When more means more

I saw the Post-Modernism exhibition at the Soane Museum today. In some ways it was rather confusing, since the objects and drawings were scattered among Soane’s collection. As you came up the stairs to the first floor you were greeted by one of the giant egg cups from Farrell’s TVam building, and a chair, also designed for that building, seemed almost at home.

The greatest revelation, however, were the paintings of Carl Laubin, of whom I confess I had never heard. He painted carnivalesque imaginings of Covent Garden with Dixon Jones’ extension to the opera house as backdrop and, even more extraordinary, a vision of the City, almost dystopian, incorporating John Outram’s proposals for Bracken House. (Rowan Moore wrote a great piece about Outram in the Observer).

There are obvious parallels to Gandy’s painting of Soane’s work, and indeed many of Laubin’s paintings are cappricios in the tradition of Gandy. But the fabulous drawings that some Post-Modernists produced sit oh so well in the Soane. Indeed, where else to reassess and enjoy their ideas than in this treasure house, where more is most certainly more?

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