TABLE OF CONTENTS

TOP TEN

Hilary Lloyd

An artist based in London, Hilary Lloyd has recently had solo shows at Raven Row, London, and Le Consortium, Dijon, France. Last month, an exhibition of her new work opened at Artists Space in New York.

  1. THE SHARD, LONDON

    The Shard, designed by Renzo Piano, will be the tallest building in London. Since construction began two years ago, I’ve been watching the site from a narrow footbridge that runs alongside it. It’s unusual (in London, at least) to be able to get so close to and also above such a massive excavation site. The building is going up pretty fast now. I like that there’s a crane balancing right on top, day and night, always at new angles.

    *Renzo Piano Building Workshop, The Shard, 2000–, London.* Construction view. Photo: George Rex, November 3, 2010. Renzo Piano Building Workshop, The Shard, 2000–, London. Construction view. Photo: George Rex, November 3, 2010.
  2. MARTHA AND THE VANDELLAS, TELEVISED PERFORMANCE OF “NOWHERE TO RUN,” 1965

    Shot at the Ford factory in Detroit and aired in 1965 on the television show It’s What’s Happening, Baby, this performance of “Nowhere to Run” lasts the two minutes and forty-five seconds it took to put together an entire Mustang. Ford wouldn’t interrupt manufacturing for the shoot, so the assembly lines keep moving as Martha Reeves, Rosalind Ashford, and Betty Kelly jump into and out of cars as they’re being built, surrounded by workers, machinery, and hanging parts. Attempting to create a radical new sound, drummer Benny Benjamin and producer Lamont Dozier miked up old, used car chains and banged them down on the beat to make a clanking noise, apparently until their hands bled.

    *Stills from a videotaped performance of “Nowhere to Run,” 1965, by Martha and the Vandellas staged by Motown producers and Murray “the K” Kaufman for broadcast on his TV show _It’s What’s Happening, Baby_ on CBS.* Stills from a videotaped performance of “Nowhere to Run,” 1965, by Martha and the Vandellas staged by Motown producers and Murray “the K” Kaufman for broadcast on his TV show It’s What’s Happening, Baby on CBS.
  3. WOOLWICH FERRY, LONDON

    The Woolwich Ferry links the north and south circular roads across the River Thames. There are two ferries, one on the north side and one on the south. Each ferry backs out into the river, swings round 180 degrees, and then docks, almost immediately, on the opposite bank. Here the Thames is quite narrow and the ferries are quite big, so they are very close to each other when they pass in the middle. The complicated maneuver is executed with wonderful elegance and precision.

  4. OSSIE CLARK AND CELIA BIRTWELL

    Seemingly endless quantities of floating fabric, huge fringes, fantastically complicated bias cuts, and mesmerizingly beautiful prints: Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell worked together to design unrestricting, hugely flamboyant, but exquisitely tailored clothing. They were major figures of the 1960s and ’70s, appearing—as themselves—in Jack Hazan’s A Bigger Splash (1973). In a scene at a fashion show, models Gala and Amanda Lear dance across the catwalk, and you get to see the dresses move.

    *Jack Hazan, _A Bigger Splash_, 1973,* still from a color film in 35 mm, 106 minutes. Gala Mitchell. Jack Hazan, A Bigger Splash, 1973, still from a color film in 35 mm, 106 minutes. Gala Mitchell.
  5. “WATERCOLOUR,” TATE BRITAIN, LONDON

    This exhibition of watercolor painting spans eight hundred years. I especially love the pages from Jacob Halder’s Almain Armourer’s Album, a sixteenth-century compendium of armor designs. The complete look appears on the left, while the right displays the individual parts—the helmet, gorget, pauldrons, couters, vambraces, gauntlets—all highly detailed, colored, and set against a pale ground. Another favorite was a nightmarish painting by Edward Burra, Soldiers at Rye, 1941, of uniformed men in grotesque carnival masks.

  6. BARBICAN HIGHWALKS, LONDON

    The Barbican highwalks are deeply Romantic, especially at night when they’re frequently deserted. Starting above the City of London, the elevated walkways pass among the concrete towers of the Barbican Estate and extend all the way to Smithfield, the meat market, where trucks load and the pubs and cafés stay open. Another fantastic raised walkway in London runs from Waterloo Bridge across the Hayward past the Purcell Room to the Royal Festival Hall, weaving in and out of the concrete buildings and moving between several levels, with multiple accesses and exits. Sometimes you are visible and sometimes hidden away; like the Barbican highwalks, the path feels private, remote, and casually erotic. Sadly, it’s been closed now for years.

    *A Barbican highwalk, London, November 17, 2009.* Photo: Tom Howell. A Barbican highwalk, London, November 17, 2009. Photo: Tom Howell.
  7. GEORGIA O’KEEFFE, THE SHELTON WITH SUNSPOTS, N.Y., 1926

    Recently, I’ve been looking at Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings of New York skyscrapers at night, and at The Shelton with Sunspots, N.Y., which shows the city at sunset, or maybe at dawn. The sun hits the famous Shelton Hotel, smashing off the top. It’s a blinding light.

    *Georgia O’Keeffe, _The Shelton with Sunspots, N.Y._, 1926,* oil on canvas, 48 1/2 x 30 1/4". © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Georgia O’Keeffe, The Shelton with Sunspots, N.Y., 1926, oil on canvas, 48 1/2 x 30 1/4". © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.
  8. THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE GALLERIES, VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM, LONDON

    A thrilling, shockingly creative treasury of objects, the Theatre and Performance Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum house Roger Butlin’s futuristic mirrored set for Ewan Hooper’s 1969 play Martin Luther King, Edward Burra’s bleak design for Robert Helpmann’s 1944 Miracle in the Gorbals, and a huge rhinoceros costume from a recent production of Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros. Also on view is a strangely exciting film of people in rehearsal. The power of these sometimes-improvised scenes reminds me of made-for-TV dramas by directors such as Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. One of Ossie Clark’s catsuits, which he designed for Mick Jagger, is also hanging there.

  9. EDOUARD MANET, MASKED BALL AT THE OPERA, 1873–74

    I suppose it’s all the top hats and the masks and the bizarre cropping. I saw this painting seven years ago at the Whitechapel Gallery in London and was completely entranced. I still think about it, a lot.

  10. ARENA HOMME +

    This magazine, it’s an addiction.