Design Museum, London, 1 March—29 June 2003.
Going round the exhibition, which continues until the end of June, it became clear that there were no unifying criteria against which the four finalists could be judged. How do you compare groundbreaking electronic equipment with a video game? Or with a bubble gum pink ring whose top flicks open to reveal an uncut diamond and a Union flag confection of red, white and blue enamel with a ruby in its centre (bought by Elton John)? And how do you compare these products with the chandelier, made in the shape of a horse, that has crystal globes suspended on nylon wire and halogen lamps on a steel frame made by Tord Boontje? In the days of the Council of Industrial Design (before it turned into the Design Council), at least the Design Centre Awards were given to specific categories of products judged, arguably, by criteria based on form-follows-function and truth-to-materials.
There is a further departure made by the Designer of the Year Award, namely that this year there was not only a panel of judges — including fashion designer Paul Smith, product designer, Marc Newson, Paula Antonelli from the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the design historian, Emily King — but also the chance for the public to vote; 20,000 actually did so. While the Design Museum will not give a breakdown of the votes, it appears, however, that the public vote and the judges were in agreement.
New acquisition: Quattro Stagioni by Cy Twombly, Tate Modern, London
American artist Cy Twombly (see ‘Philosophy in Paint’) has four tall canvases on exhibition at the Tate Modern. ‘Quattro Stagioni’ (Four Seasons), a painting in four parts, was executed during the period 1993-94.
The Horse: 30,000 Years of the Horse in Art – book review
The Horse: 30,000 Years of the Horse in Art by Tamsin Pickeral is a gallop through art history from prehistoric times to the present, with the focus narrowed on the horse - a long-standing and yet surprisingly unmentioned muse of artists spanning centuries and continents, schools and movements. A creature of practicality and mythology alike, promising loyalty as well as escape, serenity and passion, domestic bliss and gallivanting into the wilderness, the horse indeed is a subject of promise.
Morandi's Legacy: Influences on British Art – book review
This publication is essentially also the catalogue to the exhibition of the same name, which was first shown at the Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal (12 January-25 March 2006) and subsequently at the Estorick Collection, 39a Canonbury Square, London. Professor Paul Coldwell both curated the exhibition and created the catalogue, with support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Raphael - Architect (Raffaello Santi)
The Raphael exhibition at the National Gallery in London does not extol his skills as an architect in the true tradition of the Renaissance. Nor will even a small proportion of those visiting this landmark exhibition be aware of this fact.
John Pawson – Plain Space
The most celebrated of Mies van der Rohe’s aphorisms was Less is More and just how this principle can be taken to extremes is shown in the exhibition of work by John Pawson at the Design Museum in London