Rigg Design Prize 2018

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2018’s inspiring Rigg Design Prize celebrates 10 of the best Australian interior design practices

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Interiors gets their hour in the sun at the 2018 Rigg Design Prize exhibition at Melbourne’s NGV Australia, which runs until 24 February 2019. Celebrating different contemporary design disciplines, the triennial prize focused on interior design and decoration for the first time in 2018, shortlisting 10 leading Australian practices. Each was tasked with creating a bespoke, purpose-built room in the gallery, responding to the theme of ‘Domestic Living’. The results are inspiring, suggesting fresh ways of inhabiting our homes, new trends and creative solutions to modern pressures. Even if you can’t get to Melbourne, check out our round up the 10 designs below…

HECKER GUTHRIE
Melbourne design practice Hecker Guthrie (aka Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie) bagged the AU$30,000 triennial prize for their graphic yet tactile installation ‘The table is the base’ (above). Riffing on the idea of the humble table, and its charismatic central role in domestic living spaces, the custom-made room plays with clean lines, form and scale. It explores the table as surface, support and enclosure. Judge Shashi Caan said, ‘Using only two elements – the simple form of the ‘Parsons’ table and terracotta as material – the project demonstrates the power of design restraint and curiosity at play.’


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MARTYN THOMPSON STUDIO
New York-based Australian photographer and designer Martyn Thompson’s space celebrates the ‘Atelier’, channelling the modern blurring of work and home life as an opportunity for creative expression. Bathed in light and shadow, his moody space features many of his own designs – including upholstery textiles, rugs, ottomans, wall treatments, ceramics, art and photos shown alongside collaborative, vintage, found and hand-crafted pieces. Even Thompson’s records, shoes and fleamarket finds make the cut. Clothes are hung like artworks and ambient music generates emotion. Flexible and ever-evolving, this is the home as heartland, layered, textural and deeply personal.


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DANIELLE BRUSTMAN
Like a chic spaceship or cool club, Danielle Brustman’s installation ‘Inner-Terior’ is somewhere we’d like to hang out. It helps that it stars a contemporary update of a cocooning, conversation pit and a futuristic record player (shown above right). A set designer before founding her Melbourne studio, Brustman drew on theatrical aesthetics for this curvy white space, edged with vibrant colour, glossy metallics and eye-catching illuminations. A lounge room that borrows from stage and spectacle, it takes its cues from Art Deco bandshells, European retro-futurist designs from the 60s, 80s movie Xanadu, rollerskating rinks and amusement rides. We reckon it’s 2001: A Space Odyssey gone domestic.


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THE SOCIETY INC BY SIBELLA COURT
Stylist and author Sibella Court, of Sydney interiors store The Society Inc, has always had a love affair with global curios, vintage finds, old tools, pirates and gypsies. For her Rigg Prize entry, dubbed the ‘Imaginarium’, she envisaged a space to ‘wonder, imagine, interact, research and create’. An entire home distilled into a single room, it feels darkly magical, with a rich mix of materials from pressed metal to wood and fabric. Layers of textures and colours, old and new, and real and imagined offer a modern take on a 16th-century ‘cabinet of curiosities’. The space celebrates craft, with displayed objects, including a striking feature wall, acting as a catalyst for memory and imagination. From an alchemy workshop to a ship’s crow’s nest, a bar, dress-up cupboard and pot-belly stove, it’s a mini world of wonders.


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RICHARDS STANISICH
Texture rules in the mesmerising tone-on-tone sculptural installation crafted by Richards Stanisich, titled ‘Our natural needs in a digital world’. The Sydney practice, established in 2018 by former SJB talents Jonathan Richards and Kirsten Stanisich, addresses our fundamental need for shelter, sanctuary, hygiene and intimacy and how it has been transformed by integrated technology and the Internet of Things. A central ochre living, sleeping and kitchen space champions the handmade, simple and earthy, with natural fabrics, ceramics and tiles. By contrast, it’s surrounded by black gloss tiles edged with blue light, representing the digital realm.


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FLACK STUDIO
Melbourne interior architecture firm Flack Studio has a way with vibrant colour, bold pattern and unexpected details, as seen in their striking portfolio of residential spaces, cafes, restaurants and boutiques. For the Rigg Prize, David Flack and his team ‘Flackify’ their living/dining space with saturated gold hues, luxe textures and quirky art and ornaments. ‘We’ve boundless plains to share’ references diversity and inclusion, creating an emotionally charged room for a golden age in Australia, encouraging collaboration and community.


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ARENT&PYKE
Elegance and beauty are at the heart of ‘Home: feast, bathe, rest’ by Sydney interior design studio Arent&Pyke (Juliette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke). The smartly zoned space combines areas for dining, washing and retreating, offering ideas for respite and emotional and physical wellbeing in a stressful world. Each area includes a contemporary Australian artwork and a bespoke piece of furniture, blending inspiring design-art with comforting, restorative simplicity.


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AMBER ROAD
Sydney interior design and landscape practice Amber Road’s seductive space ‘Take it outside’ is full of burnt colours, floaty textiles and dreamy desert and starlit views, centred around an inviting lounger. It celebrates the verandah or porch as a key transitional zone for relaxing and chatting together, especially in Australian homes. Principal designers and sisters Yasmine Ghoniem and Katy Svalbe spent time in the Middle East, as well as on their family farms in Australia, capturing this heritage in a beautifully crafted indoor-outdoor room.


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DAVID HICKS
Have homes become inner sanctums, fortresses or vessels for consumerist ideals? Melbourne- and LA-based David Hicks studio presents ‘Panic room’, combining Hicks’ trademark eye for luxe detail with lighting strung on chunky chains and threatening screens. It’s a slick satire on our panicked, media-saturated times, suggesting a life on stage, voyeuristic and yet paranoid about threats from outside. Has the aspirational ideal of a perfect life morphed into homes as psychological retreats and cocoons for self-protection?


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SCOTT WESTON ARCHITECTURE DESIGN
A sequence of six rooms forms ‘Wunderkammer’, an installation by Sydney-based Scott Weston Architecture Design which takes its cue from the renovation of Weston’s own Victorian Italianate terrace house, Villa Carmelina. Each contains a cabinet, or wunderkammer, featuring prized ‘jewels’, miniature artworks by favourite makers. An abstract representation of the house, it makes use of monochrome dioramas with coloured highlights and wallpaper vignettes or ornaments and collectibles.

Catch the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at Level 3, NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne until Sunday 24 February 2019 (10am-5pm) or see the gallery’s website for a virtual tour and online interviews with the designers

Fenton & Fenton Sydney Pop-up

Melbourne interiors store Fenton & Fenton is popping up in Sydney with a colourful 10-day showcase of furniture and art

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

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Melbourne interiors store Fenton & Fenton has garnered a loyal following for its bold, vibrant mix of contemporary furniture, accessories and art, curated with flair. Now the much-loved Prahran trendsetter is coming to Sydney, with 10-day pop-up 'A Home Away From Home' bringing directional design to The Studio in Rosebery from 20 to 29 October. Championing the brand's love of colour, style and travel, the free showroom/gallery event will help you kit out your home, with cutting-edge ideas and inspiration up for grabs.

Eye-catching art will be a major focus, with more than 70 works by 23 established Australian artists on display in a group show, which you can also shop online. Covetable names in the frame include paintings by Michael Bond, Carly WilliamsEmma Gale and Diana Miller, photography by Kara Rosenlund, ceramics by Louise Kyriakou and Jai Vasicek, handblown glass by Amanda Dziedzic, woven wall hangings by Maryanne Moodie, and metal sculptures by Dion Horstmans

Seeking fresh furniture and accessories for summer? The store's new arrivals will be unveiled too, including 'The Riad Collection' of fabulous Moroccan-influenced outdoor chairs, tables, swings and plant pots, which sports graphic patterns in pretty hues. Six room sets, surrounding a pink Moroccan-inspired courtyard, will showcase Fenton & Fenton's chic edit of designs, from living and dining zones to bedrooms, bathrooms and garden spaces. Cushion, throws, rugs, vintage finds and one-off pieces add more pizzazz.

Although the action kicks off on Friday 20 October, the brand is hosting an afternoon House Warming Party on Saturday 21 October (2pm-5.30pm), where you can meet the artists while enjoying aperitivos by Picco and DJ sets by Alice Q. Everyone's welcome, with free entry to both the 10-day event and party – just RSVP first online. Fenton & Fenton's consultants will be on hand to share advice on the collection, colour, styling and trends.

You can also discover Insider Secrets at three ticketed panel talks with creative talents, with themes ranging from sensual homes (6.30pm-8pm, Thursday 26) to entertaining (11am-12.30pm, Friday 27) and displaying art, collections and curios (10am-11.30am, Saturday 28 October). Brand founder Lucy Fenton will take part, alongside stylists, artists, florists, mixologists and chefs, including experts from home sound system Sonos and Australian modern lime paint company Bauwerk, which will launch a bespoke range of six new natural, eco-friendly paint colours at the show. Home sweet home...
www.fentonandfenton.com.au

Fenton & Fenton 'A Home Away From Home – Sydney' is at The Studio, 2/85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery, Sydney from 20 to 29 October 2017, 10am to 5pm daily. RSVP for the free pop-up event or party, or buy limited tickets in advance for the three talks ($35.57 each)

LDF 2017 – 8 FizzPicks for London Design Festival

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8 FizzPicks for making the most of the last weekend of London Design Festival 2017

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

With so many goodies up for grabs, London Design Festival can be bewildering. We've already shared some standout shows – from Camille Walala's rainbow-bright installation Villa Walala to Lee Broom's inky-black showroom, Bethan Gray's monochrome marquetry and designjunction's stylish smorgasbord. Here are 8 more of our top picks to help you navigate the final weekend of the city's biggest design bash, with all the exhibitions, events and experiences listed here wrapping up on Sunday 24 September, unless otherwise stated. Enjoy!

ABOVE: Captivating V&A installations include Flynn Talbot's experiential coloured light 'Reflection Room'; Ross Lovegrove's long folded textile 'Transmission' sculpture; and Petr Stanicky's glass-inspired 'Evocations' art works

Victoria & Albert Museum
Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7
Once more the V&A is a humming hub of design activity, including a cluster of must-see creative commissions. Topping our wow list is London-based Australian lighting designer Flynn Talbot's mesmerising 'Reflection Room' installation, illuminating the arched, 35-metre-long Prince Consort Gallery. Viewers are immersed in shifting waves of Talbot's signature complementary orange and blue light, reflected via large, gloss black Barrisol panels. Welsh designer Ross Lovegrove's undulating, tactile 'Transmission' installation is a 21.3-metre fluid textile-sculpture formed from folds of Alcantara material in the Tapestries room. It looks vaguely monstrous and bodily, but its curious colour tones and textures riff on the heritage hunting tapestries hanging on the surrounding walls (on show until 8 October). Also look out for Czech glassmaker Petr Stanicky's 'Evocations' installation by the Glass & Ceramics Galleries, two sculptural racks holding light-filled vessels backdropped by city skyline views.

ABOVE: Customised chairs by Yinka Ilori created in collaboration with volunteer restorers for the Restoration Station auction; citizenM Shoreditch hotel's vibrant playground installation, inspired by Ilori's childhood memories of playing outdoors at his North London council estate

Yinka Ilori
Restoration Station, 118 Shoreditch High Street, London E1
citizenM London Shoreditch, 6 Holywell Lane, London EC2

London-born designer Yinka Ilori has two eye-poppingly colourful projects brightening up town for #LDF17, channelling his Nigerian heritage. For Restoration Station x Yinka Ilori, he has collaborated with volunteer restorers at not-for-profit vintage furniture store Restoration Station in Shoreditch to upcycle pre-loved chairs in vibrant hues. Snap up the mood-boosting results at an online auction to support this enterprising addiction recovery charity (deadline midnight Tuesday 26 September, although the exhibition wraps this Sunday). Ilori has also designed public play zone 'Estate Playground' in the entrance of the 2016-launched citizenM London Shoreditch hotel, inspired by the bright patterns of West African textiles and growing up in a council estate as a child. What with Camille Walala's interactive inflatable 'Villa Walala' in Broadgate, we're seeing a trend exploring patterntastic play and creative community spaces for this year's festival.

ABOVE: Faye Toogood's graphic sandcast-aluminium 'Spade' chairs; Surreally beautiful styling at The Tradeshow, her exchange of work with UK designers including furniture, ceramics, art and installations

Faye Toogood
The Trade Show, The Garage, 1 North Terrace, London SW3

Inspiring British designer Faye Toogood is hosting The Trade Show in South Kensington, inviting 50 of the country's leading creatives to join her in a mutually supportive collaboration. Toogood gave each of them one of her signature 'Spade' chairs – created for this project in limited-edition sandcast-aluminium – and in return they traded a representative piece of their own work. On board are architects, artists, photographers and fashion stylists, as well as top-notch furniture designers including Max Lamb, studio Glithero, Michael Sodeau, Peter MarigoldBethan Laura Wood and Tom Dixon. Their interactions with the chairs are captured in the beautifully realised show, alongside a surreal site-specific installation by food designers Arabeschi di Latte, drawing on folk-art superstitions.

ABOVE: Multi-disciplinary designer Bethan Laura Wood; The eccentric British talent's work is showcased by ONEROOM alongside diverse designs from Milan exhibited in a Victorian townhouse

ONEROOM x Bethan Laura Wood
9 French Place, London E1

Split over a four-floor Victorian warehouse in Shoreditch topped by an airy terrace, this atmospheric gallery show combines recent works by quirky British designer Bethan Laura Wood – known for her bold use of colour, pattern and texture across ceramics, lighting, furniture and fabrics – with a selection of design, objects and art from Milan. It's a collaboration between Wood and Shoreditch-based multidisciplinary design office ONEROOM, which delivers interiors, industrial and graphic design.

ABOVE: Design Frontiers' cutting-edge shows include Benjamin Hubert/LAYER's new 'Axyl' chairs and stools for Allermuir; Jaime Hayon and Jasper Morrison's menswear fashion label Jijibaba; and 'Materialise', wearable sports tech presented by Katie Greenyer of Pentland Brands

Design Frontiers
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2

Free group show Design Frontiers at Somerset House gathers more than 30 boundary-pushing international designers, from furniture to fashion and technology to textiles. Brit designer Benjamin Hubert of design agency LAYER is launching his 'Axyl' collection of sustainable chairs for Allermuir, sporting sinuous silhouettes in recycled and stackable aluminium and plastic. Hubert is also unveiling his lifestyle-focussed tech brand nolii, including sleek device chargers, global plugs and cable management. Spanish designer Jaime Hayon and UK star Jasper Morrison have joined forces to create new menswear range Jijibaba, launched here and at Dover Street Market. Featuring workwear jackets, cotton shirts and chinos, the 38-piece collection includes witty T-shirts and cardigans (sporting smiley faces), with the duo curating future contributions by art and design talents. Vitra and Fritz Hansen pieces furnish the apartment-style space. For wearable technology don't miss Materialise: The Big Studio and Pentland Brands, a red-hued installation spotlighting performance-enhancing sports kit and athleisure wear, from trainers to swimsuits and backpacks.

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ABOVE: Miniature pots by Yuta Segawa at group showcase 'Ceramics in the City' at Hoxton's Geffrye Museum

Ceramics in the City
Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, London E2

Lovers of the handmade who are potty about pottery will adore this annual selling show at the Geffrye Museum, with 'Ceramics in the City' showing work by 50 of the UK's leading ceramic artists. Buy direct from the makers, with user-friendly tableware and one-off craft pieces to tempt you. With ceramics embracing oriental influences, organic forms and kooky colour, you're bound to find your favourite; then wander this museum of domestic interiors with room sets displayed in a string of 18th-century almshouses flanked by herb and period gardens.

ABOVE: Posters by German graphic designer Otl Aicher promoting the alpine town of Isny Im Allgäu, part of the largest retrospective of his work ever shown in the UK

Otl Aicher's Isny
3 Tyers Gate, London SE1 (until 29 September)

If graphic design is your bag, knock yourself out at 'Otl Aicher's Isny', a fascinating exhibition hosted by design/brand consultancy dn&co at its Bermondsey gallery Ground Floor Space devoted to the work of the acclaimed German talent. Graphic designer Otl Aicher is best known for branding airline Lufthansa and the 1972 Munich Olympics, as well as founding the influential Ulm School of Design. This show explores the iconic design identity he devised in the 1970s for the small town of Isny Im Allgäu, an alpine tourist destination in southern Germany keen to plug its summer cycling and winter skiing. Aicher distilled the town into 120 pictograms – stark, black-and-white and pared back – expressing German Modernism at its best. We can't wait to order the limited-edition book launched to tie by sister company Place Press. 

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ABOVE: Pattern and colour rule as fashion duo Peter Pilotto bring creative collaborations with design and art world pals to a Victorian townhouse in South Kensington, including Martino Gamper's 'Arnold Circus' stools

Peter Pilotto's Townhouse Takeover
3 Cromwell Place, London SW7 (until 15 October)

Fashion, design and art walk hand in hand at Peter Pilotto's boho takeover of a three-storey Victorian townhouse in South Kensington for Brompton Design District. The East London-based duo behind the arty UK fashion label – Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos – display their wonderful womenswear (including the just-revealed Spring/Summer 18 collection), but have also brought their design scene pals on board. So Bethan Laura Wood provides pastel-hued glass lighting, furniture designer Martino Gamper creates colourful 'Arnold Circus' stools, glassblower Jochen Holz crafts jugs and vases, and artist Francis Upritchard and designer Max Lamb provide art works, including collaborations with the boys. Rugs, antiques, throws and vibrant painted walls hint at the pair's taste, giving an insight into their style and creative processes.

londondesignfestival.com
London Design Festival runs until this Sunday 24 September 2017, although select events may continue longer.

Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms

The Fizz steps into Francis Bacon's invisible rooms of pain at Tate Liverpool, where a new exhibition explores his use of ghostly architectural devices  

BY DEE IVA

Revered and reviled in equal measure, British artist Francis Bacon’s tortured and often terrifying paintings are instantly recognisable. His disturbing depictions of the human psyche belong to the same ghoulish landscape inhabited by Hieronymus Bosch before him and YBA enfants terribles Jake and Dinos Chapman, whose controversial artworks cause outrage with their semi-pornographic and tormented visions of life on earth. 

‘Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms’, a new exhibition at Tate Liverpool, explores Bacon’s method of placing his subjects within abstracted spaces and ghostly frames to focus the viewer’s attention on his nightmarish images. Inspired by the Greek Furies, Bacon’s infamous triptych ’Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion’, is here in all its visceral glory using a table, a pedestal and a patch of grass to display three alien lifeforms in varying stages of angst. 

TOP: 'Portrait of Isabel Rawsthorne Standing in a Street in Soho', 1967. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
ABOVE RIGHT: Francis Bacon (1909-1992) in his London studio, 1974
ABOVE: 'Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion', 1944. Tate
BELOW: 'Triptych Inspired by T's Eliot's 'Sweeney Agonistes'', 1967. Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution

This landmark painting is just one of 30 artworks at Tate Liverpool that employ Bacon’s use of physical settings. ‘Portrait of Isabel Rawsthorne Standing in a Street in Soho’ sees Bacon’s fellow artist and bon viveur safely installed within a transparent structure while people, cars and large animals congregate outside. ‘Triptych Inspired by TS Eliot’s 'Sweeney Agonistes'’ is too American Horror Story for words. Two lovers asleep on a bed are blissfully unaware that a gruesome murder may have taken place in the room next door, while the last panel shows someone calling for help. Bacon’s trademark open-mouthed scream is represented here too in the deep green ‘Study for the Nurse in the Film ‘Battleship Potemkin’' and ‘Study for a Portrait’, with each person imprisoned in their own private hell.

BELOW FROM TOP: 'Study for the Nurse in the Film 'Battleship Potemkin'', 1957. Städel Museum; 'Study for a Portrait', 1952. Tate 

ABOVE: 'Three Figures and Portrait', 1975. Tate; 'After Muybridge – Woman Emptying a Bowl of Water and Paralytic Child on All Fours', 1965. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Accompanying the finished works are sketchbooks, photographs and frenzied notes and scribblings that give some insight into Bacon’s thought processes and inspirations, conveying a sense of his obsessive nature and frantic energy. The largest Bacon exhibition ever staged in the north of England, ’Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms’ is hardly an easy ride but one well worth taking whether you’re an acolyte or not. Definitely a must-see in our books...
tate.org.uk

'Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms' is on now until 18 September 2016 at Tate Liverpool, Albert Dock, Liverpool Waterfront, L3, before transferring to Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Konrad-Adenauer-Str. 30-32, Stuttgart from 7 October 2016 to 8 January 2017

All works © The Estate of Francis Bacon. Francis Bacon portrait: Michael Holtz

Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei

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It’s the last chance to catch two modern art greats at Melbourne’s 'Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei' show

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Pop Art provocateur Andy Warhol and Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei come together in a celebration of two of contemporary art’s most radical talents. There’s still time to catch ‘Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei’ at Melbourne’s NGV International, with extended hours this weekend before the hit show wraps up Monday on ANZAC Day.

Tickets have been selling like hot bagels/dumplings for this compelling doubleheader, which takes two of the 20th and 21st centuries’ most controversial artists and explores the parallels and contrasts in their work. Developed exclusively by Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria and Pittsburgh’s The Andy Warhol Museum, the exhibition follows on from Weiwei’s recent headline-grabbing shows at London's Royal Academy and Copenhagen's Faurschou Foundation. Over 300 works are on display, spanning painting, sculpture, photography, film, publishing and social media.

ABOVE: A young Ai Weiwei imitates Warhol's pose: 'At the Museum of Modern Art', 1987, silver gelatin photo from the 'New York Photographs' series 1983-93, Ai Weiwei Studio
ABOVE RIGHT: Ai Weiwei at the current National Gallery of Victoria exhibition 'Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei', with his room installation featuring Australian advocates of human rights, photo by John Gollings
BELOW FROM LEFT: Andy Warhol's 'Mao', 1972, acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen; 'Andy Warhol in Tiananmen Square', 1982, photo by Christopher Makos, makostudio.com

Pop Art protagonist Warhol, who died in 1987, represents the ‘American century’, with his bold explorations of consumer culture, capitalism and celebrity (including its dark side, from car crashes to state executions). Artist and social activist Weiwei, born in 1957, is one of the most visible faces of the current ‘Chinese century’, with Asia’s superpower dominating global commerce. There are many crossovers between the pair though, with Weiwei living in the States from 1981 to 1993 where he was inspired by Warhol’s conceptual approach. Weiwei’s interdisciplinary practice also mirrors The Factory, Warhol’s famously bohemian studio, using collaboration and social media to broaden the reach of his art. The exhibition presents more than 200 of Warhol’s iconic works, including his famous ‘Mao’ portrait; Warhol visited China and was intrigued by its iconography and politics. Up for grabs are more than 120 works by Weiwei, making this Australia's most comprehensive retrospective of his output to date.

BELOW: Ai Weiwei goes potty!: 'Coloured Vases', 2006, Neolithic vases (5000-3000 BC) and industrial paint; 'Neolithic Pottery with Coca Cola Logo', 2007, paint, Neolithic ceramic urn; two installation views of the Melbourne 'Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei' exhibition showing Andy Warhol artworks and Ai Weiwei pots, photos by Brooke Holm

ABOVE: 'Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn', 1995, three silver gelatin photographs, Ai Weiwei Studio

We love Weiwei’s jaw-dropping pot pieces, including his vibrant ‘Coloured Vases’ cluster, splattering ancient vases with industrial paint, and culture-clash work ‘Neolithic Pottery with Coca Cola Logo’. Both take an ancient art form and reinvent it for the modern era, offering similar shock tactics to that of British potter Grayson Perry

New commissions include a bespoke installation from Weiwei’s ongoing ‘Forever Bicycles’ series forming an arch at the exhibition entrance. It incorporates 1,400 readymade bicycles, a recurring motif in Weiwei's photos, but here detached from their function in a blur of mesmerising repetition; the individual melds into the multitude. Also new is a major five-metre-tall work from his crystal ‘Chandelier’ series, shaped like an antique Han Dynasty tomb lamp, ‘Blossom 2015’ featuring a bed of delicate porcelain flowers, and the playful 'Caonima (Grass Mud Horse) Balloons and Bird Balloons', a floating inflatable work influenced by Warhol's 'Silver Clouds' 1966.

ABOVE: Installation view of 'Forever Bicycles' by Ai Weiwei at Melbourne's 'Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei' exhibition, photo by Brooke Holm; Ai Weiwei at the show snapping his 2015 'Caonima Balloons and Bird Balloons' kinetic installation, photo by John Gollings

Don’t miss 'Studio Cats' in the NGV Kids section, which celebrates both artists’ love affair with cats, depicted on wallpaper, film, photos and paper works. In the Fifties Warhol lived with a herd of Siamese cats, and created ink-blot drawings, photos and pictures of them in his early career. More than 30 cats enjoy free reign in Weiwei’s studio, popping up in cameo roles in his social media posts. Weiwei rates felines for their independence, freedom and aloofness, embracing their 21st-century Instagram status. It seems these two cool art cats had a lot in common...
www.ngv.vic.gov.au

BELOW FROM TOP: 'Ai Weiwei with cat, @aiww, Instagram', 2006, Ai Weiwei Studio; 'Andy Warhol with Siamese Cat', c. 1957, gelatin silver photograph, by Edward Wallowitch

'Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei' is at NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, until 5pm Monday 25 April 2016; extended hours apply including 24-hour opening from 10pm Saturday 23-10pm Sunday 24 April, and a special performance by Robert Forster (The Go-Betweens). It transfers to The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, USA, from 4 June to 28 August 2016.