"Chaos is not the opposite of rhythm but the milieu of all milieus"
Deleuze & Guattari

Sunday, 1 November 2015


Love writing little updates on what's happening and what to buy for the FT's How To Spend It magazine. 

This latest about Paul Kasmin's show of Max Ernst's sculptures is my favourite yet, probably because it had me looking at photos of Ernst with Peggy Guggenheim and imagining the Left Bank in the 1920s: howtospendit.ft.com/art/maxernst.

Max Ernst's studio at Huismes, 1961.
Image courtesy Jurgen Pech/Werner Spies Archives.

Max Ernst, Arizona, 1952, playing with pieces he designed for 
Julien Levy's 1944 NYC exhibition 'The Imagery of Chess'. 
Photo: Bob Towers, licensed by Benjamin J.Chapnick.

Friday, 30 October 2015


This month has been an engaging trip back into the world of emerging trends, as I'm standing in at LS:N Global as Senior Journalist.

LS:N is the editorial site by trend forecasting agency The Future Laboratory, which advises clients such as Google, Selfridges, and Condé Nast on all things novel. 

Since spending a year writing trends with them in 2012/13, I've continued to contribute occasional stories to the site, often from Beirut and New York, so it's interesting to reconnect in depth with what they do at their London base. 

On a more prosaic level, it's also a pleasure to be back in their relaxed offices, set in a converted Huguenot silk-weavers' house in Spitalfields - one of those historic townhouses that Tracy Emin and Jeanette Winterson also occupy in the neighbourhood. 

Alongside the front-room installation, and courtyard garden with its wall of flowers and herbs, sources of in-house entertainment include resident hound Marlowe and his witty owner Martin Raymond, company co-founder.

Stand-outs from LS:N's recent coverage, for me, are the Wired conference and Dutch Design Week reviews, and two inspiring Micro Trends about the growing empowerment around energy sourcing and the rise of seasonless fashion

My own stories have spanned a range of subjects from an East End art walk and Frieze London, to natural skincare from Sydney, and luxury advertising in Beirut

Personal highlights so far have been running a video interview with Nick Knight and opining on the changing face of urban regeneration, both within the Inform section that I'm editing, which focuses on interviews and op eds (the best bits of editorial, in my view). 

Longer reads on the site require a subscription but you can explore the Seed section of short updates for free here.

Sunday, 13 September 2015


El Anatsui, Earth Skin, at Jack Shainman Gallery, Kinderhook

One Saturday this summer I took the train out of Manhattan, riding north along the Hudson River, to reach the stylish houses of Hudson itself. I peered into its antiques shops, sampled its food truck pizza, and saw two exhibitions en route. 

Robert Irwin, Excursus: Homage to the Square3, at Dia: Beacon

Read about the art part - which covers the new installation by Light and Space movement maestro Robert Irwin at Dia: Beacon, and a career retrospective of this year's Venice Beinnale Golden Lion winner El Anatsui at Jack Shainman Gallery - here on Ocula: 

Friday, 17 July 2015


Those on the hunt for a £20k birdcage (!) can find the perfect specimen with the help of my recent collector's guide for How To Spend It from the Financial Times. Highlights come from Anne Hauck, Christie's (above) and - of course - Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler Antiques. Shopping aside, it's a skip through their history as decorative pieces since the Renaissance.

I've also been putting short art news stories together for them on UK openings from Bermondsey to Somerset, via Mayfair and Soho - readable here:

Tuesday, 23 June 2015


Shirin Neshat at her NYC studio. Photos: © Tim Knox

Presently having a glorious time in steamy NYC. During my last visit I interviewed the very captivating Shirin Neshat about her evolution as a photographer, videographer and film-maker - Q&A now up on Apollo: 


Thursday, 28 May 2015


Two bits up about recent art happenings in London:

Idris Khan's Conflicting Lines
Courtesy of the artist/Victoria Miro

my take on Idris Khan's latest series at Victoria Miro for Ocula after spending the afternoon with him and his gorgeous wife at their studios in Stoke Newington...

Anna Lomax's Fry Up
Courtesy of the artist

... and a brief introduction to Lights of Soho, the new gallery focusing on light art that's hoping to channel the spirit of The Colony Room (where I once spent an excellent birthday) for FT How To Spend It.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015


Sperone Westwater's booth showing Barry X Ball at ADAA

New York was still freezing at the start of March and I crisscrossed Manhattan through the snow to report on the Armory and ADAA shows for Ocula and to review Bjork at MoMA for The Spectator.

Bjork's Black Lake installation at MoMA

Other highlights that week included interviewing Shirin Neshat about her new show in Baku for Apollo, paying Rebecca Ward a studio visit in Brooklyn, and bumping into my former masters professor from the V&A Glenn Adamson, now director at MAD

Left: portrait from Shirin Neshat's The Home of My Eyes at Yarat
Right: one of Rebecca Ward's geometric deconstructed canvases

Shirin was softly spoken and focused while discussing her journey through photography and film in her charmingly idiosyncratic manner. Rebecca served me the best vegan coconut doughnuts while talking about her textured and female take on minimal painting with insight, humour and modesty. And Glenn was as informative as ever, immediately giving me new ideas.

Thanks NYC, see you in June.

Thursday, 29 January 2015


Above, one of the zillion instances that captures the experience of living with contemporary technology on James Bridle's influential New Aesthetic Tumblr. You can read my post about Bridle's more recent project The Nor, commissioned by the Hayward Gallery for MIRRORCITY, and its relationship to the current throes of drone hype, at apollo-magazine.com.

Friday, 9 January 2015


Turns out that seeing art about the Arab world feels quite different in Hamburg than it does in Beirut; it also feels different to write about 'Arab art' when in Europe, after having been in the Middle East for a little while.

Walid Raad, Postface II, 2014
composed of seven elements, mixed media, 487 x 274 cm
images courtesy Sfeir-Semler Gallery and the artist

My thoughts on Walid Raad's current show at Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, are published on apollo-magazine.com.