May 10, 2012 § Leave a Comment
From 19 May 2012 the V&A celebrates the opening of the newly renovated Fashion Galleries with an exhibition of beautiful ballgowns, red carpet evening dresses and catwalk showstoppers. Displayed over two floors, Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 will feature more than sixty designs for social events such as private parties, royal balls, state occasions and opening nights.
The exhibition will cover over sixty years of a strong British design tradition that continues to flourish. Eveningwear from the V&A’s vast collection, by designers including Victor Stiebel, Zandra Rhodes, Jonathan Saunders and Hussein Chalayan, will be on show alongside dresses fresh from the catwalk shows of Alexander McQueen, Giles Deacon, Erdem and Jenny Packham. « Read the rest of this entry »
March 5, 2012 § Leave a Comment
In 1948 London hosted the first Olympic Games after the Second World War. The ‘Austerity Games’ (as they became known) took place at a time of economic crisis in a city devastated by bombing, but they provided a platform for reconciliation and reconstruction. In 2012 Britain welcomes the Olympics once more, and while the spirit remains, the context in which they are taking place has entirely changed. The exhibition British Design 1948–2012 traces those changes by exploring buildings, objects, images and ideas produced by designers and artists born, trained or based in Britain.
The displays examine the shifting nature of British design over 60 years: three galleries respectively explore the tension between tradition and modernity; the subversive impulse in British culture; and Britain’s leadership in design innovation and creativity. The exhibition reveals how British designers have responded to economic, political and cultural forces that have fundamentally shaped how we live today. They have created some of the most inventive and striking objects, technologies and buildings of the modern world. « Read the rest of this entry »
February 20, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Friday 20th April 2012, 10.30 – 17.10, V&A, Houchhauser Auditorium, London
This symposium at the V&A is a fantastic opportunity to explore the complex presence of the past, national identity, taste and nostalgia in relation to the Recording Britain collection of water colours and drawings produced at the start of World War II with both art historians and practicing artists. Speakers include Patrick Wright, David Heathcote, and artists Ingrid Pollard, Abigail Reynolds, Simon Roberts and Paul Scott. At the outbreak of the Second World War an ambitious scheme was set up to employ artists on the home front. The result was a collection of more than 1500 watercolours and drawings that make up a fascinating record of British lives and landscapes at a time of imminent change. Recording Britain was the brainchild of Sir Kenneth Clark, who saw it as an extension of the Official War Artist scheme. By choosing watercolour painting as the medium of record, Clark hoped that the scheme would also help to preserve this characteristic English art form – you can find out more about the scheme here.
February 16, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Friday 30th March 2012, V&A Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre, London, 10.30am-5.30pm
To coincide with the display Transformation and Revelation: Gormley to Gaga, the V&A is hosting a symposium. Invited designers and artists will explore the ‘staging of space’ including designing for site specific productions, dance, theatre and stadium shows. The Transformation and Revelation display is on show in room 104 of the V&A from 17th March – 30th September 2012, in conjunction with the V&A’s major exhibition British Design 1948-2012 and the conference British Design – Space and Place 1948-2012 this May. Exploring the theme of transformation, this display will reveal contemporary designs for performance by over 30 British Theatre Designers. It will provide an intriguing insight into the designers’ creative process and will include costumes, set models, photographs, drawings, sound productions and lighting designs. Designs include Sutra by Antony Gormley, War Horse by Rae Smith and Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball Tour by Es Devlin.
September 21, 2011 § Leave a Comment
This exhibition at the V&A deals with one of the most controversial movements in the history of art and design: postmodernism. This era defies definition: postmodernism was an unstable mix of the theatrical and theoretical. It was visually thrilling, a multifaceted style that ranged from the colourful to the ruinous, the ludicrous to the luxurious.
What they all had in common was a drastic departure from modernism’s utopian visions, which had been based on clarity and simplicity. The modernists wanted to open a window onto a new world. Postmodernism, by contrast, was more like a broken mirror, a reflecting surface made of many fragments. Its key principles were complexity and contradiction. It was meant to resist authority, yet over the course of two decades, from about 1970 to 1990, it became enmeshed in the very circuits of money and influence that it had initially sought to dismantle. « Read the rest of this entry »
September 1, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The Postmodern Legacy, 29th October 2011, Victoria and Albert Museum, Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre, 11.00am-16.30
Ah, po-mo: derivative pastiche or countercultral critque? Antidote to Modernism’s reifying purity or obfuscating tangle? A done deal or a vitally alive ethic? Held in conjunction with the V&A’s upcoming blockbuster exhibition Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990, this conference will tackle Postmodernism’s contested legacy (or continued relevance) head-on, with the exhibition curators Glen Adamson and Jane Pavitt on hand to provide some illumination into what is often considered one of the more torturous ‘isms’. They will be joined by experts from across the various fields of architecture, design, fashion and graphics, and will be debating the presence of the past, dystopia versus utopia and the products and people who designed for and against global capitalism in the 70s and 80s. You can download the full programme here, and book tickets for both the symposium and the exhibition here.
If you’re a London-based researcher, there are a huge range of other events and workshops being run alongside the exhibition, including a short crash-course in the essential tenets of postmodernism entitled Redux: Postmodernism Revisited, Architecture, Design and Culture starting on the 4th October 2011; a study day for fashionistas (or those of us who remember their shell-suits with fondness) on Designing the Decades: the 1980s, and Craving, Collecting and Caring: Album Covers, a seminar on album cover artwork. Once the V&A have finished with us, then, there’ll be no excuse for not engaging with this controversial phenomena – whether you believe in it or not.
April 1, 2011 § 1 Comment
Gilbert and George Talk: Friday 8th April 2011, 7pm, V&A Lecture Theatre
The artists Gilbert & George discuss their dazzling and epic new project, The Urethra Postcard Pictures, with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Serpentine Gallery Co-Director at the V&A. BSL interpreted. The challenging works of Gilbert & George confound convention and engage with topics including the modern city, sexuality and disease. This event coincides with the publication of a major book, The Complete Postcard Art of Gilbert & George (Prestel, 2011).
March 26, 2011 § 3 Comments
Exhibition at the V&A, 2 April – 17 July. Admission Charge.
This is the first major exhibition to comprehensively explore Aestheticism, an extraordinary artistic movement which sought to escape the ugliness and materialism of the Victorian era by creating a new kind of art and beauty.
The well spring of the ‘new art’ movements of the late 19th century, Aestheticism is now acknowledged for its revolutionary re-negotiation of the relationships between the artist and society, between the ‘fine’ and design arts, as well as between art and ethics and art and criticism. Aesthetic sensibilities produced some of the most sophisticated and sensuously beautiful artworks of the Western tradition. « Read the rest of this entry »