The “Surprise, Surprise" exhibition at the ICA represents the work of 40 contemporary artists who have been invited to create something that is different to what they are best known for. At the request of the artists and the curators, there aren’t any wall labels next to the art works. Only a floor plan indicates who has created which piece. The idea is to provoke a different kind of engagement when one sees artwork and doesn’t initially know who the artist is. The trouble is the surprise element of ‘Surprise Surprise’ is only effective if the viewer is familiar with the artist’s work. I ended up spending more time trying to locate each piece in the map to find the artists’ names because I was unfamiliar with them than I would have if the labels had been at their places.
The acclaimed Le Pain Quotidien has just opened its third restaurant in the UK on the South Bank next to the Festival Hall. A firm favourite with Camronites, this bakery-cum-eatery is renown for its delicious sourdough bread, bowls of steaming coffee, inventive tartine creations, mouth-watering salads and now its new supper menu and list of organic wines. Whether you want to read the paper or meet friends Le Pain Quotidien provides the perfect rest bite from hectic London life.
7am – 11pm Mon – Fri, 8am – 11pm Sat, 9 – 10pm Sun.
12-13 Belvedere Road, Festival Walk, SE1 8XX. 020 7401 8910
ILVA opening for the first time in the UK in August and we went to Lakeside to have a look. We are big ILVA fans – having first seen the Copenhagen store near the airport. It is beautifully designed by Schmidt Hammer and Lassen which is a brave step for a mass market retailer. The cafe is stunning
ILVA will be opening up next in Manchester to be followed at the end of the year by Newcastle. It is excellent in particular for living spaces and office furniture – not so good on accessories. You can log onto ILVA.co.uk – but the website does not do justice to the brand. It is a welcome new addition to the retail landscape.
This amazing development just outside of Beijing is a private collection of 12 houses designed by Asian Architects, including Kengo Kuma. It was first exhibited in 2002 at the Venice Architecture Biennale. The original project models are now in the Pompidou Centre. The development really is world-class and is a must see for fans of modern architecture. Thankfully the development will open at the end of September as a luxury hotel.
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