ArtHAUS, DegreeArt Gallery, London, England

Posted on May 4, 2012 by

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When I heard about the East London gallery DegreeArt attempting something as wild as installing a house inside of their exhibition space The Execution Room, I knew it would be something to write home about, and it certainly is. Instead of starting with a space and buying art to fit a certain design aesthetic, DegreeArt have inventively asked what if you start with the art and work outwards, using curated artwork as its catalyst.

ArtHAUS is a surrealist take on the modern home containing five rooms; a bedroom, living room, kitchen, dining room and bathroom, which the viewer is invited to wander through. Each room has a different theme, for example the kitchen reflects the commodification of art and references the Pop Art Movement, but instead of the wry mass-produced Campbell’s Soup cans by Warhol, the DegreeArt artists have individually hand-painted supermarket objects, bringing life and originality back to mass-produced products.

The bedroom (below) has the theme ‘Vintage Euphoria,’ and it’s meant to be peaceful haven where one can leave behind the troubles of the outside world. The room features angels, otherworldly flowers, feathers and vintage furniture in a pastel, gold and mahogany colour palette. In the bedroom you can really see the collaborative spirit of ArtHAUS, which not only features the work of dozens of incredible artists, but also contains product loan from innovative design companies, such as concept boutique Inspitalfields, Swiss design company Muralto and upcycled furniture from Retro Zebra.

The dining room is one of my favourite rooms. The premise is ‘Pop Toxic,’ and as somewhere where we generally eat and socialise, it explores the idea of consumption and the toxicity of modern life. It contains a whole host of bold and audacious neon paintings and avant-garde sculptures that are simultaneously beautiful but challenging.

Ryan Lanji, the curator (and brains behind building the house) described the motivation behind this ambitious immersive installation: “ArtHAUS is an exercise in vision and the possibilities of collaboration. Through careful curation, each room speaks volumes in context to individual artwork as well as the group installation as a whole – I wanted to curate an experience that will leave a contemporary legacy on each piece and each artist’s discourse.”

Although it is a complex, genre-busting show, the message conveyed through ArtHAUS is simple: Owning works of art can introduce windows of beauty, pleasure and escapism into the spaces where we spend our lives.

It’s great to see so many different artists and designers come together to create something so very unique, and it was wonderful to be able to wander from room to room examining the various artists’ work in such an unconventional show.

If you want to check out ArtHAUS for yourself, the exhibition opened May 3rd and runs in the DegreeArt exhibition space until 1st July. The gallery is open every day from 12-6pm, and as its part of Timeout London’s First Thursdays, every first Thursday of the month the gallery is open until 9pm.

And the best bit about the exhibition is that you are able purchase any art that takes your fancy from the DegreeArt website, so you can recreate ArtHAUS in your own home! I just love this concept, if you have opportunity to visit – get yourself down there!!!

Location: DegreeArt, 12a Vyner Street, Bethnal Green, London, E2 9DG

Entry Fee: FREE