Between Object and Architecture

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This was one of the free exhibitions currently showing in the Switch House at the Tate Modern during my visit last weekend. As I was down in London to run a course for Construction companies it seemed quite appropriate to take a look!

The first work I looked at was The Passing Winter by the eccentric Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

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It’s a box with a mirrored surface punctured by a number of holes. Looking inside it’s filled with circular mirrors that create a virtual infinite space

The box is made from six panels that are secured together, yet the box itself is not fixed to the plinth, but simply rests on it. As a result, this extremely fragile sculpture must be handled and approached very carefully, and it requires regular polishing to maintain a clean, highly reflective surface.

This fragile wire structure was created by Gego, a Jewish artist born in Hamburg but who had to leave Germany to escape from persecution by the Nazis and who moved to Venezuala.

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Horizontal Square Reticularia by Gego (Gertrud Louise Goldschmidt)

The cube forms are not all closed on all sides and some of their edges are missing, therefore the sculpture forms an imperfect grid, based on a play of positive and negative space. This ‘incomplete’ structure, as well as the relative thinness of the rods and the scale of the cubes cause the rods to bend. As such the sculpture demonstrates an irregular geometry, subject to distortion and movement. (Tate website)

These two towers by the Lebanese artist, Saloua Choucair, are constructed of twelve rectangular stone blocks piled one on top of each other.

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Infinite Structure (1963-5) by Saloua Choucair

I’d seen, and enjoyed a retrospective of her work at Tate Modern a few years ago.

The centre of the room was dominated by this work by Cristina Iglesias

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Pavilion Suspended in a Room 1 (2005) by Cristina Iglesias

Constructed from a number of latticed panels made of braided wire suspended from the ceiling, visitors could wander around and through the structure.

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This carefully arranged stack of rubbish, tightly packed to form a large cube is by Tony Cragg. He’s going to be the next artist featured at the Yorkshire Sculpture park and I’m rather looking forward to seeing that exhibition.

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Stack (1975) by Tony Cragg

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Levels (2012) by Jac Leirner

This work was quite appropriate given the purpose of my trip down to London. Hung high on the wall, well above the viewer’s eyeline, it wasn’t apparent at first that it was made up of eight differently coloured spirit levels lined up end to end. Simple, but thought it was quite effective. The same was true of this work which rather reminded me of the molecular models I used to play around with when I was studying for my degree in chemistry at University.

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Lovers (1968) by Rasheed Araeen

Simply constructed from sticks of painted of painted wood it took on a different form when observed from different positions.

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It’s composed of two separate open prisms constructed out of a series of triangles. These prisms can be rotated and orientated in different ways so that the work can be shown in different configurations.

I thought this simple cube of cast glass was quite attractive

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Pink Tons (2009) by Roni Horn

The base and four sides of the cube are composed of frosted pink glass and maintain scratches and irregularities generated by the casting mould, while the glass at the top of the sculpture is clear. When viewed from the side, the sculpture appears cloudy; when viewed from above, the work seems transparent, with the glass inside taking on a rippled or watery effect. (Tate website)

Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to get a proper view down into the block, even craning over as far as possible (as many visitors were trying to do) as the “exclusion zone” marked on the floor was too wide.

There were a couple of works that consisted of simple rectangular elements lying on the floor.

This collection of fourteen rectangular polyester resin made by taking a cast of a wooden floor  blocks was created by Rachael Whiteread . They’re arranged  in two even columns of seven. The pattern of the wood grain is clearly visible on the surface of the blocks which have been installed to loosely replicate the layout of the original floor.

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Untitled (Floor) by Rachael Whiteread

And then the famous pile of bricks

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Equivalent VIII (1966) by Carl Andre

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5 thoughts on “Between Object and Architecture

  1. Pingback: Institutional Ghost at the IMMA | Down by the Dougie

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