Monday, January 23, 2006

Barry, Buren & LeWitt at Albion

Wow, I’ve been “wowed” by a couple of spectacular Sol LeWitt at Albion, miles away just south of Battersea Bridge (near Howie St, RCA fans). These weren’t your normal late period LeWitts, with earth tones and wavy lines that may as well be by some sad old St Ives reject. What he has is a couple of those early “instruction” pieces, where a set of instructions is followed in order to come up with a certain particular composition. They tend to start simply enough, but then get so complex and convoluted that your mind spins out and you have to just take it on trust that the final diagram is an accurate rendition of the piece. I’ve seen many before in books or on a small scale, but these take full advantage of Albion’s massive walls and have got to be 15 or 20 feet high. Amusingly, the handwritten text is also scaled up to a similar size.

What you end up with is a pair of elegant, complex, richly detailed geometric drawings that follow and demonstrate (or better, are evidence of) a set of fixed rules. Conceptual art at its finest.

The show has been curated by Lance Fung whoever he is, and also includes some dubious Robert Barry wall texts, ugly Burens, and tucked away around the corner, a set of gorgeous mirror-based Daniel Burens that play a similar game of simplicity-into-complexity. White tape stripes on square mirror panels, arranged to form larger grids which cast great reflections and shadows around the room. They’re actually almost like Robert Smithson always wanted his crappy mirrored kaleidoscope/box things to be, but better.

The show’s on until March 24 so hop on a number 19 and check it out.


Anonymous canvas art said...

Interesting article

3:32 pm  

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