The Classical Now

It is just over two weeks until the opening of The Classical Now exhibition at Bush House and Somerset House. The way exhibition-planning works, the final list of objects and artworks was decided months ago – and everything has long been mapped out and mocked up. But what is exciting about this week is that the actual objects are beginning to arrive here in London. Most exhibits have been packed up and are now winging their way to the UK – from the States, France and Greece (among other places). But some, mostly those from furthest away, have already turned up in their giant crates, ready to be unpacked and securely stored.

We are particularly excited to be displaying so many objects – around 20 in total – from MACM (Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins), including this stunning bronze head of Apollo. These objects won’t be arriving for a while yet, but you can see that they’ve already been lovingly packed up for their travels. And many have never been publicly displayed in the UK before.

The exhibition looks to be the largest ever staged at King’s College London. Alongside ancient Greek and Roman objects, The Classical Now exhibits work by Edward Allington, Pablo Bronstein, Léo Caillard, Jean Cocteau, Michael Craig-Martin, André Derain, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Damien Hirst, Alex Israel, Derek Jarman, Yves Klein, Louise Lawler, Christopher Le Brun, Roy Lichtenstein, George Henry Longly, Ursula Mayer, Henry Moore, Bruce Nauman, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Giulio Paolini, Grayson Perry, Frances Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Marc Quinn, Mary Reid Kelley & Patrick Kelley, Sacha Sosno, Mark Wallinger and Rachel Whiteread. The show will also incorporate the video-installation, ‘Liquid Antiquity: Conversations’, featuring interviews with six contemporary artists (Matthew Barney, Paul Chan, Urs Fischer, Jeff Koons, Asad Raza and Kaari Upson) – commissioned by the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, and designed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro.

The exhibition opens to the public on the 2 March, and will be running in the Bush House Arcade and Inigo Rooms at Somerset House until 28 April. Admission is free, and we hope to excite and engage as many people as possible!