Artist Ryan Gander plays 'hide and seek' at Ernö Goldfinger's house

By Mark Brown

National Trust hopes new works by Ryan Gander will attract visitors to infamous architect's London home

It is not immediately obvious that the artist Ryan Gander has installed works in the house Ernö Goldfinger designed for himself in 1939, but that is inevitable – the architect hoarded a surprisingly large amount of stuff.

Gander said he was expecting stripped-back minimalism when he was invited to respond to Goldfinger's modernist house in Hampstead, north London, which is now looked after by the National Trust.

What he found was books, nick-nacks and objects stored everywhere. As a result the 15 works installed by Gander are “not hidden, but because of the nature of the house it is a bit like hide and seek and you have to search them out”.

Goldfinger is chiefly remembered as the architect of brutalist residential tower blocks, such as Balfron Tower in Poplar, east London, and Trellick Tower in north Kensington. He is also the man supposedly so much loathed by Ian Fleming that the writer named a megalomanic baddie after him.

Gander, though, has long been a fan. “Characters who can turn their hand to everything are the people I admire.”

The artist has made works that are “riffs” on the work and designs of the architect. “If Goldfinger were alive today, what are the things he might do, he might add to the house? It is an updating of his creative thinking and his idealogy.”

So there is a chess set inspired by the nuts, bolts and ball joints of a Bedford van; an eye-test chart that uses a typeface based on Goldfinger's handwriting; and three lamps that use items such as a kitchen-roll holder, a bicycle pump and a meat mincer. The latter all have the title, A Lamp Made by the Artist for His Wife”; they are the 18th, 20th and 29th attempts.

He explained: “My wife wanted to a buy a lamp she liked on the internet and I didn't like it and said: ‘I could make you one quicker in the shed'. I went and got some handlebars, a mop and a bucket of concrete and made one.”

He liked it too much not to exhibit it and it was sold so he keeps on making lamps that end up not going to his wife. “I've made 50-plus I think.”

The National Trust hopes Gander's works will attract more people to the property, as does the artist. “I like the idea that this might draw people to the house, might bring people in who haven't seen it. The house obviously upstages the works totally – it's so wonderful, so interesting – but if it brings people to the house that's a good thing.”

Five minutes' walk from the house at 2 Willow Road, another National Trust property is trying to attract new visitors, or previous ones who may not have been for years. At Fenton House, a 17th century merchant's house, a collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery is being staged with photographic portraits …read more

Source: Artist Ryan Gander plays ‘hide and seek' at Ernö Goldfinger's house


Beyond Basquiat: 'We shouldn’t use 'black artist' as a code for 'other''

By Katie Rogers

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960 – 1988), among the most renowned figures in American art, was known for exploring the complexities and contradictions of race and mainstream society. As a retrospective of Basquiats's work goes on display in New York, artists of color discuss his legacy

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Source: Beyond Basquiat: ‘We shouldn’t use ‘black artist' as a code for ‘other”


Keywords at Tate Liverpool explores 'vocabulary of culture and society'

By Adrian Searle

New exhibition inspired by Raymond Williams book offers an interesting, if ill-served, glimpse into the language of British art

The words slide by around the gallery walls, in a large, looping hand-drawn script, with lots of space between. Anthropology, Criticism, Folk, Formalist, Liberation, Materialism, Myth, Native, Private, Structural, Theory, Unconscious and Violence: these are the guiding rubrics of Keywords: Art, Culture and Society in 1980s Britain at Tate Liverpool.

Based on the late Raymond Williams's 1976 book Keywords, in which over 130 words – From Aesthetic to Work – are accompanied by short essays on their shifting meanings and context, use and definition, this show restages and enlarges an exhibition that first took place at London's Iniva [Institute of International Visual Arts] last year. Almost everything here comes from Tate's own collection, and Tate Liverpool is charging £8 entry for a show of works it already owns. The keyword here is money.

The essays in Williams' book were devious, provocative and full of social observation. Subtitled ‘A vocabulary of culture and society', Keywords was both analysis and argument. It was much more than a compendium. The exhibition, by contrast, is all compendium, clever curatorial bluster and pigeonholing.

The artworks jostle and fall over each other to get in line, like kids going to class. In the first room the art all looks a bit cowed and uncertain of its place, getting barked at from the sidelines. In the first room everything is hung on one vast wall running the length of the gallery. Hockney! Get in line, you're next to John Murphy, in Private. Adrian Berg – never mind your post-impressionist palette, you're Structural, along with the geometric systems artists, or British constructionists, or whatever you call yourselves. Folk means anything to do with Northern Ireland and sectarianism. On it goes. Nothing is given space to breathe. Everything becomes an example.

In the second gallery everything three-dimensional is corralled onto three black carpets. You can't get amongst any of it. Where does Myth end and Anthropology begin? I am not sure the curators know; the artists would probably refuse the definitions anyway. Grouping large works by Anthony Caro, Anish Kapoor and Tony Cragg together on one carpet, with the big word ‘formalism' behind them, just looks like an accusation. Inadvertently, the notorious 1937 degenerate art show in Munich, in which modernist and expressionist works were displayed in such a way as to make them look as horrible as possible, and were interspersed with hand-painted slogans that served to demonise them still further, had a curatorial aesthetic not so far removed from this. Which is not to say that Keywords is without its moments, however ill-served much of the art may be.

The mode of display runs from the 19th Century salon hang (annually perpetuated in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition) of the first room, to a kind of pile-up and log-jam of the three dimensional works …read more

Source: Keywords at Tate Liverpool explores ‘vocabulary of culture and society'


Michael Jackson cuckoo clocks and mayhem: Tobias Rehberger's art

By Adrian Searle

With migraine-inducing blizzards of dots, rooms full of booby-traps and a Jacko soundtrack, the ever-provocative Tobias Rehberger's new installation in Frankfurt feels like modernism gone wonky

I have a blinding migraine, the result of spending too much time lost in a blizzard of dots. I can't tell if they're printed on the mirror on the wall before me, or on the shiny metal sculpture on the plinth in front of that. The dots swarm like a flock of starlings, along with my reflection. It's like a 60s movie of an acid trip in here.

All the mirrors on the walls seem to be cracked. The floor, walls and even benches in the first room of Tobias Rehberger's Home and Away and Outside, at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, are seasick with razzle-dazzle patterns, derived from first world war nautical camouflage. Jagged black-and-white splinters, stripes and optical distortions make looking difficult. You can't isolate one work from another. The sculptures in this first, mad-house room of Rehberger's show hide in plain sight.

Maybe all this visual confusion is a metaphor. It certainly sharpens the eyesight and keeps you on your toes. Occasional bursts of orange and green claw at my retinas. One vaguely Picassoid form has smoke spilling from something like a nose. It has a kind of nonchalant insouciance. Here comes a great green fist, belonging to another sculpture that leans at a belligerent angle. The speech bubble above its head is empty of everything except a kind of cartoon violence. The visual noise in the room makes you want to shout to be heard. The paintings that double as cuckoo clocks don't help. It's like walking into the wrong bar on a bad night.

Tobias Rehberger is a sort of sculptor. In 2009, he gave the cafe in the former Italian pavilion at the Venice Biennale an aggressively op-art makeover, which won him a Golden Lion award. During the last Frieze art fair in New York he installed a fully functioning replica of his favourite Frankfurt watering-hole, Bar Oppenheimer, in the Hotel Americano. One might call this sort of thing social art. Personally, I prefer the anti-social kind.

I ended up with Rehberger in the original Oppenheimer bar, in Frankfurt, after his opening last week. It was like being stuck in a crowded ashtray. Recently, Rehberger wanted to buy the bar itself, rather than the usual round of drinks, but the owner declined. He also got enmeshed in a controversy and legal suit over his appropriation of Bridget Riley's 1961 Movement in Squares, for a work he installed at Berlin's national library. Rehberger could have saved himself a lot of bother and cash if he had acknowledged Riley in the title of his work. Maybe he should have bought her a drink. Or a bar.

Just like people, most of Rehberger's works have something wrong with them. There's always a mistake or small sign of damage. One sculpture is slightly incontinent, while another includes a …read more

Source: Michael Jackson cuckoo clocks and mayhem: Tobias Rehberger's art


Dressing for the Oscars, 1959 - a picture from the past

By Karin Andreasson

In this image by an unknown photographer, Shirley MacLaine tries on the gown that she will wear to the Academy Awards ceremony in 1959. But the real star of the shot is renowned costume designer Edith Head, who is holding a preliminary sketch of the dress. Over her career, Head won a record-breaking total of eight Academy Awards and was nominated for 35

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Source: Dressing for the Oscars, 1959 – a picture from the past


Sport picture of the day: salutes you, sir!

By Steven Bloor

Not only did Tottenham Hotspur's 3-2 aggregate Europa League victory over Dnipro feature a wild comeback and a controversial sending-off, there was also a nice moment between two-goal hero Emmanuel Adebayor and manager Tim Sherwood, who had faith in the striker and brought him back into the fold after he languished on the sidelines during André Villas-Boas' tenure at White Hart Lane

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Source: Sport picture of the day: salutes you, sir!