Review of Liverpool Biennial 2014

This review appeared in Frieze, Sept. 2014.   You can imagine the bemusement when the commission arrived. British artist Chris Evans – a participant in this year’s Liverpool Biennial – invited Boodles, the celebrated luxury jewelers in the city, to craft a piece of jewellery in response to the art festival’s press release. This is … Continue reading

Public art and its opponents

This is a review of two books – Joanna Rajkowska’s Where the Beast Is Buried (Zero Books, 2013) and Tom Finkelpearl’s What We Made: Conversations on Art and Social Cooperation (Duke University Press, 2013) – which appeared in Frieze magazine.     Recently, a work of art returned to Warsaw after spending almost two years in an … Continue reading

Symposium on Zoos in Central Europe in London in mid September organised by Eszter Steierhoffer

The Dark Side of the Modern Home

This is an extract of an essay published in Sparke, Massey, Keeble and Martin, eds., Designing the Modern Interior (Berg, 2009) ♦ The modern home is, conventionally, bathed in the light of order. Adolf Loos’s vision of a ‘New Zion’ stripped of its nostalgic ornament; Le Corbusier’s ‘fenêtre en longeur’; and Pierre Koenig’s glass curtain walls … Continue reading

Dan Perjovschi: The Power of the Margins

The international art world ‘discovered’ Dan Perjovschi in 1999 when his drawings were displayed in the Romanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.[1] Under the title ‘rEST’, he covered the floor with cartoons and slogans in thick marker-pen reflecting on life in Eastern-Central Europe since the overthrow of communist rule 10 years earlier. Over time, his … Continue reading

‘Laughing at My Head’ – The ‘Immature’ Art of Neue Bieremiennost

I was commissioned to write a piece about the early years of artist Mirosław Bałka and his colleagues when they sailed under the flag of ‘Neue Bieremiennost’. The piece appears in a book written and edited by Kasia Redzisz and Karol Sienkiewicz with the title Świadomość Neue Bieriemiennost (Fundacja Open Art Projects, Warsaw, 2012). ♦ … Continue reading

Paradise Lost?

This piece was published in Piktogram in 2005. ♦ The Art of Home In 1956 a member of the British art police set up home. Jim Eade, a former curator at the Tate Gallery, decided to turn his picturesque house, Kettle’s Yard, in the university city of Cambridge into a gallery for the defence of … Continue reading

Sacrifice, Madness, Ruins and Other Polish Dreams

This essay was written for the catalogue accompanying The Power of Fantasy. Modern and Contemporary Art from Poland at BOZAR in Brussels, summer 2011. ♦ 46476243 The Spirit that Outlasts Matter On first inspection, Jakub Ziółkowski’s painting The Great Battle under the Table (Wielka bitwa pod stołem, 2006) combines the heroic and the domestic. The … Continue reading

Speaking about exhibitions

Last night I went to a talk – of sorts – at the RCA called ‘Spoken Exhibition’ which represents ‘historic’ and yet unbuilt buildings, unmade works of art and lost music scores in the form of a radio play or, perhaps, a spoken opera. It was performed with a script and minimal props – a … Continue reading

Electric Birdsong

The University of Brighton Gallery is currently hosting a retrospective exhibition of the work of German sound artist Peter Vogel. Spindly frames dressed with transistors and capped with speakers eschew monumentality or anything as straightforward as a message. They are like electronic pets which respond to the presence of people. When a viewer casts a … Continue reading