You go all the way to being brutal
I spent Sunday morning admiring Antony Gormley's handiwork in and around the Hayward Gallery. Event Horizon puts lots of little Gormleys (as opposed to one big one) across the London skyline. Walking over Waterloo Bridge you catch sight of the first rooftop figure and as soon as you see one you can't help looking around to find them all. I like the way it's proper art, but it's beautiful and playful at the same time. Not for anyone traumatised by Dr Who's Blink although they look pretty placid by comparison.
Inside the gallery there's a variety of other works in case you think he just spends all his time making effigies of himself. Blind Light, a walk-in foggy box is completely disorienting but in a very pleasant way. Like standing in a cloud. Back outside I enjoyed all the Brutalism. Lovely, lovely concrete. Following the debates in this week's BBC Magazine about Britain's most unpopular buildings, I wondered if people still hate the ones on the South Bank or is it okay if they've got art in them? The Hayward Gallery is particularly lovely - proper brutal with all its jutting angles and hard edges. For the rest it's a hard one to call. Of the 4 buildings up for debate I've only seen one - Owen Luder's Get Carter car park in Gateshead. I think it's fab and having parked in it, can attest it does exactly what it's supposed to. It always seems like the same half-arsed debate though - some outraged local who wants to knock it down vs someone from the Twentieth Century Society who doesn't have to look at it every day but reckons it's very important. Having sought out a few carbuncles lately the reality is more complicated, with every building having different pros and cons depending on what and where it is. It would be good to get beyond the mudslinging and talk about it properly 'cause I can't help feeling this isn't helping architecture any. I'm wondering if tomorrow's building will be King of the Carbuncles, Cumbernauld town centre. We went there last week and can see why it provokes strong opinions. Visit report coming soon.