Phillips London have gone a little Hysterical.
Now forgive me for saying this, but Mayfair isn’t exactly the edgiest place in London. Pick your jaws up off the floor, for it’s true. Still, there’s one place that’s currently bringing a little more carefree pizzazz to the area, for auction house Phillips are hosting their annual selling exhibition. At this crazy, colourful offering – called Hysterical – the theme is clearly “glorious acid trip”, and we’re so here for it.
See also: Even more art exhibitions to catch in London this year.
I imagine this is what Disneyland looks like if you’ve taken magic mushrooms before arriving. Set designer and artist Gary Card has been let loose on the place, creating an immersive landscape of art, complete with dreamy, trippy swirls and splotches of colour.
All the art on display is available for private sale, so credit to Phillips for giving Card the licence to really show them off. In a canny bit of social media-savvy marketing, Hysterical is insanely Instagrammable, a funhouse perfect for a spot of posing.
Hidden amongst the purple-and-orange floors and rainbow walls are works by Yayoi Kusama, Carrol Dunham, Ugo Rondinone, and Kenny Scharf. They range from the colourful and pleasant – like Kusama’s spotted flowers – to the downright unsettling, like Cindy Sherman’s Untitled #426, which depicts a clown wearing rubber gloves and brandishing a saucepan.
Candidly, I half expect to see this monstrosity lurking around a corner, especially since its creator Jordan Wolfson has a couple of works featured at Hysterical.
Frankly, it’s often difficult to spot the difference between the works for sale, and the psychedelic additions Card has made, which I suppose is the point. One thing that’s entirely Card, however, is this beret-wearing pickle man, who appears to have come straight from the film Sausage Party.
Subtle, it is not. However, it’s definitely fascinating, and the best thing about Hysterical is that it’s entirely free to visit. Of course, it won’t be free if you start waving the credit card around and buying art, but I think it’s safe to assume this is all out of our price range…
Location: 30 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, W1J 6EX. Nearest station is Bond Street. See it on Google Maps.
Opening times: 10am-6pm, Monday to Saturday – the exhibition finishes on August 21st.
Entry: free! (Find more free things to do in London here).
More information: from their website.
Featured image: @phillipsauction
Also published on Medium.