«Living in London we are truly spoilt when it comes to culture. From now on, Studio Hopwood will be sharing current favourites from the capital and beyond every month. Here’s to an eye-opening July.»
Modigliani at Tate Modern
Rather wonderfully, it was last week announced that Tate Modern is to stage the largest UK retrospective of Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani’s work. The painter and sculptor’s name is pretty well known these days, but there are still many people unfamiliar with his work. Modigliani died young — 35 to be precise — and much like many of his peers was not celebrated for his work during his lifetime. He is primarily associated with elongated faces and simplified nudes, but in reality he could draw three lines and it would be intensely expressive and beautiful. In 2010 an anonymous telephone bidder purchased one of his sculptures, ‘Tête’, for €43.2 million at Christie’s in Paris, making it one of the most expensive works of art ever sold.
Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG
The Japanese House at Barbican
It might be too late to visit now, but it’s still worth mentioning the Japanese House exhibition at Barbican. Beyond the obvious brilliance of finding any excuse to visit the iconic Barbican estate (don’t miss the mesmerisingly calm conservatory), one of the great things about this celebration of Japanese design was that it allowed people living in and visiting London from around the world to fall in love with the intuitive style and function that inspired many of Modernism’s most famous architects. The one downside was that the show didn’t allude too much to the beginnings of Japanese design culture and where it all came from — something everyone would like to see. For a little further exploration, we definitely recommend looking up Katsura Imperial Villa — one of Japan’s most influential architectural icons.
Barbican Centre, Silk St, London, EC2Y 8DS
La Traviata at Glyndebourne
At some point during last week’s coverage of a sun-baked Worthy Farm, Dan, bored, switched over to the Antiques Roadshow realising that his heart has transitioned from Glastonbury to Glyndebourne — another jewel in the British countryside and a slice of music magic. In the grounds of a grand house in Sussex operas are staged in a purpose built opera house which is regarded as one of the greatest venues and hosts the world’s best to sing there. Dan’s excuse for his transition from a rock to opera lover is visual impact. Nostalgic of the 80’s New Romantics.
On his last visit, Dan saw La Traviata — a fabulous Italian opera from Verdi. One of the highlights has to be the incredible set design by Hildegard Bechtler. The renowned theatre designer is German-born but came to the UK to study at Camberwell and Central St Martin’s.
Glyndebourne, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 5UU
Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone
In the heart of Marylebone — and right on Dan’s doorstep — Chiltern Firehouse is a restaurant in an old fire station. Now that the constant media frenzy and parade of celebrities has died down, it has proven itself as a warm and welcoming bar and restaurant, perfect for a pre-Poldark cocktail on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Owned by André Balazs, of the Chateau Marmont group, the fabulous interiors of the restaurant could’ve been designed in the 1970s. Moving through the venue, each space has a specialism and a unique identity.
Chiltern Firehouse, 1 Chiltern St, Marylebone, London, W1U 7PA
Rules for Modern Life by Sir David Tang
On the cover of the version of ‘Rules for Modern Life’ that we have in the studio, Stephen Fry is quoted as describing David Tang’s rather tongue in cheek nod to everything from dinner parties to interior design as, “Incisive, outrageous and preposterously entertaining.” We couldn’t agree more.
Malgorzata bany via The New Craftsmen
One much-loved member of our team is moving abroad to start a new chapter of in her life, so we have been faced with the daunting task of choosing a fitting leaving gift. She’s a lady with serious taste so we headed to studio favourite The New Craftsmen. The site is a great vehicle for artists and craftsmen and is how we discovered Malgorzata Bany. Inspired by the elegant forms of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, she has created many incredible, sculptural pieces of all scales. Beautiful, and made resin, Dan ended up purchasing himself a set of soap dishes. The only problem is that they are far too beautiful to sit in the bathroom and have ended up on display in his living room!