Skip to main content

"Brilliantly hellish, wondrously awful, grotesquely sublime" ⋆⋆⋆⋆ The Guardian
"A gaudy, sinister tour of the abyss" ⋆⋆⋆⋆ The Times

In a new body of work created especially for Sir John Soane’s Museum, contemporary artist Pablo Bronstein presents his unique, seductive and deeply ironic vision of hell.

Created especially for Sir John Soane’s Museum, a series of large-scale watercolours will take visitors on a tour of hell in a nostalgic and ironic representation of the last two centuries of progress. Imagined as a monumental city, visitors will be guided through concert halls, casinos, botanical gardens, car factories and oil rigs. A new film, featuring a group of diabolical antique dealers performing a masked ballet will also be shown. 

Spanning drawing, film, watercolour, choreography and performance, Pablo Bronstein’s work explores themes of consumerism, Queer identity, and, prominently, architecture. In the exhibition, the first major museum show since 2009 to focus on Bronstein’s works on paper, visitors will see the accumulation of ornament, fragments and borrowed images in the Soane Museum echoed in the new works.  

Visitors are requested to bring their own wired headphones to be able to listen to the film in the exhibition.

Exhibition Trailer TOP

Take a longer look TOP

Curator of exhibitions Louise Stewart introduces some of the artworks in the exhibition. Click on the artworks to zoom in, and listen to audio of Louise discussing the artworks and their story.

Botanical Gardens, 2020-21

Exhibition Info

06 Oct 2021 to 02 Jan 2022

Entry by free timed ticket to the Museum


Artist-led tour of Pablo Bronstein: Hell in its Heyday exhibition

Join artist Pablo Bronstein for a 45-minute tour of Hell in its Heyday. Hear about the inspiration for the 22 large scale watercolours – created especially for Sir John Soane’s Museum – as the artist guides you through his bombastic cityscape of hell.

From J.M. Gandy to Pablo Bronstein and Back: Images of Architectonic Hells 1780 to 1830

Join us for an online talk with Professor Anthony Vidler, architectural historian, critic, curator and Professor at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union.