Frameless is a 30,000 sqft space, part of the new Marble Arch Place development. It is the UK’s largest and the first permanent, purpose-built home for experiential art. The creative force behind the project is Emmy award-winning team FiveCurrents, with a portfolio that includes the London 2012 Ceremonies.
Frameless contains 43 famous paintings from 31 masters, including Rembrandt, Monet, Cézanne, Dalí, Kandinsky, Klimt, and Van Gogh to name just a few. Depending on the art movement, masterpieces are distributed cross four galleries decked out with 4K projection technology and soundtrack composed specifically for the attraction.
You could find yourself touching and feeling the brushstrokes themselves, surrounded by the vastness of a painting’s landscape or waking through the maze of abstract shapes.
A new way to consume art
Experts are arguing whether multisensory experiences can be classified art or a form of entertainment but who said that art has to be serious and centred around specialness and exclusivity? As much as we all respect museums, most of them are a rather cold environment where visitors are expected to be equipped with prior knowledge of the artist when they walk in.
Step inside the painting
Immersive shows offer a more relaxing atmosphere. There are no curator’s notes or explanatory wall texts inside the projection space, nor are there audio tours or docents to provide context; there’s just a bit of information about what you’re about to experience posted in a separate space before you go in, and once you are inside the room there is more than just walking up to a painting — you feel like you’re in one. Frameless and other multisensory projects are trying to reach the deep emotions of people.
A showcase of craftmanship
The journey begins with a kaleidoscopic escalator ride of lights and mirrors which transports you to the mysterious foyer. Then you can start your art tour with one of four skillfully curated galleries.
In my first room ‘Beyond Reality’ art is projected around the entire space, wall to wall and floor to ceiling. It contains vivid paintings of Salvador Dalí and Max Ernst, disturbing artworks of Edvard Munch and rich in religious symbolism like Triptychs of Hieronymus Bosch.
The second room is called ‘Colour in Motion’. Here, advanced motion tracking technology allows visitors to use their own gestures and movements to paint, offering a rare opportunity to influence and interact with artistic masterpieces.
Move water in The Waterlily Pond: Green Harmony by Claude Monet and manipulate the view in Mont Saint-Michel, Setting Sun by Paul Signac as well as additional artworks from Vincent van Gogh, Georges Seurat, Berthe Morisot and Robert Delaunay.
‘The Art of Abstraction’ presents a creative approach to the popular movement of the 20th century. Walk through a maze of colour, shape and form to discover the pioneers of abstract art. Become lost in the Yellow, Red, Blue by Wassily Kandinsky and Composition in Red, Yellow, Blue and Black by Piet Mondrian, with additional artworks from Hilma af Klint, Kazimir Malevich and Paul Klee.
This gallery is slightly smaller and darker than the other which is a perfect opportunity to relax before entering the enormous ‘The World Around Us’ room.
Using spectacular 6-sided projection, visitors are immersed in breathtaking landscapes that have inspired some of the greatest artists. Be swept away by the beauty of our world, from crashing oceans to bustling cities and pastoral quietude, in the likes of Avenue at Chantilly by Paul Cézanne and Piazza Di San Marco by Canaletto.
Immersive Afternoon Tea
Unlike the other immersive shows in town, there is no bean bags piled on the floor. Seats in Frameless are the same as seats in the Met and other well-known museums. Similar to proper art galleries on site, there’s also a chic gift shop and an elegant café-bar with massive screen in like with the overall Frameless concept when you can process everything you have seen with, of course, a bespoke immersive afternoon tea inspired by Kandinsky.