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August 30, 2006

{     Surprise, Surprise     } is actually the title of the current summer show at the ICA, the Institute of Contemporary Art of London, located at the beginning of the Mall. If you happen to swing in that direction before September 10th, pay the super cheap £ 2 entrance fee (£ 3 on weekend) to see this very particular exhibition, showcasing the work of 40 artists all picked between the most famous names in contemporary art. To drop a few, Matthew Barney, Martin Creed, Takashi Murakami, Cindy Sherman and, last but not least, the king himself Damien Hirst are all part of the group. What is "surprising" about Surprise, Surprise is that the works displayed are very different from what you would expect to find. Damien Hirst is presenting a collage on canvas which looks very much belonging to the beginning of the Arts & Crafts movement and Creed has a papier-mache sculpture of a pig on display. Which he did when he was nine years old... The surprise indeed stands in the different point of view: in ICA words
Surprise, Surprise is an exhibition that appears at first glance to be a typical summer 'blockbuster', the stellar cast of artists promising 'wow' factor, familiarity and accessibility. But the forty high-profile artists taking part will in fact be displaying pieces that are atypical of the work for which they are best known. By reversing expectations through a presentation of the unexpected, the unfamiliar, the unknown and the one-off, Surprise, Surprise offers both revelation and a challenge to the preconceptions we readily impose on exhibitions of contemporary artists' work, often before we have actually seen them.
Definitely worth seeing: not only challenges your views and perceptions on these top artists, but in same cases gives you insights on how bad/unoriginal the beginning of today's art superstars can have been.

     » Surprise, Surprise at the ICA

By Tacita in Art, Reviews

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