Friday, November 6, 2009

Belated Summer Review

Being as i'm posting this in November, this isn't relevant as to what is going on in London right now. I don't care though, as even though its cold and dark outside now, i'm still obsessing over some exhibitions I had the pleasure of attending during the Summer. Top of my list, as it probably was for many others, was the Hayward Gallery 'Walking through my mind' exhibition, featuring works and installations from ten international artists, including; Charles Avery, Thomas Hirschorn, Yayoi Kusama, Bo Christian Larsson, Mark Manders, Yoshito Nara, Jason Rhoades, Pipilotti Rist, Chiaru Shiota, and Keith Tyson. 
Who could help but raise a smile when walking onto the outside sculpture terrace of the gallery, which had been transformed into an astroturf field of bulbous red spotted mounds and skittle-shaped towers, courtesy of Yayoi Kusama's 'Guidepost To The New World'. Looking down from the terrace you could also see the polka-dot covered trees lining the banks of the Thames in her work 'Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees'.

Moving on then, to the Serpentine Gallery, and both their stunning 2009 Summer Pavillion designed by SANAA architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa , and the Jeff Koons 'Popeye Series' exhibition.

The Summer Pavillion, a beautiful and elegant mass of shiny, reflective metal, meandered its way around spaces which included a cafe, general seating areas, and an enclosed area in which the Gallery's Park Nights series of talks took place. I know the whole point of the Pavillion, is the structure itself, but for me, it was all about the Chairs. Cute little, bunny-ears chairs in lemon yellow, bright pink, white, and natural wood colour. (Incidentally, if you can read Japanese, the chairs are on sale at online store Maruni.)

Chair obsession aside, into the gallery itself, and the "Oh wow!, it looks like inflated plastic, but WAIT...Its actually metal!!" genius of Jeff Koons.

The Popeye series, which was the first major series of Koons's work to be mounted in a public gallery in England, consisted of sculptures and paintings from 2002 onwards. Famous for casting inflatables, throughout his career from Lifeboat (1985) to Balloon Dog (1994-2000), Koons, in Popeye, turns his magic to inflatable childhood plastic toys and replicates them in painted aluminium. 

But for the scary looking gallery staff, you REALLY wanted to reach out and touch them, just to check. Thank you Mr Koons for such a great exhibition. x

Image Credit: Jeff Koons, Caterpillar Ladder 2003, polychromed aluminium, aluminium, plastic, 213.4 x 111.8 x 193 cm, c. 2009 Jeff Koons.

P.S. Random celebrity sighting in the Gallery -  David Hyde Pierce (played Niles , in the TV series Frasier)

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