An archive of my ever expanding book and print collection

Tag: Serpentine Gallery

Richard Hamilton – Polaroids

I recently posted my Richard Hamilton Polaroid books (here), which documented Hamilton’s 34 year long project to have his portrait taken by every artist he met. In  2010, the Serpentine Gallery held an exhibition of Hamilton’s more political works to great acclaim; it turned out to be one of his last major exhibitions as he sadly passed away the following year. In conjunction with this exhibition, Hamilton revisited his Polaroid Portraits project and restored all the original images with the help of his son. These images were then offered as an edition to Serpentine patrons and visitors. However, rather than being able to choose which Polaroid you wanted Hamilton organised a raffle. Each person was allowed to buy a single raffle ticket for £145 (if i remember correctly) and towards the end of the exhibition Hamilton held an evening at the gallery where he raffled off each unique original print with the help of Roxy Music singer, Bryan Ferry. With our raffle tickets, we got Polaroids taken by the American artist Ron Kitaj and British Painter Stephen Buckley.

Anthony McCall – Between You and I

British born artist Anthony McCall was a central figure of the London Film-makers Co-operative in the 1970’s and was renowned for his filmed performances involving fire. After moving to New York in 1973, McCall embarked on a new series of Solid Light works, the most famous being Line Describing a Cone. Using rooms filled with a smoky haze, McCall projected beams of light that slowly pulsed and morphed, creating shapes that drew their footprint on the walls and floors of the space. At the end of the 70’s, McCall all but retired from the art world and his work faded in to history. It was only 20 years later, when McCall was reinvigorated by the possibilities of digital projection, that he started to make work again and reopened his Solid Light series. Around the same time, his work was enjoying somewhat of a renaissance and exhibited in major museum all over the world.

In 2007, the Serpentine Gallery presented a retrospective of his work, including film, drawings, photographs and scores, largely from McCall’s personal archive. This exhibition reinvigorated the UK art establishments interest in his work and he has since had a number of major exhibitions and commissions, including the upcoming piece Column, a spinning column of vapour cloud that will rise from the Wirral waters near Liverpool. To accompany his exhibition at the Serpentine, McCall produced a limited edition print of his Solid Light piece Between You and I. The print (53cm x 37.5cm) was produced in an edition of 150 and has since sold out although a similar print entitled Coupling can be bought from Peer here.


Yoko Ono – Serpentine Gallery Exhibition

Last night was the private view for Yoko Ono’s exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in London, her first exhibition in London for more than 10 years. Prior to the opening, Ono sat down with art critic Waldemar Januszczak for a Q&A session in the pavillion that drew a large crowd. Afterwards, the gallery was opened and crowds queued all night to get a look at the exhibition.

The exhibition includes both new and previously exhibited works; outside the gallery, Yoko has installed Wish Tree where visitors are asked to write down their wishes, ask a friend to do the same and then tie them to the trees. Yoko Ono has been collecting these wishes for over 15 years and now has over one million. Inside, there are numerous films and installations, including the infamous Ceiling Painting that has become a symbol for John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s first meeting. In the central atrium a perspex maze turns the viewer into the observed object and a wall of screens show iconic films from throughout her career.

Central to the exhibition, and perhaps Ono’s grandest project to date, is Smile; an international project that asks people to upload geotagged images of themselves smiling which are then turned in to a film. You can find out about uploading your smile and being part of the project here.

2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion – Ai Weiwei and Herzog & de Meuron

Last night, against a backdrop of high winds and pouring rain, saw the launch of the Serpentine Gallery’s 2012 pavilion. Each year the gallery commissions an architectural firm to come up with a unique and innovative temporary structure for their lawn. This year, the people behind the 2008 Beijing olympic stadium, Herzog & de Meuron and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, came up with a pavilion that paid tribute it’s predecessors. The structure goes underground to explore the foundations of previous pavilions; cork clad geometric shapes cut across the space, creating multiple levels to explore, whilst 12 columns support a floating platform of water above. Despite the rain there was a good turn out as everyone sheltered in the pavilion between runs to the bar. The pavilion will host a number of cultural events over the summer as part of the London 2012 Festival, including the Serpentine Gallery Memory Marathon, the seventh marathon in a series conceived by the gallery’s co-director Hans Ulrich Obrist.

(additional images courtesty of Serpentine Gallery and Iwan Baan)

copyright Iwan Baan




Dayanita Singh – Blue Book Special Edition

Indian photographer Dayanita Singh is internationally renowned for her work that involves the notions of journey and communication. Her photographic works are often accompanied by uniquely designed books that open her work to a wider audience (she is fiercely protective of her photographs and rarely sells them), in fact Singh describes herself as a bookmaker working with photography.

In 2008, the Serpentine Gallery presented Indian Highwayan exhibition of the pioneering work being created in India today. As part of this group exhibition, Singh presented her Blue Book project. The images in this project were made during her travels around the industrial landscapes of India, and as the name suggests, the images share a common theme of the colour blue. The richness of the blues in many of the images are almost hyperreal; Singh never manipulates her images in post production, instead the effect is achieved through using daylight colour film. The overall feeling of the project is one of peace and serenity, many of the images are created at dawn/dusk long after everyone has left. The culmination of this collection of images was Blue Book, a small cardboard folder containing 23 postcards which could be used to disseminate her work and communicate with others. For the exhibition, Singh created a special edition of 100 copies which included a 9cmx9cm print of the most well know image from this project, Dream Villa 11.

Dream Villa 11

Luke Fowler – Pleasure Of Your Company (2009)

British artist and film maker, Luke Fowler was recently announced as one of this years Turner Prize shorlisted artists. His works, which are often described as cinematic collages, incorporate audio recordings that compliment rather than didactically labour the visuals. In 2008, he was awarded the Derek Jarman Award at the Serpentine Gallery which was followed by his first major solo exhibition there the following year. The exhibition comprised three films covering subjects such as the Kingsley Hall refuge set up by psychiatrist R.D. Laing and the career of avant-garde composer Cornelius Cardew. The exhibition was accompanied by a limited edition print entitled Pleasure Of Your Company which was produced in an edition size of 150. The print is still available direct from the gallery and is sure to be a good investment.

Richard Hamilton – Polaroid Portraits (Vol. 1, 2, 3 & 4)

Up until his death in 2011 aged 89, the British artist Richard Hamilton continued to create arresting works in the Pop Art style, of which he was at the forefront. In 2010, he had a retrospective of his more political works at The Serpentine Gallery; to accompany the exhibition, Hamilton raffled off works from a series called Polaroid Portraits. I had not come across these works before but managed to get hold of one for my art collection. At the raffle Hamilton explained the Polaroid project and gave an insightful view in to his past. The project, in essence, was a real time photographic autobiography of his life through the medium of Polaroid photos and was exhibited in full at the IKON gallery in 2001. Starting in 1968, Hamilton asked artists he met to take his picture using a polaroid camera. Once he had collected 32, they were published in a volume, the first being in 1972. These books were small and devoid of text other than the name of the artist taking the picture and the year it was taken. On the cover was a list of all the artists contained in the book. The project eventually ran to four volumes, with the final volume being published in 2002, the artist list reads like a Who’s Who of 20th century art and includes artists such as Warhol, Baldessari, Bacon, Beuys, Lichtenstein and Oldenburg to name just a few. Journeying through these evocative portraits, you get a glimpse into his life and his love for art in all its forms. After the raffle at The Serpentine, I managed to track down and buy all four volumes of the series, some are easier to find than others.

(click images to enlarge)

Ed Ruscha

Gerhard Richter

Andy Warhol

Jasper Johns

John Baldessari

Christian Boltanski

Robert Rauschenburg

Gustav Metzger

Cerith Wyn Evans – Something Like A Picture (For Gustav) 2009 Artist Edition Print

In addition to the Marina Abramovic print I have previously posted, the Serpentine Gallery released a print by Welsh conceptual artist Cerith Wyn Evans to coincide with the Gustav Metzger exhibition at  in 2009. Wyn Evans produced the print as an homage to Metzger and hoped that the picture “attain the status of something like a key to the fabulous possibilities of the real that don’t castigate blame or promote promotion”.

The print (31.5 x 21.5 cm) was produced in an edition of 150 and is still available to purchase from the Serpentine here.

Marina Abramovic – The Kitchen Artists Edition Print

In 2009, the Serpentine Gallery had a retrospective exhibition of Gustav Metzgers work. In conjunction with this exhibition, Marina Abramovic created an edition print entitled “The Kitchen”. Whilst she is considered first and foremost a performance artist, photography plays an important role in her work. She often uses the medium to document her performances, often in its last moments, providing the only lasting trace of the event ever having occurred.

“The Kitchen is a mysterious image, alluding to a space where only the simplest remnants of human life remain, lightly resting upon almost translucent marble shelves. This parallels Gustav Metzger’s focus on our relationship to our environment and his call for a more pared back, gentle relationship to the world around us.”

It’s very rare that Abramovic creates artists editions so this is a real highlight of my collection. The print is 48cmx48cm and was produced in an edition of 150.

Limited Edition Print

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