Gallery VII | VIII
The sculptures in these two galleries, which have been installed by Alison Wilding RA, are extraordinarily diverse in scale, content and ambition. Wilding’s expectation is that ‘the viewer will take in the range of possibilities of what sculpture can be today, from work that is familiar to that which is entirely new and unexpected’. Much of the new work is by young artists who are showing at the Royal Academy for the first time.
Installation view of Gallery VIII, Summer Exhibition 2012. Photo: John Bodkin.
The increased number of smaller works in this year’s exhibition has encouraged a more unorthodox display here, but one that nevertheless allows the larger and floor-based sculptures breathing space. The smaller pieces are grouped on plinths, and what they lack in space they gain from the relationships and juxtapositions that resonate throughout both galleries. In these small sculptures there is to be found wit, skill and love of materials.
Their grey walls proving to be the perfect foil for sculpture, Wilding has made the most of the generous proportions of these ‘beautiful galleries’ by hanging works at different heights, suspending some and placing others on the floor to create an immersive installation. She says that it has been ‘challenging, but I wanted to be inclusive and to give every work the attention it deserves’.