Sometimes, the less creatively minded of us will find ourselves staring at a painting or a collection of objects and thinking to ourselves – ‘is this really art?’

Well, if you’re one of those people then you’d better start practicing your best bemused face as a first-of-its-kind art exhibition at the Hayward Gallery promises to ‘set our imaginations alight’.

It’s fortunate that it promises to do so much work on our imaginations too, as the gallery consists of 50 completely blank pieces by famous artists including Andy Warhol and Yoko Ono.

The invisible art exhibition

The exhibition, taking place from June 12th will cost £8 and allow art critics, or just those who really like the colour white, to marvel at the blankness of the works deemed as “the best exhibition you’ll never see”, which is intended to demonstrate how the true nature of art is to inspire our imaginations and take what we want to take from what we see.

Showcased in the gallery are Tom Friedman’s ‘1000 Hours of Staring’ – a blank sheet of paper which Friedman looked at for five years to create the ‘art’, as well as an empty space claimed to have been cursed by a witch.

And if you like that celebrity feel you get when standing next to the waxwork models at Madame Tussauds then you’ll be in for a treat gazing at a bare pillar which Andy Warhol briefly stepped on.

Works by the art form’s originator can also be found there; pieces by the French artist Yves Klein are seen accompanied by a short letter by Yoko Ono instructing viewers to imagine they are looking at art.

And as if that wasn’t enough, your £8 also invites you to take on the ‘Invisible Labyrinth; during which a set of headphones guides you through an invisible maze towards Jay Chung’s two year movie shot without film in the camera.


Relatively unsurprisingly, reception has been mostly confused. The gallery’s director says that he thinks “visitors will find that there is plenty to see and experience in this exhibition of invisible art”, and that it proves that the creative process does not rely on material objects.

It seems though as if few people agree with his claims; and even pieces in the show such as a police officer’s report after a man claimed his invisible statue had been stolen can’t help but suggest perhaps the whole show is an amusing joke.

Somehow though, the gallery does seem to create something. If you find yourself with a spare afternoon then it might be worth a visit – perhaps you’ll surprise yourself when you’re a little more light-footed than usual for fear of smudging the invisible paint or scratching the invisible car.

Robin blogs about design and technology for DirectSight, experts in helping you buy glasses online.