New art by Ryan Gander at 2 Willow Road

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Major contemporary artist Ryan Gander responds to Ernö Goldfinger’s groundbreaking designs at the architect’s Modernist home. 

'The artists have the keys' is a new exhibition running from 1 March to 2 November 2014.

  • 2 Willow Road, Hampstead, London NW3 1TH
  • Wednesday - Sunday, 11am-5pm (last admission 4.30pm)
  • Free for National Trust members
  • Non-member admission charges: adult £6, child £3 and family £15. Joint entry ticket with Fenton House £9.

This exhibition showcases new work from leading British artist Ryan Gander, which has been created in response to the furniture and fittings of 2 Willow Road. The ground-breaking home of Ernö Goldfinger also houses furniture designed by the Hungarian-born architect.

A pioneering architect

Goldfinger is renowned for his post-World War II residential tower blocks. Among his most iconic buildings are the 27-floor Balfron Tower in east London and the 31-floor Trellick Tower in North Kensington. Both are notable examples of Brutalist architecture.

2 Willow Road was designed by Goldfinger for himself and his family in 1939. The house contains the Goldfingers' impressive collection of modern art, intriguing personal possessions and innovative furniture. 

The artists have the keys

Gander’s exhibited works draw on the objects designed and assembled by the Goldfinger family at 2 Willow Road. His conceptual art practice involves a questioning of language and knowledge, and a reinvention of the modes of appearance and creation of an artwork.

The exhibition presents many new works by Gander, including:

Anyone with a family is motivated by money - a self-assembly moneybox designed and made using the same slot-together technique used by Elizabeth Goldfinger for lounge chairs at 2 Willow Road.

A flawed and wounded man bleeding frames onto a page - a performance of a children’s book written by Gander, entitled The Boy Who Always Looked Up, about Goldfinger’s relationship to Trellick Tower. The work is a dramatic radio play, filmed in a professional recording studio, incorporating a live performance by foley artists using sound effect props to accompany the narrative.

The art collection at 2 Willow Road

The Goldfingers owned works by Duchamp, Max Ernst, Prunella Clough, Bridget Riley, Roland Penrose and Henry Moore, many of whom were personal friends of the family. Strikingly, the architect integrated displays of modern art with his interior designs and furniture designs. The art collection continues to be displayed much as it was in his day, and the new exhibition is shown throughout the collections at the house.

Hampstead’s cultural icons

Entry for the exhibition can be combined with a ticket for the exhibition Hampstead’s Village People: Portraits of Cultural Icons at Fenton House. In collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, we bring 30 photographs of the neighbourhood’s cultural icons to this 17th century merchant’s house. Fenton House and Garden is located a 5 minute walk away from 2 Willow Road and entry is free to members.

Find out more about 2 Willow Road…