Once again, as part of the week six activities, we decided to dive in to London to visit some of the galleries on the activity list, and some of those that were on the way.
This was a small little gallery, that looked very personal to those that we in it when we walked in. The metal sculpture works which were highly detailed and layered attracted us to this particular gallery, which could be viewed through the window. The artists that caught my eye included Robert Oxley who paints thick, gloopy, and highly fluorescent animals. I also enjoyed the work of Nic Joly, who makes little people, 3D sculptures and scenes within box frames. I love the intricacy and intimacy of each of the pieces, and also somewhat the irony that they are so small, but make a big impact. There were also the landscape paintings of Scarlett Raven, which were also thick and very textural.
The Liberation of Art – LUMAS
The second gallery, was also one that we stumbled upon in our adventures. This seemed more like a gallery in which they placed a lot of artwork, in order to be sold, rather than viewed. Nevertheless, we had a little look. There were many perspective pieces, in which you take many photos and place them together in order to create a landscape. The first of these that we saw, was that of London, and you could see where they had taken photos all around London and placed them all, quite cleverly, together. All of these pieces, which were the majority of the style within the gallery, were mounted under acrylic glass, which created almost a floaty feeling for the piece. However, because there were sometimes large chunks missing out of each of the images, because they had been cut, cropped, and pieced together again, I wanted to know what we were missing from the image. This, I have a feeling, is something that I will not learn of.
EDEN Fine Art
Our third gallery of the day, was once again, one that we stumbled across. In this gallery, butterflies have been preserved, making them seem more shiny than previously thought, and more somewhat alive. All of the sculptures that were displayed we very subtle but at the same time, very bright, especially when the pieces were displayed against the white background. The mesh sculptures, by Rahely Cooper, were thinner than anticipated, but when photographing them, they seem to have a high depth volume. The effect of using mesh was also interesting. Calman Shomi has organised linear work, and also used a simple yet effective colour palette. A mixture of feather and photography is also used to make portraits. The feel of the large proportion of the gallery is very Cuban. (David Kracov and Daniel Gast.)
The first piece reminded me of the pieces that you tie up horses with, but it does not seem to fit in with the theme of white that the gallery put on. It does though, look like the piece has been used in order to gain this colour. The rest of the pieces are very linear and very angular compared to this piece. Barbra Hepworth’s piece made me feel as though you should be viewing something through the two holes within the piece. The marble and plaster of the four our of five piece created a clean look of the sculptures. Three of the pieces were smaller than an A4 piece of paper, which makes them seem vulnerable, even though they are made with a very strong material. The natural imperfections are kept within the sculptures such as cracks, divets and holes. On one of the larger pieces, one side is beautifully carved and smooth, but the other side is full of imperfections, and it so happens to be the side that is not facing the main space of the gallery.
Stephen Friedman Gallery
Luiz Zerbini was featured at the Stephen Friedman Gallery, with his many linear paintings. However, there were also pieces with squiggly lines, that almost seemed parallel, but they would often come together at certain points to create a wave sensation. There were varying colours within all of the pieces, and spreading throughout the works. Behind the lines, there would also be a large change in shades, tones, and colours, all of which would be very precise. Many of the pieces are geometric, or have a geometric basis behind it. The larger pieces seemed almost glitchy, as if there are so many things coming together, the painting isn’t quite sure what to do. There is also a soapy, pale and dusty feel to some of the pieces. However with others, are wild and contain many layers (all of the pieces contain many layers). There was also a surprisingly high volume of metallic paint, however it did look somewhat like duct tape at the same time. I also enjoyed the unfinished look to some of the paintings (as I felt happier if I was unable to finish a painting, with pencil marks etc).
In this gallery, I was very confused as to why there are words at the bottom of each print – are these supposed to alter our understanding about each of the prints and paintings? For me, it adds a layer of confusion to as to what each piece is about. This is also partly because I do not understand each of the words, nor can I give a definition to them. Once again, would this effect my perception of each piece? The layer of paint that is on top of the print adds not only another layer, but also texture in a newfound way, compared to the visual texture of the print underneath. The pieces were also all displayed in a light, and quite empty space. This makes me question whether our perception of the pieces would be altered if they were grouped together in a line? The giant camel also confused me, but it was somewhat seamlessly perfect, and yet trapped in a small room with little else.
The initial impression of the gallery is ‘wow’, as the first thing we saw was the wooden structure, the height of the lower ground, and which the photo does not do it justice. It is intricate and yet symbolising a stairway up to industrialisation. The painting pieces that are separate from the rest of the gallery a calm, and yet I believe that they wish to tell me something, but I cannot figure out exactly what. In the main room upstairs, I felt like I was slapped in the face with light, which was exaggerated by large mirrors, coupled with small sounds. Even though there was a slap with sunlight, the whole atmosphere is not overwhelming, but rather very calming. The pieces were also very interactive as you were able to walk up and even into some of the pieces, and somewhat experience them. I sat down for a little while and listened to a video with headphones on. I felt as though I was there in the video and also a feeling of exclusivity because I was the only one who was listening to that piece, at that particular moment in time (I do believe that I was listening and watching a music workshop that the artist had previously ran). There was also a lot of playing around with the use of colour throughout all the installations. I did feel as though I should have interacted with the pieces more than I did. In another room, there was a small amount of work by another artist, and one of the pieces included milk dripping down the face of someone in a loop. What I learnt then, was that the milk reduces the effects of tear gas, and made me look at the few other pieces in a very different light.
Yellow! All of the pieces are seemingly different colour combinations, and some of white remind me of mundane things such as egg on toast. All of the pieces are also very geometrical at heart – they are slightly offset from the edges of the canvas to where the frame is. Some of them, I also noticed, had little notes on them, as almost as if they were little testers to determine how to produce the piece on a somewhat larger scale. There were many different colours, shades and tones used in each of these. On these pieces, you were also able to see the grid underneath that the artist used. In general, the pieces were very spaced out and so there was not an overwhelming amount of yellows, but some were surrounded by metal and some by wood, creating a different effect for each piece and group of pieces. Upstairs, the palette changed, and greens were added, but some green paint had started to crack (but was this intentional?) There was also the mixture of adding grey to create a further complimentary colour palette.
This exhibition was filled with Black people, Asian people, and those of a non-British orientation. But what hits you first when you initially walk in, is the apparent smell of oil and the noise of the TV that accompanies it (I later learned that this was in fact Indian ink and turpentine), where someone is talking. The noise was reverberating throughout the room, and so I could not clearly understanding what they were saying. What made the noise even more prominent, was that it was the only noise within the gallery. I felt strongly as though this exhibition was somewhat looking a commercialism and how humanity has grown, but individuals have not, especially those in the minority ethnics groups. There was also an interesting piece of a city in a bottle, and at certain angles, the city disappeared, and at other angles, the whole piece could not be seen, except the orange background. The downstairs was also open, and there was a somewhat unidentifiable sound on the video downstairs. The layered video, especially the black on top of the coloured image, was very effective. The folding of the paper is the folding of each image to slowly reveal a new image. There were also small cartoons that had large sections cut out – I wanted to know what are we missing and how important are these parts? And must we know this information to understand or continue with the comic story?
Journeys and connectedness seemed to be the theme in Bouchra Khalili’s work and many of the pieces looked at the fact that simple journeys, and sacred journeys, take much longer because of the barriers that man has put into place. All of the work is in the artists native tongue, which makes it all that more powerful and somewhat shocking, and a much more personal piece of work, as you read through the subtitles. The rest of the works show the way in which they have had to drastically change due to history and due to man. The journey pieces also have headphones, which makes the journeys almost seem more personal as though they are talking just to you. The only video that is played aloud was in a separate room entirely, which draws you in to have a watch. Watching a history of their people and those that influenced the situation that we have nowadays, was very interesting, and also very shocking. What added to this shocking feeling was that Bouchra Khalili and Emma Gifford-Mead did not look at the camera at all, but rather each other. You also had to watch this video on a bench, where anyone could sit, and portrayed the message that you should not judge who you sit next to, but rather just sit next to them.