Pablo Bronstein: Sketches for Regency Living

ColinHumphrey:, culture, exhibition, london, ica, performance, paint, various art forms, pablo bronstein, pablo bronstein: sketches for regency living, 2011ColinHumphrey:, culture, exhibition, london, ica, performance, paint, various art forms, pablo bronstein, pablo bronstein: sketches for regency living, 2011

Pablo Bronstein: Sketches for Regency Living

ICA: 19/06/2011 – 25/09/2011, FREE. Photo from The Guardian website.

About the show

Pablo Bronstein’s exhibition at the ICA combines originally thought out works of art which include performance, drawing, painting and period furniture that quite literally transform the gallery space.

Gallery space

The collection occupies the entire gallery. The ground floor is partitioned into a large open area featuring a backdrop in Regency style against which performance artists dramatise the mood subtly with choreographed moves & exaggerated gestures aptly punctuating the mannerisms of the time. The second noticeable section into which this exhibition can be decomposed consists of the more finished and precise drawings. These are found along the left side of the connecting passage between the entrance and the dining area including the stairwell walls. The use of period furnishings in the third group uses actual historical documents and furniture as a form onto which the ideas of ‘Regency living’ behind the show are reinforced strongly.

The exhibition

Overall the exhibition personifies a living archive with a stylistic depth and classical integrity in which the viewer can hitch an art historical ride expounded in three dimensions. The combination of performance, large scale temporary wall painting, small scale framed paintings and historical documents give a panoply of forms by which the art history buff and novice can appreciate with equal agency. The show is not sensational in itself in fact it is rather bland, the sensation of the show is derived by the engagement with it.

The message

The execution of the drawn work carries an array of mixed associations for example in ‘Design for the Ornamentation of Middle Class Houses’ I am reminded of early Renaissance styles like that of Giotto and Pontormo which to some could give off a dated scent that could prove uninteresting. Bronstein, the artist captures in his mediation the sense of fabrication and construction which expounds the general thesis, that the architecture of today is essentially no more than a teleological refrain back to earlier times constantly being written and reworked like a cultural blueprint of the times channeled by new technical innovations, economics and style.

General precis

Architecture of any era and any form can be articulated by the assertion of Auguste Schmarsow, who posits its truest virtue (in the Platonic sense) as the division of space and so in this regard, Bronstein the artists becomes the architect, the space temporarily changed and engineered into a pedagogical machine where the art meets the viewer at an unimposing but nonetheless striking fashion to perhaps to leave him/her wanting more.


Pablo Bronstein’s exhibition discusses architecture, style, history and transition through his architectural paintings, performances and drawings.

written by: Colin Humphrey

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