Three floors of Phillips in Berkeley Square are bursting with a dispirit selection of international contemporary art, looking out across the roadworks which surround the building. Cities never stand still! There is, interweaving through the different works, quite a strong theme linked to architecture, cities and design.
Andreas Slominski’s ‘Windmuhle’ (windmill) looks slightly out of place here – while it is fun, it feels as if it should be along in Hamley’s in Regent Street or in a souvenir shop in Amsterdam. Perhaps that is the point. Other work includes one of Julian Opie’s modern towers, which seems perfectly at home in London, chairs by Franz West in front of a classical temple by Stephan Balkenhol, and a lump of masonry ‘Grabmal’ by Gregor Schneider that looks as if it could be from the Berlin Wall, sitting in front of Enoc Perez’ painting of the Fontenbleau hotel in Miami Beach and Marius Mercea’s brutalist architecture described as ‘Elegant Rationalism’.
Reflecting city life are Keith Tyson’s graphic designs for the Chicago Hyatt Centre, Vladimir Potapov’s ‘Brothers’ which, although executed in 2018, is reminiscent of photographs of 1950′s Britain and Thomas Struth’s photographic print from Shanghai in 1997. A lot has changed since then. I wonder if the view will be recognisable today?
On the design side are Guyton/Walker’s lamp made from coconut shells and tin cans – every home should have one – and Tatania Trouve’s sculptures made of bent metal. Lastly, and it has been seen here before, is Cildo Meireles ‘Fontes’ – a composition made in 1992 of folded wooden rulers. Sorry, but I really do not see the point of this – something which every architect could create in their office. Am I missing something?