Photo Essays

Exhibition and Display of Art and Material Culture (England)

Photos and Captions by Sarah Burger

From January 6th - 19th, Professor Carlo Lamagna taught a group of students studying Visual Arts Administration, Visual Culture Theory, Music Business, Educational Technology, and Independent study (Gallatin) in London. The course, Exhibition and Display of Art and Material Culture, sought to analyze and compare concepts of methodology, typology and space, evolution, interpretation, and value within various arts institutions and galleries in London. Coming from New York, City, rich in its culture and history, London was an excellent comparison. Even when we were not on a site visit, art was always apparent. On a trip to Camden in search of a noodle bar we stumbled upon a Banksy artwork. His work is all over the city, and yet is very unassuming. People often pass by without the slightest notice of this prolific artist's "graffiti art".

The Tate Modern recently held a retrospective of the work of Louise Bourgeois. Class groups were asked to visit exhibitions in the Tate Britain, National Portrait Gallery and Tate Modern. The purpose of this exercise was to make a critical analysis of what worked about the exhibitions and what did not. Students later presented information in a class discussion. Outside the Tate is Bourgeois' sculpture titled "Maman". The large scale of Bourgeois's massive spider set against the high-reaching tower of the former power station is a monumental sight.

Cabinet Gallery was one of many stops that our class made during our two week stay. The commercial gallery had an exhibition of Wendingen, an art magazine published 1918 - 1932. The monthly publication had artists ranging from the muralist Diego Rivera to architect Frank Lloyd Wright adorn its covers and pages. During the visit, students were able to gain insight on the commercial side of contemporary art and the art market in London.

The Design Museum is located Bankside. The museum is unique in that it is devoted solely to innovations in international design ranging from furniture to the world's fastest diesel car. The Design Museum is an excellent example of the innovative ways in which curators display "non-traditional" forms of art. This image is of an exhibition celebrating the fashion designs of Matthew Williamson, currently Creative Director at Gucci. The exhibition was set up as if you were watching a runway show or walking into a posh showroom.

The Serpentine is a public gallery located in a converted Tea Pavilion in the picturesque Kensington Park. It is also one of the leading institutions for the exhibition of modern and contemporary art in London. Students were able to experience an exhibition of work by Anthony McCall, who captivates audiences by creating environments with projected light and smoke. Also during our visit, the Education Department spoke to us about their unique programming. One of their recent programs was a collaborative project between artists and educators to create a new curriculum and an interactive tool for children with Dyslexia.