After 54 years of enticing audiences into the stalls, the National Theatre’s posters are getting their own moment in the spotlight with an exhibition curated by Rick Poynor in the NT’s Wolfson gallery (4 Oct-31 March). National Theatre Posters raids the archives to tell a fascinating story about the theatre and its visual communications, which have been under the watchful eye of just five head designers. “In the 60s the designs are very clean and modernist,” says Poynor, professor of design and visual culture at the University of Reading. “By 2003, there’s an emerging sense of the theatre as a brand, and the poster imagery and typography having to reflect that.” As for what makes the perfect poster, “there is no formula” Poynor says, “but what you absolutely have to do is grab the viewer’s attention, magnetise the eye.”
Five-storey building dedicated to 88-year-old artist attracts huge interest before opening, with visitors restricted to 200 a day
Yayoi Kusama is about to apply a splash of colour to an unremarkable Tokyo suburb with the opening of a new museum dedicated to the avant-garde artist whose career spans six decades, tens of thousands of artworks and countless polka dots.
The 88-year-old’s trademark motif – along with her familiar “infinity nets” and generously lashed eye designs – feature prominently at the museum, from its glass entrance to the interior of the lift and even the mirrored walls of the toilet.
Parrtjima festival is meant to showcase Indigenous culture; instead it has raised the ire of some traditional custodians for infiltrating sacred land and lore
At the base of Mount Gillen, known as Alhekulyele for thousands of years to the central Arrernte people of Mparntwe (Alice Springs), a wild dog called Akngwelye fought an intruder in an epic battle watched on by his pups and their mother. The battle raged east along the ancient mountain range and through the tranquil valley, where the desert town of Alice Springs has since grown.
What might be considered folklore to many is eternally written in the western mountain range for the traditional custodians, whose once-sacred caves have been exposed to 150 years of occupation. A bitumen thoroughfare now runs below Ntaripe or Heavitree Gap, and the sacred markers – the clumps of rocks, a boulder and desolate trees – have been almost smothered, if not partially or completely destroyed by the ever-growing hub.
Now in its second year, the Parrtjima festival of light in the Alice Springs Desert Park features work by local Indigenous artists as well as large-scale projections across the ranges near Mount Gillen. Festival curator Rhoda Roberts says it demonstrates ‘how Aboriginal people are ever-adapting’, but while the festival has the approval of many Indigenous artists and leaders, some have raised concerns about the use of sacred land and have described the festival as more of a multimillion dollar tourism marketing campaign than a genuine engagement with local culture
Janet Axten challenges the idea that the local community should welcome a gallery extension to please directors, architects and the wider art world, while Alison Brooker wants to see classic Cornish art. Plus letters from Simon Casimir Wilson and Tim James
I was sad to read Oliver Wainwright’s article (The new Tate St Ives: great gallery, pity about the flats, 27 September). The suggestion, as was amply brought out in the 2005 meeting, reinforces the idea that the local community should welcome a new gallery extension to please gallery directors, architects or the art world in general, and that the environment in which it is sited is of little account.
Remember, this is the same community that recently “bullied” developers by overwhelmingly approving a neighbourhood plan that is the envy of small towns across Cornwall, and which has made headlines around the world. Its vital section – that new housing projects must be for year-round residency – has resonated with many towns that are facing the rapid expansion of second homes and holiday accommodation.
Danish superheroes fly in, the Frieze frenzy builds, Waqas Khan keeps it cosmic and Raphael reveals the wonders of wooden furniture – all in your weekly dispatch
The latest superhero in the Marvel universe becomes fantastically bendy after an industrial accident and is soon signed up by the Avengers … No wait, it’s a socially engaged intervention by Denmark’s coolest art collective, your friendly neighbourhood Superflex.
• Tate Modern, London, 3 October to 2 April.
From the yellow amphitheatre built into its sides to the tree thrusting through its innards, the extraordinary new Lego House in Billund, Denmark, is a riot of interconnecting blocks that begs fans young and old to climb aboard
With its shark-infested rooftops, stomping dinosaurs and build-your-own Lego lunches, this multi-levelled ziggurat is a mind-blowing playground of 25m bricks
Children are wrestling with the jaws of a shark in mid-attack, while others are trying their hand at surfing on wobbly boards, raised up on a bright blue platform overlooking the endless forest that stretches around the small Danish town of Billund. Elsewhere, yet more crowds of kids are leaping across rubber steps, shrieking with delight as they race to the swings on this multi-levelled, multi-coloured landscape.
This gleaming ziggurat of fun is the new Lego House, a mind-blowing mecca for fans of the iconic construction toy, designed by BIG, the firm led by young Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. Now heading up a New York-based global empire, working on everything from Google’s new California campus to a Chinese energy firm’s HQ, Ingels sees the project as a homecoming.
By Rosie Ifould
Charles McDowell recalls misbehaving at a debutante dance, July 1982
I met Peter Townend, the social editor of Tatler, at a Conservative summer ball in 1980 or 1981. I was in my early 20s, living in Kensington and working for Tiffany as part of their sales team. Peter came up to me and said: “Would you like to come to some of my parties?” And I, not really knowing what they were, but being young and game for a laugh, said yes. I gave him my name and address, and then a few weeks later all these fabulous invitations started arriving in the post.
Peter is widely credited as being the man who single-handedly kept the debutante “season” going for decades; he would suggest to parents that their daughters should be debs that year, and wouldn’t they like to host a party? I was what was called a “debs’ delight” – one of the men chosen by Peter to attend all these balls and dances.
By Skye Sherwin
South London Gallery
From plumes of lava orange to ribbons of speckled colour bleeding down the walls, the German artist wields her spray-gun like a weapon in this gallery takeover
The landscapes that have succumbed to the brilliant, blaring colours of Katharina Grosse’s spray-paint gun include abandoned buildings, public gardens and seashores: a spectacular blend of painting and land art that has made the German a major player on the international art circuit. In the Rockaways, New York, she once coated part of the old army base and its surrounding sands in too-red polluted sunset hues. Earlier this year in Denmark she splurged the lurid pink and white of seaside sticks of rock across the undulating grass banks that flanked a busy road. Within galleries, meanwhile, her experiments in taking paint beyond the bounds of the canvas have seen huge felled trees, piles of dirt and fibreglass boulders become the base for psychedelic abstractions.
All of which means This Drove My Mother Up the Wall, her installation at the South London Gallery, seems in comparison somewhat quieter – if quiet is a word you can apply to a work that touches every surface of the emptied exhibition space with rainbow paint. In the Victorian building’s central gallery, it begins at the edges, dissolving the boundaries where the skirting boards meet the floor in swaths of colour, which roll upwards like rising waves. Much remains brilliant white, and here and there pale voids, left behind by stencils, jut out from the paint.