“Sitting on the concrete floor of the Turbine Hall, the bright images roll over you, the shapes and colours blend with the hum created by the crowd in the massive room. On the screen the sky changes colour, a clock ticks, an image of leaves starts to shimmer and turns out to be a reflection on water.”
The east window of St Martin in the Fields, by Shirazeh Houshiary.
My review of her exhibition at the Lisson Gallery is in Whitehot magazine - read.
Also, I’ve reviewed Siobhan Davies Commissions at the Bargehouse for This Is Tomorrow - read. My favourite segment of the four-part group show came from Sarah Warsop and Tracey Rowledge, entitled ‘What isn’t here hasn’t happened’ … “Hanging on the walls is a series of canvases, gorgeous big expanses of white covered with black graphite smudges. It looks like body prints, and the energy is pouring out of the images. While the movement is long gone, you can feel that it was there just a moment ago, loud and brash. As a viewer you may be alone in the room, but it is anything but quiet.”
My review of Phyllida Barlow’s ‘RIG’ at Hauser & Wirth Piccadilly, is now in Whitehot Magazine - here.
Also, I reviewed David Austen’s ‘Papillon’ at the Anthony Reynolds Gallery for This Is Tomorrow - here.
‘Pistoletto uses the word “judgment”, but there is something unifying about the way the cardboard maze ties it all together, creating a feeling it may in fact be about the opposite. Whether you stand by the prayer mat or the Buddha, the experience is the same: you, and your thoughts. […] I am not entirely sure what it means, but I believe the answer lies in the experience.’
However much optimism Harrison or his audience can manage to muster up, the destruction of ‘Float’ is certain. But still, as the work slowly breaks down, there is something deliciously defiant about the attempt to deny the inevitable. With each play a new sound is created, and this causes further destruction. Fitzcarraldo’s vessel did not make it in the end, and neither will Harrison’s. But the answer may well be in the attempt; as Harrison says: “I want to get the ship over the mountain.”
This is Noemie Goudal, who is part of Photography As Object at the Sumarria Lunn gallery. My review in Whitehot Magazine is here.
“Goudal has re-photographed her images of a bridge or a tropical landscape inside a gritty environment, creating windows into other worlds. But the illusion is fractured, as the idyllic images are printed on several pieces of A3 paper and the gaps in between are clearly visible. Still, you can’t help but want to go there, stepping first into the barn or warehouse where the shoot took place, and from there on into nature. You can see the illusion isn’t real, but it doesn’t matter, you want it anyway.”
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Also, my review of Christoph Büchel’s Piccadilly Community Centre is out now in This Is Tomorrow, here.
New adventures in art writing:
‘In my work there is no past. History is a part of everything. Everything leads to another. As the sum of history moves out in 360 degrees from its center – which does not exist – it envelops the present. Perhaps you could say I am interested in moments of sublime beauty which carry their counterpart, otherwise known as terror, so closely that it is difficult to delineate one from the other. This has been the guide from the beginning. In my search for the edge, I meet heroes along the way and see myself reflected in the surfaces of the things I encounter.’ (Matthew Day Jackson)
I saw the big exhibition by Cy Twombly (1928 - 2011) at the Tate Modern a few years ago, rooms and rooms filled with sprawling, scrawling canvases. Paint smeared, words scattered, everything seemingly random although I suspect not. I sat in front of the white paintings the longest, the ones with layers and layers of paint added on top of one another as if the artist kept trying to get it right, before giving in and making it all white.
‘The fact that the artwork is quite small in scale means you have to get quite close to take it in, adding to the sense of intimacy. But there’s something else to it as well, it’s a feeling that comes as you’re standing there, squinting, craning, wondering. The title of the exhibition is a reference to a quote by Pascal: ‘Nature is an infinite sphere, whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.’ It was Borges who called it a ‘Fearful Sphere’ in an essay discussing Pascal – just as Knowles makes his art from found materials, all these different elements are pieced together and subtly manipulated to hint at something else, something bigger, to some sort of truth we think is there but we can’t see or touch.’
From my interview with artist Sam Knowles, as his exhibition ‘Fearful Sphere’ opens at the Simon Oldfield Gallery.