell. But I think even he would agree it was worth it.

p1corb-painting

Anyway – slight digression. This exhibition is worth visiting if you are at all interested in architecture and design. You are left with a clear sense of just how influential his work – and that of his many colleagues – was. His designs look modern now – its incredible  to think he was producing this work close to a hundred years ago.

It does seem, though, that there is something missing. For an exhibition about a single person it is a little starved of biographical detail, and I would  have liked more about his private life, the person behind the image. Perhaps he lived almost entirely for his work, which enabled him to be so prolific and influential. Or perhaps the curators just didn’t think his personal life was relevant. And it is also strange that the exhibition does not address the end of his life at all, and his death by drowning. You move from some of his later drawings straight into the shop and bar area, where you can buy a Le Corbusier vodka cocktail, or some £200 Corbusier-inspired spectacles. After following the story of his life’s work this felt – to me, anyway – a little abrupt.

 Le Corbusier: The Art of Architecture, 19 February – 24 May 2009-02-28, The Barbican Centre Art Gallery, http://www.barbican.org.uk/lecorbusier

corb-drawingsPhotography: Felix Oefelein ©

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Things to do

More lovin’…..

artshow1If Single’s Night at the bookshop isn’t enough, how about a Love Exhibition?

F*** Art, Let’s Love is on at the East End Arts Club – a narrow little venue just off Bethnal Green Road – for the next two Sundays (22 February and 1 March) from 11-6pm, and at other times by appointment.

After trudging through melting ice from Liverpool Street I popped in to the opening night to say hello to a friend  who had contributed a couple of bright, funny, explicit little paintings. I also liked the photography, nude drawings and prose statements. The theme brought together so many distinctive styles, so every patch of raw brick displayed something new.

Out the front there was a bar set up with red velvet cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery and cups of red wine, all being devoured by a happy crowd. Given the icy misery-guts night beyond it was good (if a little steamy) to be in a room filled with art and enthusiastic cupcake-eating. Even though my glasses fogged up. Drop in if you’re in the area.

Leave a comment

Filed under Things to do