of Objects of Art
Once Again the Wprld is Flat includes key works from Haim Steinbach's 40-year career, during which he has re-defined the status of the object in art. On display will be major new works, reconfigured historical installations and a number of grid-based paintings from the early 1970s.
Up until the mid-1970s, Steinbach explored minimalism’s limitations through painting calculated placements of coloured bars around monochrome squares. He then abandoned painting to create work using the material linoleum, made to resemble a diverse range of historical floor designs. By the late 1970s, Steinbach had begun to investigate spatial questions, honing in on the daily rituals of collecting and arranging objects.
Steinbach's interest in the fundamental human practice of collecting is explored through his placing of objects from a variety of contexts on shelving units, which range from handmade constructions to modular building systems. For this exhibition Steinbach has also invited the public to participate by presenting their salt and pepper shakers in the exhibition, forming a new work for the exhibition. Each with their own history and story, the salt and pepper shakers carry meaning from a former context and, through their display, the connection between the private and the public sphere is made.
The Serpentine has also invited curators from a range of private and public institutions – including the Zabludowicz Collection and the V&A Museum of Childhood in London and Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery – to select works from their collections to be incorporated in the exhibition. Through juxtaposing paintings, sculpture, artefacts and children’s playthings, Steinbach uncovers alternative meanings inherent in the objects.
A ground-breaking presentation of design, curated by influential London-based Italian designer Martino Gamper, runs concurrently at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Furthering the Serpentine’s commitment to contemporary design -- following Konstantin Grcic’s Design Real in 2009 -- both exhibitions highlight objects that have made a significant impact on our lives.
Haim Steinbach >
Haim Steinbach, Shelf with Ajax, 1981,Wood and plastic shelf; “Ajax” cleanser can, 55.8 cm x 35.56cm x 35.56cm, Courtesy of the artist.
Haim Steinbach, Salt and pepper collection, 2013, Installation view, Statens Museum, Copenhagen, 20th & 21st century salt and pepper shakers (unknown designers), Dimensions variable, Photo credit: Anders Sune Berg.
Hendrick Goltzius, Hercules Killing Cacus, 1588, Chiaroscuro woodcut, detail.
Chiaroscuro from George Baselitz and the Albertina
Often based on designs by celebrated Renaissance masters such as Parmigianino, Raphael and Titian depicting well-known biblical scenes and legends, chiaroscuro woodcuts were the first color prints that made dramatic use of light and shadow — chiaroscuro — to suggest form, volume and depth.
Chiaroscuro Woodcuts >>
Arturo Zavattini (b. 1930), Set of La Dolce Vita, Marcello Mastroianni, Solares Fondazione delle Arti, detail.
Paparazzi in the Time of 'La Dolce Vita'
This exhibition explores one of the most fertile periods in contemporary Italian cinema and the simultaneous explosion of celebrity culture. The eighty photographs capture the dolce vita (lthe sweet life) enjoyed by Italian movie stars and Hollywood "royalty’ working in Rome during the 1960s.
La Dolce Vita >>
Sigmar Polke, German, from Quetta’s Hazy Blue Sky/Afghanistan-Pakistan. c. 1974-76.
Sigmar Polke, Skeptic and Defector of Blame
Widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of the postwar generation, Polke possessed an irreverent wit that, coupled with his exceptional grasp of the properties of his materials, pushed him to experiment freely with the conventions of art and art history.
Sigmar Polkei >>
Rokni & Ramin Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian and Iman Raad, Joyous Treatise, 2011-14, detail.
Exquisite Corpse, Beyond Narrative, Into the Mystic
As visitors enter the gallery and step onto a lavishly painted floor they become part of a production set in motion by artists Rokni and Ramin Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian. After this' dollhouse' came together, the trio presented their unique and immersive ambience to captive audiences.
Drink the New Winei >>
are a State
of Design Mind
Influential London-based Italian designer Martino Gamper guest-curates a new exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery.. design is a state of mind will present a landscape of shelving systems, telling the story of design objects and their impact on our lives. This is the second major design exhibition staged by the Serpentine, following Design Real curated by Konstantin Grcic in 2009.
Martino Gamper said: “There is no perfect design and there is no über-design. Objects talk to us personally. Some might be more functional than others, and the emotional attachment is very individual. This exhibition will showcase a very personal way of collecting and gathering objects – these are pieces that tell a tale.”
An extensive display of shelving systems from the 1930s to the present day will form the backbone of the exhibition. Ranging from historic design classics and one-off pieces, to industrial, utilitarian, contemporary and newly commissioned work, the exhibition will include designs by Gaetano Pesce, Ettore Sottsass, Ercol, Gio Ponti and IKEA.
Each display system will also be used to organise and exhibit collections of objects curated from the personal archives of Gamper’s friends and colleagues as well as an extensive library of contemporary furniture manufacturing catalogues from around the world. Among the designers whose collections will be displayed are: Oiva Toikka; Enzo Mari; Paul Neale; Max Lamb; Jane Dillon; Michael Marriott; Sebastian Bergne; Gemma Holt; Fabien Cappello; Adam Hills; Michael Anastassiades; Andrew McDonagh & Andreas Schmidt, Jerszy Seymour and Martino Gamper himself.
design is a state of mind runs concurrently with an expansive exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery by American artist Haim Steinbach, which will include key works from throughout his impressive forty year career. Furthering the Serpentine’s commitment to contemporary design, both exhibitions highlight objects that have made a significant impact on our lives and offer new perspectives on material culture.
Working across design and art venues, Martino Gamper engages in a variety of projects from exhibition design, interior design, specialist of one-off commissions and the design of mass-produced products for the cutting edge of the international furniture industry. Gamper has worked in the public realm, with designs for London’s Design Museum; Victoria & Albert Museum; Wellcome Trust; Yerba Buena Centre, San Francisco; Frieze Art Fair, London. Commissions include the design of public street furniture for Park-to-Park, London in collaboration with LTGDC, Genève and a chair called Vigna for Magis, Italy. He was the recipient of the Moroso Award for Contemporary Art, 2011 and Wallpaper Award for Best Use of Colour, 2011.
Martino Gamper >
Michele De Lucchi, Montefeltro, 2008, Oak frame, walnut elements, linseed oil finishing, Image: Amendolagine e Barracchia, Courtesy of Nilufar.