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Frameless, Marble Arch

The fad for immersive, digital exhibitions reaches a new level with the arrive of Frameless, a permanent museum in a cavernous basement just off Marble Arch.

Go down an escalator and you are presented with four rooms, each with a different theme: Beyond Reality (Surrealism), Colour in Motion (mainly Impressionists), Art of Abstraction and The World Around Us. Each room is an immersive 'show' of approximately a dozen paintings lasting for between 14 and 24 minutes.

Some rooms work better than others. The surrealist room makes clever use of floor and ceiling mirrors so you feel you are in an endless Alice In Wonderland world; in Colour in Motion the flecks of paint are motion-sensitive so you can kick them around like leaves; the crashing music as an erupting Vesuvius takes over St Mark's Square in The World Around Us is majestic.

It is a strange feeling. You sit and the 'art' washes over, around and through you to a well-devised soundtrack. Clever computers build, deconstruct, zoom in and out of some of the world's greatest paintings. Little kids were having a great time rolling round excitedly in the swirling colours and shapes. Sometimes it is quite sick-making.

It is a new and fun way to introduce children to art. But, perhaps reassuringly, the paintings don't move you, or indeed stick with you in the way they do if you are staring at them in a gallery. Our advice, go and experience it but ask your children to pick a favourite (several are on display in public galleries in London) and then go and find it in real life.

Tickets: £20–£32 adults, £15–£25 ages 5–17, under 5s free

Emily Turner, 11 October 2022


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