Ai Weiwei – Dropping the Evidence bomb on China in Berlin

Never ending Cycle

Never ending Cycle

In years to come Ai Weiwei will be seen as one of the most important artists, not just in this generation but in any generation. His influence and impact are felt on so many different levels and through his strong political statements and his ongoing battles against his oppression at the hands of his own nation’s government.

Gas mask in marble

Gas mask in marble

Weiwei is a clever man clearly and the mediums he use to speak to the wider world as well as his fellow countryman allows him to inject very blatant signposts as well as very subtle nuances, allowing the audience to really understand his work but to also take their own meaning from it.

Stool sample

Stool sample

IOUs to cover evasion fine

IOUs to cover evasion fine

The scale and variety at his latest exhibition in Berlin at the Martin Gropius Bau is something to behold, from video, to music, to everyday items, to antiques, to debris from disasters. His show ‘Evidence’ gives a visual representation to what he has experienced in recent years and how his views and the Chinese government’s attempts to censor them have been dealt with, from his own incarceration, to his tax avoidance ‘fine’ to his investigations into those killed in disasters in his homeland. There is a exact copy of the cell in which he was kept 24 hours a day, watched by two guards at all time, for 81 days until international pressure meant he was released.

A Weiwei message

A Weiwei message

There is also a look back in time to the history of China and the secret cities created. The entire collection is something quite extraordinary, the scale alone is awesome but also the emotion transmitted through each piece is very potent.

Animal heads in gold

Animal heads in gold

Ancient vases in commercial car paint

Ancient vases in commercial car paint

If you can not make Berlin then a survey of Ai WeiWei is showing at the Lisson gallery now until July 16

Kapoor in Berlin

Big Red Wax Bell

Big Red Wax Bell

Anish Kapoor divides opinion, clearly talented and possessing the vision and confidence to create truly awe inspiring pieces of quite ridiculous scale and grandeur. On one hand his use of a huge variety of materials and ideas is brilliant, on the other the epitome of vulgarity in modern art that is the ArcelorMittal Orbit….. or that bloody great eyesore slide thing next to the Olympic Stadium in London’s Eastend.

The main room

The main room

 

With this in mind a visit to Kapoor’s first foray in Berlin was an exciting / galling prospect. SF need not have worried as it was quite wonderful, varied, gigantic, ridiculous and thoroughly worthwhile. Even if it was tricky getting a few stolen pictures on the iPhone. Never will I understand why galleries stop you from taking a couple of picture momentos.

Kapoor has over his career forged an impressive reputation and body of work and as a Turner Prize winner he has been noted as one of the most important artists of his time.

Artistic reflections

Artistic reflections

His exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau comprises of almost 70 pieces from sculpture to wax models, to mirrors, to some huge spaced out bouncy castle to a canon to shoot huge paint pot side bullets into a corner of the room. SF likes.

Paint canon indoors

Paint canon indoors

Here is what the Guardian found out when they spoke to the man himself