Culture Corner / What's on / Summer

Our blog today has a focus upon cultural events visited by LPA staff over the past month. We've all summed up how we've been inspired by exciting arty events going on in London this month, from exhibitions to films to the theatre... We're a cultured crowd! Blumenfeld Studio exhibition / Somerset House By Lisa

Erwin Blumenfeld was one of the most innovative and influential photographers of the 20th Century and his bold sense of artistry is celebrated within this exhibition at Somerset House which focuses particularly upon the period 1941-1960.

Born in Berlin to a colourful Jewish and artistic background, Blumenfeld later fled to New York in 1941, following time spent in a concentration camp during the war.This exhibition showcases the exploratory and exciting work which he created in the period to follow.


Lilian Marcusson for the cover of American Vogue January 1951 ©The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld

This period figured as perhaps the most prominent artistic phase of his life, whereupon he became an important photographer for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, redefining fashion photography with his imaginative, fluid and ethereal style. Blumenfeld’s extensive background in classical and modern painting influenced much of his work, from his commercial portraiture, through to his personal work in black and white of his daughter and muse Lisette, and his advertising campaigns for clients such as L'Oreal and Elizabeth Arden.

Wandering throughout the exhibition one is struck by the colourful and complementary way that Blumenfeld captures women. The models are portrayed with a strength and poise which must have been empowering to women in the context of Fifties America. He experiments with styles and concepts in photography beyond the time period, showing progressive thinking with his work, although much is clearly still influenced by the aesthetic and cultural ethos of the after war period. The exhibition at Somerset House offers a unique glimpse into the versatile and gifted photographer of Erwin Blumenfeld. The dexterity and beautiful aesthetic of his work which is both popular and personal, must have arisen from his complex, transnational heritage and experiences. This exhibition is blooming with colour and inspiration, go visit before it ends on the 1st September.


Grace Kelly 1955 for Cosmopolitan ©The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld Genesis by Sebastiao Salgado / Natural History Museum, London By Bryony

Salgado’s landscapes take us on journeys of discovery across the far reaches of our planet, all too easily forgotten in the heaving mass of city living. He never fails to capture the strength and wonder of the natural world, whilst simultaneously conveying its ever-increasing vulnerability as the 21st Century takes hold.

The Genesis exhibition at the National History Museum has been hugely successful this summer in drawing in lovers of photography, natural historians, anthropologists and anyone interested in the plight of our planet. It’s coming to an end on September 8th so we thought we would draw attention to it in our blog this week and encourage as many of you as possible to go and be inspired.


© Sebastião Salgado / Amazonas Images / nbpictures

Salgado has visited spectacular wildernesses from the outer reaches of Alaska with its dramatic mountain ranges to imposing icebergs of the Antarctic Peninsula. His ability to focus on intricate detail whilst conveying huge expanses of space is shown in his photographs of the Grand Canyon, Falkan islands, and Southern Right whales in Argentina. Likewise photographs of mountain gorillas in their natural habitat and remote African tribes grant us unique viewpoints upon a world seldom captured on film.

Housed in the renowned atmosphere of the Natural History Museum this exciting premier of one of the world’s most gifted photographers is not to be missed. Visit before September 8th by booking tickets here.


© Sebastião Salgado / Amazonas Images / nbpictures

Keep your Timber Limber / ICA By Tom

'ICA's latest exhibition, Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper), explores ideas of masculinity, sexuality and violence in drawing. Works from George Grosz, Tom of Finland and Cary Kwok fill the walls of the ICA exhibition space in their perverse vulgarity. Perhaps the best piece there is the monumental Fuck By Number by Judith Bernstin, a reworking of her Vietnam War priest piece'. Keep Your Timber Limber runs until September 8th.


© George Grosz, Stickmen meeting members of the bourgeois (1946)

Frances Ha / Noah Baumbach By Lauren

Frances Ha is a film which is all at once reassuring, romantic and realistic with a good bit of quirkiness thrown in. The story follows a New York woman who is passionately following her dreams, apprenticing for a dance company whilst struggling with friendships, rent and failure all at the same time. Much like most of us in the real world!

A good film to watch with your mates, and have a good laugh at life’s twists and turns.

I saw at the cinema last month, should be out in DVD soon. The Book of Mormon By Jonathon


© ‘Unalloyed joy’: The Book of Mormon, with Gavin Creel and Jared Gertner (seated, far right) as Elder Price and Elder Cunningham. Photograph: Johan Persson

Described as ‘Indecently funny. The killer whale of comedy’ by the Evening Standard, the Book of Mormon puts the fun back into chastising and mocking religion, musicals and the developing world. Perhaps not for the politically correct, this musical does successfully see the funny side of life and encourages its audience to do the same. Anything from the creators of South Park was undoubtedly going to arouse some criticism, however the show’s abundance of awards and support for its storyline which tackles war, famine, religion, poverty and AIDS without even batting an eyelid should be seen to be believed.

Showing now in the West End, buy tickets here.