Concrete Legacies is a new exhibition of 3D ‘plastic paintings’, gold plated etchings and a film made during artist Charlie Warde’s residencies at the Goldfinger Factory in Trellick Tower and at The National Trust’s 2 Willow Road, both designed by Brutalist architect Ernö Goldfinger. For artists like Warde (pic above) Brutalism has become source material – something to be observed, quoted, appropriated – a part of art history. Since his MA, Warde has been obsessively researching Goldfinger’s buildings and collecting deep technical data by trawling through archives and interviewing academics and architects. He uses traditional painter’s materials such as raw pigment and mediums to accurately model concrete and aggregate pieces, and then assembles these into precise copies of weathered architectural fragments, but with a painter’s eye for their colours and processes of colouration.
“We live in heightened Neoliberal times with a skyline punctured by the high-tech signature architecture of banks and private equity firms, populated by people who are lucky enough to afford their own homes,” says Warde, “Brutalism is part of the Zeitgeist again because it harks from a time when the state provided. It represents a muscular return to strong core values.” The exhibition both celebrates and challenges Goldfinger’s attempts at building utopia. Warde’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the V&A Museum. At the The Muse Gallery, Portobello Road, until 19th June. themuseat269.com Don’t forget The Muse is only open 2pm – 6pm Thursday – Sunday.