Review: FORM @ Olympia

By Londonist Last edited 131 months ago
Review: FORM @ Olympia

For those of you with a penchant for furniture with an artistic flair or pretty but undeniably useless knick-knacks, your mecca is open for this weekend only. FORM: London - which takes over Olympia National Hall until 2 March - falls somewhere between massive gallery experience and fantasy shopping excursion. Featuring items from understated hand-carved furniture to large-scale paintings to surreal centre pieces. And everything can be taken home if the contents of your wallet match the price tags.

As everyone visiting might not been in the market to redecorate (or buy a caravan), there is still plenty to enjoy in the novelty. Some of the furniture seems almost too fantastic to ever use but is no less beautiful for the fact; Getty Images has reached back into their archives and brought out dozens of rare prints; Kinetica Museum has an installation featuring humans in motion that is both fascinating and slightly unsettling. There is also dna, a section devoted to the fresh ideas of lesser-known designers. The focus on rising talent again gives FORM a gallery feel, though the works in dna vary from table wares to murals. And if you'd prefer to enjoy things in coffee table book form, there is an area of just books featuring more exclusive must-haves as well as the most elaborate children's pop-up books imaginable.

For those with a more technical bent, there are lectures being held throughout the weekend discussing the marriage of art and design and the nature of art collecting today. Talks will also be given twice each day by MA students at the Courtauld Institute singling out works in the show. And if you prefer the white glove treatment, you can arrange to have a consult take you around the exhibition.

From what we can gather, pop art harking back to Warhol's Elvis and Marilyn is still all the rage, neon is the way to brighten up a lighting fixture, and there seems to be a growing market for chairs and small sofas comprised of plush animals (included according to habitat). FORM over function indeed.

By Amanda Farah

FORM: London until 2 March, Olympia National Hall. Tickets are £12/£10 at the door. Children under 14 free. For more information and advance tickets, visit the FORM website.

Last Updated 29 February 2008