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ARTS > 2012 Olympics comes with giant exhibitons

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While the preparations continue for the kick-off of the London Olympics on June 25, the London2012 Festival is gaining full speed with arts and culture events presenting famous artists

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A detail from Damien Hirst’s work ‘Sympathy in white major-Absolution II’

A detail from Damien Hirst’s work ‘Sympathy in white major-Absolution II’

As preparations continue for the kick-off of the London Olympics on June 25, the London2012 Festival, which has been going on in the U.K. capital since June 21, is gaining full speed. Conceptualizing the giant sports event as a festive opportunity to hold a series of accompanying cultural activities, London2012 features amazing art projects covering all genres from music, film and theater to fine art, and extending its reach to design, architecture, street art and fashion.

Here are Hürriyet Daily News’ must-see selections from the London2012 exhibition program, with a focus on events taking place after the start of the Olympics.

An underground pavilion has been created for the occasion by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and the design duo Herzog & de Meuron, and is being exhibited until Oct. 14 at the Serpentine Gallery’s lawn in Hyde Park. Embedded in the gallery’s front lawn, the work is a large circular structure made of muted steel and earth-colored cork. Architects Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei previously collaborated on Beijing’s Bird Nest National Stadium. Serpentine Gallery is also hosting Japanese-American artist Yoko Ono’s show “To the Light,” a major retrospective of works by the conceptual artist, featuring new and existing work plus her large-scale project “SMILE.” The show runs through Sept. 9
Tate St. Ives is hosting a retrospective by Brooklyn-born artist Alex Katz, bringing together over 30 canvases plus collages and cut-outs that span the full breadth of his career, from the 1950s to the present day. The exhibit is open until Sept. 23.

Interesting art events are also taking place elsewhere in the U.K. this summer: the Clinton Centre in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, will be home to Armenian director Atom Egoyan’s installation “Steenbeckett,” a tribute to British playwright Samuel Beckett, as part of the Enniskillen International Beckett Festival, Aug. 11-27.

London’s famous Victoria & Albert Museum is hosting an exhibition titled “Britain Creates 2012: Fashion + Art Collusion” until July 29. The show brings together leading British fashion designers and artists including Hussein Chalayan, Giles Deacon and Jeremy Deller to celebrate London2012.

The first substantial survey of the work of Damien Hirst, one of the most prominent British artists to emerge in the 1990s, is presently on view at Tate Modern. The exhibition runs through September.
“She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea,” is the first major exhibition by the celebrated British artist Tracey Emin in her home town of Margate, and is open to visitors through Sept. 23 at Turner Contemporary in Margate. The museum also houses works by Turner and Rodin.

Street artist Inkie is curating Europe’s largest street art festival, “See No Evil,” including over 20 commissions on a disused site in the heart of Bristol until Aug 19. Visitors to the London Olympics should also check the dates for the World Shakespeare Festival, as the Royal Shakespeare Company’s presentations will continue until late August.

July/25/2012

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