Issue Number: 112
Sculptures knocked off their plinths, a search for the perfect rock, carving colour from wood, and curating a rainbow room are just a few of the themes of Academicians’ current projects. By Eleanor Mills
Photograph by Stephen White, London/Courtesy White Cube, London. ‘We have brought the gods down to earth,’ says Antony Gormley of ‘Still Standing’ (23 Sep–15 Jan, 2012) at the Hermitage, St Petersburg. He has taken the museum’s classical sculptures off their plinths and placed them on the floor in a ‘psycho-sexual constellation’, he says. He shows his own sculptures, including Clutch VIII (2010, right) in an adjacent room: ‘My works are radically different from the Hermitage sculptures. They are pixelated bodies, cast in iron and rusted. They’re about contracted energy and are highly introverted. It’s almost as if they can feel the danger of themselves falling apart.’
© The Artist/Courtesy of the New Art Centre, Roche Court Sculpture Park. © Estate of Kenneth Martin/Courtesy of the UK Government Art Collection. ‘I had an image of the perfect rock, and I went all over the place looking for it,’ Alison Wilding says about With this Rock... (2011, left). ‘I made the metal frame first to stand at a small angle of five degrees from the vertical.’ The cylindrical structure next to it is made of foam: ‘I knew I had to put something very heavy on top to contrast with the light airiness of the foam – I had to find a rock. Then I realised the perfect basalt rock was in my garden, covered by plants.’ With this Rock... is included in Wilding’s show of new works. ‘How the Land Lies’ is at Roche Court, near Salisbury (10 Sep–6 Nov).
Courtesy of the artist and Annely Juda Fine Art/Photo This autumn Cornelia Parker curates works from the Government Art Collection in a show at the Whitechapel Art Gallery (16 Sep–4 Dec). ‘I’ve used the colour spectrum to organise my selection, with works that are predominantly red on the left of the room, through the rainbow, to blue on the right.’ She has hung the works to create ‘visual conversations with each other.’ For Parker, many of the works she has selected have political connotations: ‘I like Kenneth Martin’s Blue Tangle (1964, right), particularly as it seems to reflect what is going on in the country at the moment.’
© Jonty Wilde Photography A show dedicated to colour in David Nash’s sculptures is at the Oriel Mostyn gallery in Llandudno, (24 Sep–12 Nov). ‘I found two large pieces of wood from a huge yew tree abandoned in a wood yard covered in brambles,’ says Nash. ‘The tree was probably 1,500 years old. One piece was the crown, the part that divides into branches, which Red Flash (2003, left) is made from,’ explains Nash. ‘I cut the outer sap-wood off to expose the red wood – the shape looked a bit like Flash Gordon’s spaceship. I emphasised the visual acceleration by cutting lots of grooves into the top section.’