This article titled “Serpentine pavilion 2017: Francis Kéré’s cool shades of Africa” was written by Rowan Moore, for The Observer on Sunday 25th June 2017 07.00 UTC
“Architecture should give us oxygen,” says Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director and rainmaker-in-chief at the Serpentine Galleries in London. He cites a proposal by his hero, the late conceptual architect Cedric Price, for re-oxygenating Manhattan. He also thinks that oxygen is something that is offered at this year’s Serpentine Pavilion, by the Berlin-based architect Francis Kéré.
Kéré first became interested in building as a child, growing up in Burkina Faso, helping his uncle in the demoralising business of restoring mud-built buildings that degraded every year in the rains. He went to Berlin to study, where among other things he encountered the architecture of Mies van der Rohe, who is the first name that comes up when you ask him his inspirations. He studied and measured a little-known Mies-designed house in east Berlin and admired how it was “little but very powerful”. He liked the architect’s “rationality”.
Kéré decided to bring these qualities to his home town of Gando, in Burkina Faso. He wanted to develop ways of building that worked better, without resorting to the expensive and alien techniques of reinforced concrete and air conditioning favoured by investors from outside. In a location that had no electricity, or access to heavy building machinery, he chose to improve traditional methods.
The buccaneering Sir Francis Drake, who liked a bit of gold and glitter, would undoubtedly be pleased to know that the great barn at his old home, Buckland Abbey in Devon, is once again full of wheat – this time towering golden stalks stretching up towards the medieval roof timbers, installed by the artist Andrew Logan.
The real jackdaws perched in the stone windows chatter their delight at the piece, which incorporates giant mirrored butterflies suspended from the rafters, and tiny shimmering field mice climbing the swaying stalks.
The exhibition of Logan’s work, threaded through the house and grounds of the National Trust property, officially opens on 1 July. However, once installed in the huge barn his Goldfield is impossible to conceal: visitors are enchanted, returning repeatedly to sit on the benches and just watch the piece change with the light and shiver in every breeze.
Logan’s sculptures, paintings and jewellery are in many museum and private collections, including the National Portrait Gallery, but his own most famous invention, the camp and glittery Alternative Miss World contest, staged at irregular intervals since 1972, has overshadowed his career.
Award-winning Manchester-based artist Ian Rayer-Smith presents a solo exhibition of new paintings at Zari Gallery from 20 to 29 April 2017.
Strongly influenced by the work of the abstract expressionists and the romantic light of the old masters, Ian Rayer-Smith’s large oil and acrylic paintings effortlessly fuse abstraction, the figurative and the surreal.
Consisting entirely of brand new works produced within the last year, the exhibition explores the very act of painting itself and the process of mark making, which has been man’s most basic form of expression for millennia.
“I like my paintings to carry an emotional charge, not only in its subject matter but also through the energy and visceral nature of the materials I use. Soft and amorphous, they accentuate the tactile feel of nature, avoiding any sense of repetition so as to constantly offer something new
and surprising” Ian Rayer-Smith
Voted one of Manchester’s Top 10 Artists by Manchester Confidential and Winner of the 2014 Warrington Contemporary Prize, Ian Rayer-Smith has been hailed as one of the North’s artists to watch. This is his first solo exhibition in London.
I met Pedro as an artist who was selected to exhibit at the first ever #FLUXExhibition. He has since become a great friend and an even more incredible artist. We are delighted to be showing his work again at the prestigious Chelsea College of Art where he has previously studied.
Pedro Sousa Louro has always lived with cubist images. Pedro transfers his soul to canvas. His work is his way of portraying feelings, emotions and perceptions both consciously and unconsciously. For Pedro art is as natural and needed as food or water. Pedro has studied and continues to study art and art techniques, constantly developing his style. His art shows intensity, a passion and a statement that draws you in and captivates you. His new work encompasses expressions that have been broken up and reassembled in an abstract form, with clear chronological elements aiding the story of his work.
Tate Britain is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with Pride in London and will officially launch the two-week Pride Festival at Tate Britain on Saturday 24 June.
A day long celebration of the LGBTQ+ community has been planned to coincide with Tate Britain’s exhibition Queer British Art 1861-1967 and will be the special launch event for the Pride in London festival. Tate Britain will also be flying the rainbow flag above the gallery from 5 April, the opening date of Queer British Art, until the end of July.
Pride in London at Tate Britain will run from 2pm to 10pm on 24 June and will explore and celebrate LGBTQ+ through music, performance, talks, tours and film. The event kicks off the two-week festival which culminates in the annual Pride parade, where Tate will have a float.
Clare Barlow, Curator of Queer British Art, said:
‘We are so pleased to work with Pride in London on this fantastic event that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community in London and beyond. It is a great addition to the programme surrounding the Queer British Art exhibition and it will be an amazing opportunity to celebrate the diversity of Queer culture in Tate’s collection.’