Art Diary

Horror in the Modernist Block

25 November 2022

From looming high-rise towers to heavy concrete buildings, modernist architecture has long been associated with the horror genre. This exhibition at Ikon gallery in Birmingham (25 November–1 May 2023) brings together a wide range of works by 20 contemporary artists to reveal how modernist design can provoke feelings of bewilderment, suspense and fear. Highlights include Mies 421 (2010), a video work by the multimedia artist Maria Taniguchi which leads viewers around the darkened and desolate spaces of the famous Barcelona Pavilion designed by Mies van der Rohe and Lily Reich for the 1929 International Exposition. Meanwhile, themes of alienation and entrapment are explored by artists such as Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann whose installation Espace vaincu, Énergie contrôlée (Vanquished space, Controlled energy) (2022) makes reference to the history of gendered space in modernist film, while Amba-Sayal Bennett’s architectural floor plan Soja (2019) explores the disorientating potential of certain built environments. Find out more on Ikon’s website.

Preview belowView Apollo’s Art Diary here

Exit Sign (2021), Abbas Zahedi. Courtesy the artist

The System #1 (2019), Firenze Lai. Courtesy the artist and Vitamin Creative Space

Soja (2019), Amba Sayal-Bennett. Courtesy of the artist

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