reviews, reports and essays by Herbert Wright



Free Your Mind - commissioned and produced by Factory International ©Tristram Kenton

Free Your Mind: A Revamped Matrix Live in Manchester

A contemporary spectacle on stage, reviewed

(Note: typo in 2nd last para, 3rd last line - 'as many' should have been 'as much'!)

FADmagazine October 2023



Lake by Sam Jacob, courtesy Betts Project

Sam Jacob's Against Nature: New Wizardry with Ancient Stones and Landscape

The architect provocateur plays with neolithic dolmen, imagined places and Stonehenge to question our relationship with nature and the past. You can't un-see this show!

FAD magazine March 2023



In conversation with French artist Mimosa Echard about 'Sporal' ...

Her immersive psychedelic show at Palias de Tokyo, Paris is inspired by myxomycetes, the slime-mould-like organism, and the video game she's made!

CoBo July 2022 



Sandwich by Sarah Lucas © Herbert Wright 2022

New Solidifications of Collective Memory in the City

blog (in English) July 2022 

Originally published (in French) as:

Du devenir des sculptures dans l'espace public

Chroniques d'architecture July 2022




Theaster Gates brings us to his Serpentine Pavilion photo © Herbert Wright 2022

Theaster Gates' Serpentine Pavilion 

Two narratives... two languages! 

In English:

When the Church Bell Rings

CoBo Social July 2022

In French: 

Du Chicago South Side au jardin royale; herbe verte, spiritualité noire

Chroniques d'architecture June 2022



In the Air 

We need to breathe! Art, science and social campaigning meet in this Wellcome show

CoBo Social June 2022



Inside 'Better Dimension' (2010), installation by Ellen Gallagher & Edgar Cleijne. Photo Herbert Wright

Ellen Gallagher at Centro Botín, Spain

More than a retrospective - an epic journey that links the Black American experience and a dialogue with the ocean

CoBo Social June 2022 



Future Shock at 180 Strand

A trail of digital spectacles, but film and humanity still shine through 

CoBo Social June 2022



What to See at the Venice Art Biennale

... starting with Ukraine

CoBo Social April 2022



Installation still from Tobi Adebajo's film 'eje'

Decriminalised Futures

At London's ICA, sex workers issue a collective call for rights, but also reveal their emotions and humanity through art

CoBo Social March 2022



"About Us" - Temps Profond à Paisley

What is our place in the universe and 'deep time'? The first event of a UK-wide celebration makes you wonder... In French! 

Chroniques d'architecture March 2022

English version to be blogged soon



Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale

There's an explosion of artistic creativity in Saudi Arabia, with female artists out in front, and curator Philip Tinari gives it a global context in this biennale's first edition

Cobo Social January 2022




Per Krogh, Natt (Night) 1916. Image courtesy Christen Sveaas Art Foundation

This is the Night Mail

A night-themed exhibition at London's Whitechapel Gallery places historic and contemporary Norwegian art amongst the world's best

CoBo Social November 2021 




Pablo Bronstein, Department Store, 2020-21, courtesy of the artist and Sir John Soane’s Museum.

Hell in its Heydey

A look at Pablo Bronstein's current show at the Soane Museum, London. The artist offers his take on the glorious dystopia he has created.

CoBo Social Nov 2021



Ibrahim Mahana explains the installation Capital Corpses at his Lazarus show at White Cube Bermondsey, photo © Herbert Wright

Ibrahim Mahama's Lazarus

The Ghanaian artist explores his country's post-colonial history with a stunning show at White Cube Bermondsey

CoBo Social October 2021



Manchester International Festival 2021

- tackling big issues, but offering charm, drama and fun too

CoBo Social July 2021



World's Longest Public Artwork

Leo Villareal's Illuminated River lights up Thames bridge and just got longer. Villareal reveals the backstory, from Burning Man to digitally synchronising brain rhythms

CoBo Social June 2021 



Andreas Greiner (photo: Herbert Wright) and Jungle Memory

Stepping into the Synthetic Forest with Andreas Greiner

A Berlin artist working in the zone where biology and technology meet has used AI to generate a forest
CoBo Social October 2020



Toyin Ojih Odutola - Imitation Lesson, Her Shadowed Influence, from A Counterveiling Theory (2019) © Toyin Ojih Odutola. Courtesy the artist and Jack Sheinman Gallery NY

Toyin Ojih Odutola's

A Counterveiling Theory

A review of a new African myth presented in an epic show at the Barbican

CoBo September 2020




Langlands & Bell's Traces of Living, photo Gareth Gardner

Langlands & Bell's Degrees of Truth

New works respond to the Regency setting of the Soane Museum, and retrospective works remind us how the artists question global interconnectedness and truth in architecture 

CoBo Social March 2020



Christian de Portzamparc, Il y eût les plages, 2019 © Christian de Portzamparc, Courtesy the artist

De Portzamparc's new spaces are conceptual, not physical 

Christian de Portzamparc designs astonishing buildings around the world, but his paintings reveal extraordinary ideas that exist in a cerebral space 

FADmagazine January 2020



(l) Kai Kartio by Tuomos Uusheino (r) Graffiti Nature Lost, Immersed and Reborn, 2018 ©teamLab

Kai Kartio, director of Helsinki's Amos Rex, speaks...

about Japanese digital collective teamLab's opening show and considers: Is art is getting infantlised? 

CHAMP magazine September 2018


Black Waves by teamLab © teamLab

Amos Rex opens with teamLab… and 3 more reasons to rush to Helsinki

A surrealistic new art gallery opens with an immerive show by Japanese digital collective teamLab, joining three major summer shows elsewhere in Helsinki

FAD magazine August 2018



London Mastaba Photo Wolfgang Volz © Christo

Behind and Beyond Christo's Masataba

It's probably London's most spectacular artwork this year, but what's it about, how does it fit in as art, and what's the backstory?

originally FAD magazine July 2018

- this story to be reblogged...




Studio Drift and Sil van der Woerd - still from film Drifters (2018)

Dreams of Nature and Concrete: 

Studio Drift at the Stedelijk

Awe and messages in mesmerising installations...Includes interview with Studio Drift's Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta

profile in Elephant May 2018

interview in CoBo Social June 2018

Elephant May 2018



Revealing Assad's secret Sednaya prison - Forensic Architecture and Amnesty International

Finding the Truth Where It Hurts

Forensic Architecture are not artists but investigators, seeking the truth about some of the darkest events of our time. A show at the ICA, London reveals some of their work

Journal of Wild Culture April 2018 



National Gallery Singapore's director

Eugene Tan interviewed: 

Reaching from Southeast Asia to Paris

CoBo Social March 2018



99 Cent (1999, remastered 2009) © Andreas Gursky/DACS, 2017 Courtesy Sprüth Magers

Andreas Gursky- Getting the Big Picture

The Hayward Gallery is back with an epic retrospective of photographer Andreas Gursky

FAD magazine January 2018





Araki prints and Lohan bed -photo Nic Tenwiggenhorn © The Feuerle Collection

The Feuerle Collection: Juxtaposition in a Berlin Bunker

A visit to an extraordinary collection of ancient and contemporary art, and a talk with its collector, Désiré Feuerle

CoBo Social August 2017



Love Life, Act II_Grundy Art Gallery, Jonathan Baldock & Emma Hart. Photo: Jonathan Lynch

Jonathan Baldock & Emma Hart take on Mr Punch in Blackpool

Rising London art stars take us into the world of Punch & Judy, and it is strange and sinister

FADMagazine July 2017



Ding Yi in London with an Appearance of Crosses. Photo Herbert Wright

The Appearance of Ding Yi and his Crosses in London

The most constant of Chinese abstract artists, interviewed at his Timothy Taylor Gallery show

CoBo Social May 2017



Antwerp's Modern Art Museum Just Got Better - an internal redesign has opened up extraordinary spaces and revealed wonders

FAD magazine May 2017



Mermaid Coming Ashore at Warsaw's Museum on the Vistula

FAD magazine April 2017




Les P'tites Femmes de Soho- Anne Pigalle (2015)

Anne Pigalle Celebrates the Soho of Dreams and Desires

It may be too late to save the naughtiness of London's bohemian heart, but Anne Pigalle leaves a brilliant trace of its evaporating pleasures

FAD magazine March 2017



Family in Shamattawa Aboriginal Reserve, Manitoba, Canada, 2 (2012) courtesy Mark Neville

Child's Play - Mark Neville's photo exhibition at Foudling Museum reviewed

Yes, it's a moosehead in the kitchen. We need to think about kids' right to play. 

FADmagazine Feb 2017



Paul Nash - The Menin Road (1919) © Tate

Paul Nash - review of Tate Britain show He painted two world wars and the mysticism of the English countryside

Blueprint Jan 2017, blogged Feb 2017 



‘Metropolis’, 1988; © Zaha Hadid Foundation

Deconstructing Zaha Hadid's Art

She was one of the most exciting architects the world has seen. A show at London's Serpentine Sackler Gallery reveals that she was an extraordinary visual artist as well

FADmagazine December 2016




Untitled, c.1975 (Marcia Hare in Memphis Tennessee) by William Eggleston, c.1975 ©Eggleston Artistic Trust

William Eggleston Portraits

Eggleston is known for his 60s/70s shots of slow-time smalltown scenes in the American South. But he snapped plenty of people, too – and he was technological innovator. Review of National Portrait Gallery show

FADmagazine August 2016



Historical Dances in an Antique Setting, 2016- photo by Brothertonlock © Pablo Bronstein

A Choreography of Errors

Pablo Bronstein interviewed about his  Tate Britain commission Historical Dances in an Antique Setting, and further, his passions for the baroque and postmodern; his most salubrious drawings and installations; why he's not an architect; and sundry diverse matters &tc &tc.

Blueprint/designcurial May/June 2016




Evelyn Hofer: Crossing Guard, London 1962. Courtesy The Evelyn Hofer Estate

Review: Strange and Familiar 

Britain as Revealed by International Photographers at the Barbican

Blueprint/ designcurial May/June 2016



picture: detail from The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, 1490s

Botticelli Re-imagined: The Adventure of Venus on Earth

The Victoria & Albert Museum's show charts Botticelli and artists up to the present re-imagining his work... Who is Botticelli's Venus? How has his vision of beauty shaped our civilisation?

Journal of Wild Culture March 2016
Republished! Cultural Divide June 2016



1963 relief at Harlow's Water Gardens by William Mitchell. Photo © Historic England

Out There: Our Post-War Art

A show about the UK's post-war public art reveals wonderful works, and the threats they face to survive
Blueprint/designcurial March 2016




photo © Herbert Wright 2015

Big Spill Outside London Museum

Indian superstar artist Subodh Gupta's big dazzling new bucket!
Designcurial November 2015



Lightscape: James Turrell at Houghton

The American master of light creates magic at a great English country house and its idyllic grounds
Blueprint/designcurial September 2015



photo from La Grande Motte; le temple du soleil © Patrizia Mussa

Visions from the Temple of the Sun

A critical look at photographer Patrizia Mussa's vision of Jean Balladur's strange resort, La Grande Motte
designcurial July 2015



photo: Sandy SY Lee

Nailing a Very Naughty Boy

Christ! An infamous but adored English musician has been nailed to a cross! And he's hanging in a Church. Artist Nick Reynolds put him there, and it raises questions like: What Became of the sacred symbol of Christianity. Who is this Man Who Would Be Christ King?

Journal of Wild Culture Feb 2015





The First Artist and the Genesis of the Artist's Quandary
Serbian comic strip artist Aleksa Gajic and his wonderful film The Rise and Fall of Art

Journal of Wild Culture October 2014



The Pines in Last seen Entering the Biltmore. Richard Healy discovered American architect Horace Gifford and made an animation of one of his gay beach houses for the South London Gallery.
designcurial August 2014



photo: André Morin

Hiroshi Sugimoto's Aujourd'hui le monde est mort: Lost Human Genetic Archive at Palais de Tokyo, Paris
Review and gallery: Sugimoto's epitath for the human race.
designcurial July 2014



(photo: Stephen White)

Traces and Shiny Evidence- a look at Jimmie Durham at the Parasol Unit, London
designcurial June 2014



(picture: Matisse- maquette for Verve, vol.IV, no.13 (1945) 1943, courtesy Tate)

Henri Matisse: A Cut Above
Charting the rise of the last great flowering of Matisse's talent, on walls and in the chapel at Vence, coinciding with Tate Modern's fantastic Cut-Outs show
Blueprint/ designcurial May 2014



Photo © Vaiva Katinaityte 2014

An Inside Job

A British-led operation breaks into a Lithuanian prison. Their tools: art. Their mission: to save lives. I report
Journal of Wild Culture April 2014



Private Moon © Leonid Tishkov

Republic of the Moon at The Bargehouse SE1
Artists go on lunar missions of the imagination in the 'Bewildering Beauty of the Moon'...
Journal of Wild Culture January 2014


photo from Adrián Villar Rojas' Today We Reboot the Planet © Jörg Baumann 2013



Death and Cones: Phoebe Collings-James' solo show at Cobb Gallery reviewed
theyellowhouseblog September 2013



LS Lowry, Industrial Landscape (1955) courtesy The Estate of LS Lowry

LS Lowry at Tate Britain
Review Blueprint 330, September 2013
> request PDF



Oxford Circle
A man called Crowe is installed by Jon Rubin down Oxford Circus Bakerloo southbound
theyellowhouseblog August 2013



John Gerrard's Pulp Press
An extraordinary architectural-virtual installation in a (slightly remote) Norwegian sculpture park- review
Blueprint August 2013

>request PDF



Soleil Froid at Palais de Tokyo

- an epic Paris show, dominated by Julio le Parc's works but stuffed with loads of other mind-opening spectacles!
Blueprint June 2012

> request PDF



detail of Shoji Ueda's People on the Beach, 1949

Camera Obscura: four great C20 photographers- Hervé, Ronis, Callahan and Ueda- in a small Paris show
Blueprint June 2012

> request PDF



Ice Age Art at the British Museum

Am I the only one who's noted some dodgy premises in this otherwise excellent blockbuster exhibition?
Blueprint April 2013

>request PDF


Lucy Williams at Timothy Taylor Gallery:
new works surprisingly refresh and celebrate Modernist architecture and ideals
Blueprint Feb 2013

>request PDF


APG at the Raven Row Gallery a retrospective of the Artists Placement Group, a pioneering but neglected British art agency-cum-collective, from the 60s/70s
Blueprint January 2013

> request PDF



Ruhs in his Milan studio © Herbert Wright 2011

Kris Ruhs - Landing on Earth 

Milan-based American artist/designer talks about his extraordinary, transcendental installation at the Wapping Project
Blueprint December 2012

> request PDF


Touring the near and the elsewhere
Following my touring talk with curator Gaia Persico of a major show of urban photography and art
Blog February 2012


Detail of Psychedelic East 1 by Rainer Fetting 1990

Rainer Fetting in Berlin (and New York)
The Berlinische Galerie's retrospective of the great expressionist artist
FAD July 2011



I am a Fantasy-A post-feminist show of Margaret Harrison and The Girls

FAD April 2011



photo Herbert Wright 2011

London's Last Great Art Collective Show?- The Woodmill S.A.G.S
blog April 2011


High Society at the Wellcome Collection

- from the British opium trade to doping spiders in space, a mind-expanding show

FAD November 2010


Surreal House at the Barbican Art Gallery

Run Riot July 2010


House of Cards by Aaron Koblin 2009
The Girls with Herbert Wright, photo © Tom Medwell

The Girls- hot photographer-artists interviewed for Love is the Law
September 2009


The Beatles 'Coming Apart' 1968 © Tom Murray

Two Days In the Life: The Beatles
A fantastic exhibition of photographs by Tom Murray and Michael Ward reviewed
Originally published in Open, June 2008

> request PDF!

LS Lowry at Tate Britain
Adobe Acrobat document [953.4 KB]
Two Days In the Life: The Beatles
Adobe Acrobat document [229.3 KB]
John Gerrard's Pulp Press
Adobe Acrobat document [482.1 KB]
Robert Morris at Sprüth Magers
Adobe Acrobat document [283.4 KB]
Soleil Froid at Palais de Tokyo
Adobe Acrobat document [315.6 KB]
Camera Obscura
Adobe Acrobat document [155.1 KB]
Kinetica Art Fair and Ecobuild
Adobe Acrobat document [221.3 KB]
Ice Age Art at the British Museum
Adobe Acrobat document [270.4 KB]
Lucy Williams at Timothy Taylor Gallery
Adobe Acrobat document [1.7 MB]
APG at the Raven Row Gallery
Adobe Acrobat document [3.2 MB]
Kris Ruhs Landing on Earth
Adobe Acrobat document [2.7 MB]
Print | Sitemap
This website is will soon have an archive section. Thank you for your patience!