Friday, 30 December 2011

Building the Revolution in London

I found myself more and more in love with the Russian avant-garde with my visit today to Royal Academy of Arts' current show Building The Revolution: Soviet Art And Architecture 1915-1935.  It's a pity that no photography was allowed at the exhibition.  The Russian art and architecture on view, mostly from the 1920s, of course include much more than the model and drawings of Vladimir Tatlin's (never built 1920 designed) constructivist classic Monument to the Third International:

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Rist's psychedelic dreams

Pipilotti Rist's video projections at her current Hayward Gallery show Eyeball Massage are log entries from her voyage across the sea of psychedelic dreams.

Rist at Hayward, London 2011:

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

OMA in progress

OMA demonstrate their influential architecture and design in their exhibition Progress at the Barbican. This major retrospective show of OMA proudly showcases all their inspiring works to-date.

OMA at the Barbican, London 2011:

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Genzken's totems of the shattered utopia

Isa Genzken was clearly the focus of my attention at Saatchi Gallery's current show Gesamtkunstwerk: New Art From Germany I went to see today.  Her colourful 3-dimensional collaged installations explore areas of art, architecture and design.  Posed as a beautiful and grotesque requiem, each of Genzken's totemic sculptures is a monument of hope and mourning, referencing a shattered utopia.

Genzken at Saatchi, London 2011:

Monday, 26 December 2011


Richard Wilson's 20:50 is the only permanent installation at my favourite Saatchi Gallery.   It transforms the spatial experience of Gallery 15 with an optical illusion created by highly reflective used sump oil.

Wilson at Saatchi, London 2010:

All art galleries in London are still closed today. I can't wait to visit Saatchi and other galleries tomorrow.

Saturday, 24 December 2011


... Kohei Nawa's PixCell reindeer trapped in glass bubbles at Saatchi Gallery's Phillips de Pury & Company's space, London 2010:

I'm flying to London to rescue Rudolph tonight.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Marclay's time and space

Christian Marclay's works, shown recently at NYC's Paula Cooper Gallery, depict time and space.  His installation Tape Fall consists of a long magnetic tape streaming down an elevated tape recorder and accumulating on the floor to the sound of trickling water, memorializing the passage of time:

His Moebius Loop, consisting of hundreds of cassette tapes woven together, articulates space, twisted:

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Jacob Burckhardt Haus

This is the picture I'm using for my Christmas ecard this year.  Zwimpfer Partner Architekten's 2011 Jacob Burckhardt Haus, Basel:

Ecard 2011:

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Permanent Daylight

The cold, gloomy, drizzly day in Toronto today reminds me of wintry London.  So does Permanent Daylight, possibly my most favourite song by Radiohead, from their 1994 EP My Iron Lung.  I look forward to another Christmas holiday in cold, gloomy, drizzly London.

Video from 's youtube channel

Monday, 19 December 2011

What I learned I No Longer Know; The Little I Still Know, I Guessed

Less than a week before Christmas, here's a good piece to meditate on while the whole world is supersaturated with commercialism.  Thai artist Pratchaya Phinthong's installation What I learned I No Longer Know; The Little I Still Know, I Guessed is made up of over-inflated (now withdrawn from circulation) Zimbabwean dollars.

Phinthong at Kunsthalle Basel, 2011:

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Collins's reconstruction

Nicole Collins's latest solo exhibition The Reconstruction at General Hardware Contemporary explores the construction, dismantling and reconstruction of painting.  Addition and subtraction are equally likely processes for her compositions.

Collins at General Hardware, Toronto 2011:

Collins' minimalist sound piece one not art based on Ad Reinhardt's writing Art as Art is both cleverly made and intriguing.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Heaven Is Where You Find It

Steve Driscoll's latest show Heaven Is Where You Find It at Angell Gallery presents himself well as a Canadian landscape painter, succeeding the tradition of the Group of Seven.  His use of urethane rendered the paint surface fluid and shiny, leaving a dreamy impression of memory lost.

Driscoll at Angell, Toronto 2011:

Friday, 16 December 2011

Glitchy Lackluster

My favourite sub-genre of electronica I listen to is glitch/IDMLackluster has produced a lot of that.  Check out his youtube channel .

Video from youarelackluster's youtube channel

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Chelsea snapshots

Streetscapes that caught my attention when I visited New York's Chelsea district earlier this year ...

Frank Gehry's 2007 IAC HQ clearly stands out above the crowd:

Other interesting buildings include Neil Denari's 2010 condomium HL23 at West 23rd Street and 10th Avenue:

And Audrey Matlock's 2007 residential tower Chelsea Modern at West 18th Street and 10th Avenue:

Monday, 12 December 2011

Vanitas And The Death Of The Darkroom

Ryan Van Der Hout's solo exhibition Vanitas And The Death Of The Darkroom at Engine Gallery from a few years ago was an exploration of photograms.  A photogram is a photographic image made, without a camera, by placing objects directly onto the surface of a photo-sensitive material and then exposing it to light.

Van Der Hout at Engine, Toronto 2007:

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Oliveira: natural vs artificial

Susy Oliveira addresses the relationship between the natural and the artifical at MOCCA's current group exhibition Ineffable Plasticity.   The result is a hybrid, which manifests our efforts to alter and contain the world around us.

Oliveira at MOCCA (Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art), Toronto 2011:

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Kocks' paper brushstrokes

Andreas Kocks' installations of cut paper monochromatic brushstrokes danced freely on the quiet walls of Winston Wachter Fine Art.  Kocks' show was a celebration of brushstrokes.

Kocks at Winston Wachter, New York 2011:

Friday, 9 December 2011

525600 minutes*

Nothing portrays the flow of time better than passages of light and shadow.  Some light/shadow moments over this past year ...

Francine Savard at Diaz Contemporary, Toronto, January:

Rebecca Partridge at Art First Projects, London, March:

Pinakothek der Moderne, München, July:

Walter De Maria at Pinakothek der Moderne, München, July:

Tadao Ando's Conference Pavilion at Vitra Design, Weil am Rhein, July:

Olafur Eliasson at Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, July:

Midtown Toronto, September:

Richard Serra at Gagosian Gallery, New York, November:

*525600 minutes = 1 (non-leap) year ... referencing the lyrics of Seasons Of Love from the Broadway musical Rent.  That was a great show!