What’s Cookin’: London

The best things come in threes and London exhibits are no different. Obviously this happens as soon as I leave the city (thanks Conservatives, David Cameron and co) but the great British capital is now playing host to three dream worthy showcases that’ll make the departure of Savage Beauty that much easier. Below in no particular order:

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Saatchi Gallery

Chanel: Mademoiselle Prive

13 October to November 2015

All three floors of the Saatchi Gallery will be transformed for three weeks in October. The star of Mademoiselle Prive is probably the recently re-issued ‘Bijoux de Diamants’ jewellery collection, which is the first and only fine jewellery collection designed by Coco Chanel in 1932 and was unveiled at Chanel’s Casino themed couture show this July.

The exhibit will also feature the story of Chanel No.5, a retrospective of the brand’s history in Haute Couture, and a history of Chanel’s original vision to Karl Lagerfeld’s present-day interpretation of the brand.

To get yourself in the mood here are links to the series of Coco films imagined, written and directed by Karl Lagerfeld –

“Once Upon A Time…” by Karl Lagerfeld: https://youtu.be/0o9dTCl0hkY

“The Return”” by Karl Lagerfeld: https://youtu.be/sPNIaWc3Slo


Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Duane Hanson

Now until 13 September 2015

One month left as I type this. The Serpentine Sackler Gallery will always be enticing no matter the season but it remains to be seen that it is summertime (and an English summer at that) in Hyde Park so it would be remiss of me not to tell all of you who are in the city from now until the 13th of September to leg it to the Duane Hanson exhibit as soon as the sun peeks out.

An American himself, Hanson’s work exudes Americana. The stunning realism of his sculptures portraying the ordinary life of oft-overlooked blue-collar Americans that form the fabric of the country simultaneously suspend banal moments of the American life and transform these daily trivialities into iconographic material to spotlight the life within the superpower in the 21st century.

The most outstanding work from his oeuvre will be displayed. Among them, the painter dressed in white, painting the room rosy, as he remains unchanged though stained. The lady, somewhat past her prime, sitting among her books and art, garb stuck somewhere in between the 80s and 90s and my personal favourite, a couple sitting at opposite ends of a checkered tablecloth each having a Coca Cola and malted, the man somewhat occupied and the lady somewhat overweight – temporally ambiguous images frozen and put together to sum up life of the generally forgotten in the modern era.

The scanning, parsing and analytical know-how ingrained in my lit major mind goes into overdrive just looking at images of the exhibition so please if you can get yourself there, do go in my stead and tell me what you see.


Royal Academy of Arts

Ai Wei Wei

19 September to 13 December 2015

He’s out! And he’s headed from one capital to another.  The UK is a good friend to Ai Wei Wei, hosting his work in various locations including Blenheim Palace which ended only April this year. Since his sunflower seeds installation in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2010, this is the first institutional survey of his work held in the UK. Selected from two decades’ worth of work, this exhibition plays tribute to the Chinese artist who collaborated with the RA from his studio in Beijing.

As we have come to expect, themes will be deliberately challenging and the chosen works will focus on his own experience with censorship, human rights and creative freedom and the ways in which he has interpreted this as a contemporary Chinese artist and a member of contemporary Chinese society.


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