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London, Serpentine South Gallery: “Grenfell” by Steve Mcqueen.. and More


Serpentine South Gallery: “Grenfell” by Steve Mcqueen

Steve McQueen, ‘Grenfell,’ 2019 (still), courtesy the artist.

London’s public art museum Serpentine South Gallery presents ‘Grenfell,’ a new work by filmmaker and video artist Steve Mcqueen (b. 1969). McQueen has directed acclaimed films such as ’12 Years A Slave (2013)’ and ‘Hunger (2008).’ He was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize for visual arts in 1999. He is a key figure in the rise of cinematic imagery in contemporary art.

The title ‘Grenfell’ refers to Grenfell Tower, a block of flats in west London where a high-rise fire broke out in 2017. The fire in the aging building was catastrophic, killing 72 residents. The poor building management resulting in the loss of lives was a social shock, and criticism arose relating the poor condition to the fact that the building was home to low-income and immigrant residents. Also, the lack of government action taken aftermath is still controversial.

McQueen documented the Grenfell Tower before it was covered with hoarding, with signs of the fire still visible. His work insists the past not be forgotten and criticizes the fact that measures to prevent a recurrence have remained unimplemented. The exhibition is particularly topical as the final Government Inquiry is due to be published later this year.

Grenfell by Steve Mcqueen

April 7, 2023 – May 10, 2023


Centre Pompidou: “S.H. Raza”

Sayed Haider Raza, ‘Udho, Heart is Not Ten or Twenty,’ 1964. Gift of the Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection, 2003. Courtesy Peabody Essex Museum, hors Collection. ©The Raza Foundation. All rights reserved / Adagp, Paris

The Centre Pompidou, Europe’s largest museum of modern art, is presenting a major solo exhibition of Indian-born painter Sayed Haider Raza (1922-2016), one of India’s leading contemporary artists, through May 15.

He founded the Progressive Artists’ Group, a collective of young artists in India after its independence in 1947, and sought to embrace international modernist styles in response to the retrospective and nationalist painting styles of colonial Indian art.

He later lived and worked as a modernist painter in France from 1950 to 2011 before returning to India, where he died in 2016. Throughout his life, Raja continued to experiment as an international modernist painter, exploring traditional Indian motifs and painting styles while absorbing various styles of Western modernism.

With more than 100 works, this exhibition chronicles the evolution of Raza’s oeuvre, celebrating his achievements in leading contemporary Indian art and revealing the cross-cultural intersections of the 20th century.

Centre Pompidou

S.H. Raza (1922-2016)

February 15, 2023 – May 15, 2023


Aedes: “HUTS, TEMPLES, CASTLES” by Ursula Schulz-Dornburg

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Image from ‘Huts, Temples, Castles’ (MACK, 2022). Courtesy of the artist and MACK.

The Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin is an independent institution that has organized architecture-related exhibitions since 1980. Currently at Aedes is the exhibition “HUTS, TEMPLES, CASTLES” by photographer Ursula Schulz-Dornburg (b. 1938).

In 1969, the artist traveled to Amsterdam’s Jongensland, meaning “Boysland” and later renamed “Youthland,” a playground created after World War II by city planners and child psychologists to dispel fascist ideas about child development. Children gathered here to build dens and barns from discarded building materials, care for animals, and have adventures around bonfires. The exhibition features 80 photographs of the children that the artist captured there.

In postwar Europe, the idea that education should provide children with spaces for freedom and creativity emerged in the resistance to fascist education. Nearly 30 years later, in 1996, UNICEF launched the Child Friendly Cities (CFCI) initiative to make cities livable for all, recognizing that “children’s well-being is the ultimate indicator of a healthy habitat, a democratic society, and of good governance.” Today, CFCI continues to work with local governments to create cities that “leave no one behind,” and Youthland is still considered a model of utopia for children.

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Düsseldorf


April 1, 2023 – May 17, 2023

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