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The New Décor

Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre
19 June - 5 September 2010

This summer the Hayward Gallery presents The New Décor; an international survey of over 30 contemporary artists, including some of the leading sculptors of our time, who explore interior design as a means of engaging with changes in contemporary culture. By reconfiguring and reinventing the familiar objects of our domestic life, these artists look beyond design and function to create provocative sculptures and installations. Along with a solo exhibition of Ernesto Neto which runs concurrently in the upper galleries, The New Décor is a highlight of Festival Brazil, a major summer festival celebrating the dynamic culture of today’s Brazil, sponsored by HSBC.

The exhibition features work by 30 artists including: Martin Boyce (Britain), Los Carpinteros (Cuba), Jimmie Durham (USA), Elmgreen & Dragset (Scandinavia), Gelitin (Austria), Mona Hatoum (Lebanon), Jim Lambie (Britain), Sarah Lucas (Britain), Ernesto Neto (Brazil), Ugo Rondinone (Switzerland), Doris Salcedo (Columbia), Rosemary Trockel (Germany), Tatiana Trouve (Italian), Franz West (Austrian).

Like the Hayward’s previous summer exhibitions, Psycho Buildings and Walking in My Mind, and Ernesto Neto’s exhibition, the artists in The New Décor are concerned with the evolution of our interior and exterior environments. They shed light on their experiences and ask the viewer to consider their own relationship to the spaces they inhabit and look again at objects they may take for granted.

Curated by Ralph Rugoff, Director of the Hayward Gallery, the exhibition draws on artists from around the world, but what unites them is their ability to transform objects we associate with the everyday – a bed, a shelf, a lamp – into something uncanny and compelling.

In French the word décor refers to stage sets as well as interior design, and in a similar spirit the works in this exhibition explore an arena between practicality and imagination, theatre and everyday life.

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