The minimalist approach to art and its display has been ousted: white walls, severe lines & seriousness is a thing of the past. The new look, and one that sings to me, is a residential approach in conjunction with display, right at the source of conception & production: the studio, warehouse or workshop.
Some great examples I have experienced on my global jaunts this year:
-The Alexander McQueen exhibit at The Met was a genius of interior design (creative director Sam Gainsbury and production designer Joseph Bennett) that covered a variety of textures & finishes and placed McQueen's genius in a residential-like series of rooms.
-Palazzo Fortuny for the Biennale, Axel Verdoodt's curation & display at the impressive palazzo collection, as well as his own, straddled the notion of residential and workshop setting. Spread over four floors, the existing finishes & textures of the building are highlighted through ambient lighting & play with additional structures & paint complementing the ancient materials of the palazzo. There is a beauty in the untouched, raw, walls & finishes- the imperfections embraced and highlighted. The play of the old & modern reveals the special in the finished artworks as they hang overhead, encased, flat or 3D, projected or centre-stage. A vast mix of installation, modern art, sculpture, video, ancient rugs, furniture and fortuny fabrics that line the walls, giant in scale, to create the backdrop of some of the styled areas. Comfortable linen covered sofas scattered with fortuny covered cushions are mixed in for visitors to relax & immerse themselves. I could live here.
-Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature (see my post): the stag & wolf room play on placement with B&B Italia sofas that face one another in the centre of a wood panelled room with soft floor lights offering a lounge room environment, even though you are looking at bronze sculptures attached to the ceiling, a full size stag in one corner, a smiling wolf and ancient tapestries that line the walls.
-Glasstress is a contemporary art exhibition on the new concept and interpretation of Murano glass in Venice. It was held in an old glass blowing factory, old kilns & all. The lighting of the space is considered along with the art, the vista, placement, interaction & discovery for the curious visitor. The sense of surprise & intrigue this delivers creates a level of depth, made of many layers & textures that only exaggerate & amplify the the integrity of the show. Many of the pieces, all integrating glass, are site specific or in the least, placed with much consideration & thought within and against the existing industrious space of exposed brick, uneven concrete floors & arched panelled windows.