Bronze Age c. 3500 BC – AD 2017

Bronze Age c. 3500 BC – AD 2017


For Frieze London 2017, Hauser & Wirth recreated a fictional Bronze Age presentation from a forgotten museum. Atelier Dyakova was commissioned to design the graphic identity for the exhibition, which translated into spacial signage, captioning and merchandise. Given the mischievous nature of the curatorial idea, the design is intentionally naive and crude.

Realised in collaboration with Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, ‘Bronze Age c. 3500 BC – AD 2017’, focuses solely on works made of bronze. These include artefacts on loan from international museums and private collections nationwide, sculptures by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Henry Moore and Fausto Melotti, and miscellaneous bronze objects purchased from eBay, masquerading as archaeological finds. Moving away from the traditional white walls of an art fair, this presentation challenged expectations and highlights the power of display.

In ‘Bronze Age c. 3500 BC – AD 2017’, the art fair visitor is invited to enter the overlooked corner of a museum. Passing by an invigilator’s desk, the viewer encounters mismatched vitrines, assembled piecemeal seemingly over decades. These host a plethora of bronze objects: painting sticks cast in bronze for this very presentation (Phyllida Barlow), tarnished sink-stoppers (Marcel Duchamp), ancient spear heads from ebay, a bronze head dug up on the bank of River Brue (Bruton Museum, Somerset) and a butt-plug toting Santa Claus (Paul McCarthy).

Images © Alex Delfanne
Text and images courtesy of Hauser & Wirth