In 1987, Britain’s first IKEA opened in Warrington. Since then, the store has found a place in the thoughts and memories of local people. Warrington IKEA is said to have the highest visitor numbers of any store in the country and allegedly the lowest spend per head, suggesting that people go not just to buy furniture but to see and to experience designs, ideas, even food from elsewhere.
The exhibition examines artists’ reactions to IKEA as a business, lifestyle and aesthetic. Their responses range from using IKEA products as art materials to reinterpreting the furniture, from attempting to live in-store to subverting the catalogue of which more than 200 million copies are printed each year. The artists include Guy Ben-Ner, Ryan Gander, Clay Ketter, Marie Karlberg, Joe Scanlan, Artists Anonymous, Michael Samuels, Sara McKillop, Frédéric Pradeau, David Rickard, Mary Griffiths, Stuart Hartley and Domanic Beattie.
Image: Samson’s push, or Compositie (detail), 2010. © Ryan Gander. Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery. Image by Ken Adlard.