Guardian Unlimited Arts

Guardian Unlimited Arts

Latest art and design news, comment and analysis from the Guardian
  1. With their eerily pristine models of Apple and Facebook’s offices, Turner-nominated artist duo Langlands & Bell expose the ‘fantasy of total control’ that is Silicon Valley architecture

    Eerie white forms appear to float off the walls of a gallery on Pall Mall, hovering in front of lurid blocks of colour like the preserved cadavers of some alien race displayed in a future museum of natural history. There are amoebic creatures with bulbous appendages, others with angular faceted shells; some seem to stare out with cyclopean eyes or gaping circular mouths.

    Westminster’s gilded avenue of gentlemen’s clubs, where kings and earls once strode, is an appropriate place for what turns out to be a display of our modern-day vessels of power. These bleached bodies are the headquarters buildings of the world’s biggest technology companies, as seen through the detached, deadpan eyes of artist duo Langlands & Bell.

    Continue reading...
  2. Czech photographer Ludwig Jindra was sent on a world tour by his government – and opened up understanding about Tuareg culture and beyond

    Continue reading...
  3. Guardian picture editors have chosen ten readers’ pictures as part of a new series showcasing the best of your work and giving feedback

    Continue reading...
  4. They were sold on their proximity to Tate Modern. Now the residents of luxury flats are taking the gallery to court, arguing its viewing platform invades their privacy. It’s part of a wider hijacking of cultural hotspots by property developers

    Good walls make good neighbours – but not, it seems, when they are made entirely of glass. Five residents of the multi-million-pound Neo Bankside towers, which loom behind Tate Modern like a crystalline bar chart of inflated land values, have filed a legal claim against the museum to have part of its viewing platform shut down. They claim that its 10th-floor public terrace has put their homes into a state of “near constant surveillance”.

    Climb to the summit of the Tate’s new twisted brick ziggurat and you are rewarded with majestic views of London’s skyline, where St Paul’s dome now competes for attention with the portly stump of the Walkie-Talkie, the swollen shaft of One Blackfriars and a host of other novelty forms in the capital’s own drunken sculpture garden. But most visitors are to be found huddled around the other side of the terrace, gawping at a spectacle of another kind: the pristine still lives of rich people’s homes.

    Continue reading...
  5. National Gallery, London
    Waterfalls and dancers, Maya Angelou and Mario Balotelli … Chris Ofili’s exotic reverie took five weavers three years to translate from watercolour to tapestry. The result plunges you into a heady over-ripe Eden

    Larger than life, the women dance round the walls. Grey upon grey, picked out with darker accents and the soft sheen and sinuous billowing of drapery, the glimmering whiteness of bangles and anklets, necklaces and earrings, hairdos and turbans, the painted chorus of 27 dancers parade across the walls of the Sunley Room at London’s National Gallery. Skinny-waisted, big bellied, swaying and turning, pouting and preening, the women leer and smile amid dense foliage in grey but sultry light giving one another – and us – furtive glances and knowing looks. Three sunbathe on their stomachs above a doorway.

    Part Hindu or Balinese temple dancers, part Botticelli floosies, or ethnic exotics in a tourist-trap floorshow. Some have fanciful Fu Manchu beards and ornate moustaches. Derived from a series of studies, Chris Ofili’s floor-to-ceiling frieze was executed by scenic painters from the Royal Opera House. More than a backdrop, you imagine colour just as you imagine music. On the far wall, the dancers clear a space for an enormous tapestry, an explosion of colour, like a sudden Technicolor scene dropped into a black and white musical.

    Continue reading...
  6. Giancarlo Ceraudo has spent 15 years documenting the victims of Argentina’s purge of political opponents – and the ongoing search for justice and closure

    Continue reading...
  7. A landmark collection of black dolls showcases troubling stereotypes but also reveals how children have seen themselves reflected in the toys they played with

    From the 1890s to the 1930s in Macon, Georgia, a black handyman named Leo Moss was a pioneer of black dolls. He painted doll faces black with chimney soot and had his wife design their clothes. Their papier-mache heads were made out of scrap pieces of wallpaper he collected on odd jobs he performed for white families. Every single doll was unique, created in the images of family and friends.

    Related:Claudia Rankine on Whitney Biennial row: 'Anyone who is subject to a culture can use it'

    Continue reading...
  8. If you lived in rural Cork in the 60s and wanted your picture taken, there was only one place to go: Dennis Dinneen’s bar

    In 2003, aged 16, David J Moore moved to the small town of Macroom in County Cork, where he soon gravitated to Dinneen’s bar to play pool with the local lads. “It was a regular country pub except that the walls were covered in black and white photographs,” he recalls. “There were all these amazing shots of the locals and the town as well as family gatherings and celebrations. It took me a while to find out that the publican, Dennis Dinneen, was also the photographer.”

    Dinneen’s bar is still a magnet for the locals of Macroom, but the man himself died in 1985, leaving behind an archive of over 20,000 images that amounts to a sustained snapshot of the town and its inhabitants. An exhibition of his work, entitled Small Town Portraits and curated by Moore, has just opened at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin.

    Continue reading...
  9. Exhibition by British sculptor in October to be first in new gallery space carved out of hillside as part of £20m redevelopment

    A major exhibition by the British sculptor Rebecca Warren is to be the inaugural show for the UK’s newest contemporary art space, a gallery literally pounded into the cliffs of Cornwall.

    The extension to Tate St Ives will open in October with a programme that includes Warren, a Patrick Heron retrospective and a group exhibition of 35 female artists responding to the life and writings of Virginia Woolf.

    Continue reading...
  10. UK’s largest architectural firm says nearly 100 staff will go, mainly from its London headquarters

    Britain’s largest architectural firm, Foster + Partners, plans to lay off nearly 100 people, and blamed the uncertainty around construction projects caused by last summer’s Brexit vote.

    The company, whose London projects have included the Millennium Bridge, the Great Hall redevelopment at the British Museum and the Gherkin tower, said the cuts would mainly affect staff at its headquarters in Battersea, south-west London. It said “a cross-section of the team” would be affected, from administrators to architects. The move was first reported by Construction News and its sister title the Architects’ Journal.

    Continue reading...