You gotta roll with it

Weekend Combo: Chain fence, Aperol and two Van Goghs
Art | 25 April 2014

Christian Holstad, Written reminder, 2014, courtesy of the artist / Victoria Miro

This article is part of Weekend Combo – What to do this weekend

We bring you our guide to living well in the world’s capitals, from exhibitions to cinema, food, drink, fashion, music and beyond. Just call it culture and take it, it’s yours.


No Tipp-Ex required
Christian Holstad looks at borders, boundaries and constraints for his new London show; the political and governmental, social and personal. From physical, gated communities in suburban towns to the surveillance of intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency and the Government Communications Headquarters, the exhibition looms with ideas of privacy and threat, all via the medium of collage.

Christian Holstad: Corrections
Victoria Miro, 16 Wharf Road, London, N1 7RW
From 26th April–31st May

More trauma, in Mayfair
Head central after Corrections for another dose of psychological intensity, with Miroslaw Balka’s DIE TRAUMDEUTUNG 25,31m AMSL at White Cube, an exhibition parallel to new work by the Polish artist at the Freud Museum.

The title of both relates to the original German of Sigmund Freud’s seminal 1899 work, The Interpretation of Dreams. The measurements in the title suggest the exact geographical height in metres above sea level of White Cube Mason’s Yard and Freud Museum London. Different words and meanings are carried within the title: the English ‘Die’ and ‘Trauma’; the Latin ‘Deu’, which means ‘God’, and the Albanian ‘Tung’, which means ‘Bye’.

Expect truncated trapezohedron sculpture open on one side as a shelter and the galleries’ lower-ground space stifled by a giant chain fence canopy – from one prison to another, if you see both recommended shows.

Miroslaw Balka: DIE TRAUMDEUTUNG 25,31m AMSL
White Cube, 25–26 Mason’s Yard, London, SW1Y 6BU
Until 31st May

Soho a go-go
Under the Influence: John Deakin and the Lure of Soho brings together the colourful characters of the area in the 50s and 60s, lensed by the great British postwar photographer.

In this jewel of an exhibit, you’ll see unshown work including portraits of artists Lucian Freud, Franke Auerbach and Francis Bacon, poet Dylan Thomas and Muriel Belcher, proprietor of the legendary debauched drinking den The Colony Room – a defunct private club entwined with the area’s bohemian myth.

John Deakin, Jeffrey Bernard, Cambridge Circus, London, 1950s © John Deakin, Courtesy Robin Muir

Under the Influence: John Deakin and the Lure of Soho
The Photographer’s Gallery, 16–18 Ramillies Street, London, W1F 7LW

Drink it in
Pay tribute to Soho spirit by stopping off at Bar Italia for an Aperol Spritz (it’s time, the calendar is creeping towards May). Established in 1949 by Lou and Caterina Polledri as a place Italians could meet other Italians, their Gaggia machine is a half century old, but even better than a shot of ground is a glass of orange in the early afternoon. You know it.

From there, pass by The French House around the corner on Dean St, where it’s said General Charles de Gaulle wrote his rallying speech, À tous les Français. It’s also the place Dylan Thomas left a manuscript of Under Milk Wood under his chair – yeah, him too.  The pub’s no music, no machines, no television and no mobile phones rule puts conversation back on a pedestal, much like the experience Bacon, Freud and Augustus John would’ve had drinking there. Make your own rowdiness.

Bar Italia, 22 Frith Street, London, W1D 4RF
The French House, 49 Dean Street, London, W1D 5BG

Beyond a painting
One artwork that has gone beyond a picture into the realm of cultural icon is van Gogh’s sunflowers. It’s just as easy to imagine as a fridge-magnet or mousemat (alright, maybe not these days) as it is a canvas in a gallery. The composition took it’s artists’ talent and ran.

Visit The National Gallery before the end of Sunday to glimpse two versions of the painting IRL. The later canvas, an 1889 replica is coloured by the emotion of van Gogh’s breakdown in which he sliced off part of his ear. It shows.

Vincent van Gogh: The Sunflowers
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
Until 27th April

Plate modern
Head to Mile End for Nordic-inspired foam, drizzle and painterly plates by Lithuanian chef Martyn Meid. With the promise of “fresh, new and simple”, expect local and organic ingredients and a relaxed atmosphere to accompany the spectacular slates, from gravlax to beyond. All that and a freshly-opened canalside terrace too.

Ink, Suttons Wharf South, 44 Palmers Road, London, E2 0TA


Read Next