Gagosian London opens and underground art

Gagosian opens in London, Art goes underground in Waterloo and at home in Camberwell

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GoGo goes to London

It is official: Gagosian Gallery is opening in London. “We’ve found a great space in Mayfair, but, as we haven’t yet signed, it isn’t completely final. But all seems to be going OK and—subject to builders and architects completing on schedule—we are hoping to open in October-November”, Gagosian Gallery’s Stefan Ratibor told The Art Newspaper. Mr Ratibor, a managing director of Christie’s in Germany before he joined Gagosian Gallery, will run their London branch with co-director Molly Brocklehurst, who came to Gagosian from Sotheby’s.

“The New York gallery and Mr Gagosian himself will continue to be the focal points of the operation, but we will represent his interests in Europe both in terms of selling existing gallery artists and experimenting with new artists” said Mr Ratibor. However, when asked about who would be showing in Gagosian’s London space, Mr Ratibor would not be drawn. “We can’t give any details of exhibitions at this point. We have decided not to publicise our programme until the site is completely sorted out.” Until then, Gagosian Gallery’s operations in London consist of “a desk and a telephone and not much more” in nearby Berkeley Square.

Art goes underground at Waterloo

Anyone crossing Waterloo Bridge for the past few weeks cannot have failed to notice the giant work by painter Howard Hodgkin which wraps around the seven-storey drum of the new BFI IMAX cinema in the centre of Waterloo roundabout. What is not so well known is that more works of art lurk in the subway underpasses beneath. From this month, one of these subterranean passages, formerly colonised by London’s homeless, is transformed into a twinkling blue-painted constellation of 10,000 LEDs courtesy of artist Ron Haselden, while other underground walkways have on permanent display a “Travelling poem” by artist-poet Sue Hubbard, and an “Ice cave” by glass sculptor Diane Radford. And that is before you’ve been immersed in the 3D experience of what is the largest cinema screen in the UK.

Laura Godfrey-Isaacs stays at home—but internets

It is a time honoured tradition to exhibit contemporary art in domestic surroundings, and it is a tradition that artist Laura Godfrey-Isaacs plays with in her new art space “Home” which, as the name implies, is in her Victorian house in Camberwell, South East London. “I’m trying to show work in a domestic context in as many ways as possible” she told The Art Newspaper. This month in “Home 2” Ms Godfrey-Isaacs not only throws her house open to a posse of performance artists, including such top names as Bobby Baker and Gary Stevens, but also breaks new ground by having the two-day event (9-10 July) on show to a small audience in situ as well as relayed to a screening at 291 Gallery (10 July), and shown live on that night on the internet. In addition, the exhibition will be virtually viewable on the internet’s Gallery Channel from 10 July onwards. A CD-Rom will follow—so there’s no excuse not to see the show.

Contemporary art flies high at London airports

It seems that you have only to catch a plane to encounter the latest in contemporary art. Thanks to the British Airport Authority’s (BAA) art programme, for the past eighteen months passengers using Heathrow airport’s Terminal 1 flight connection centre have been able to experience Julian Opie’s stylised version of the British landscape both on TV monitors as well as on four large light boxes, one over eighty foot-long. In Pier 4A, those in transit between England and Ireland continue to be treated to a rolling series of works by the latest in Irish art (currently on show are videos by Ronan McCrea, and photographic images by Michael Minnis and Shirley MacWilliam), while for some time now Virgin’s clubhouse lounges in Terminal 3 have played host to a series of themed shows featuring works from Andy Warhol to Angela Bulloch.

Now the new main building of British Airways has been infiltrated by the most radical of artworks: “Waterside walk” a multilayered sound piece by Canadian artist Janet Cardiff. In a new departure from June onwards, visitors and staff are invited to don a discman to conduct them through Neils Thorp’s innovative new £200 million BA building in West London which was completed last summer. This piece has been specially commissioned by BA, and is just the latest in a series of works commissioned by the BA both nationally and internationally, from the recently completed Sol LeWitt walldrawing in New York’s JFK airport to works by Chris Ofili in Manchester. Next stop: artist-designed in flight entertainment, perhaps?

o Details of art at IMAX Tel: +44 (0)171 902 1260

o Details of Home Tel: +44 (0)171 274 3452, fax +44 (0)171 274 3452 e-mail: lgi@aol.com. Gallery Channel: www.pinkink.net/gallerychannel/home2

o Details of Janet Cardiff’s “Waterside walk” Kate Gay at BA Tel: +44 (0)181 738 8528

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'With a desk and a phone'

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