How are you all doing? I have had a rough start to the week, unfortunately, I was down with a cough which then developed further to a very sniffly cold. On cue – the world’s smallest violin plays hehe! However, it did not stop me doing something to lift my spirits last weekend. Nothing is better than a bit of contemporary art!
The Hayward Gallery is one of my favourite art galleries in London and, so far, I love the exhibitions they have held. My previous visit was to see Lee Bul and this time it was to see their latest exhibition Shape Shifters – which is a major group show bringing together sculptures and installations that explore perception and space. It is available until the 6 January 2019 and I highly recommend a visit if you are in London. I thought it was one of the best exhibitions I have been to this year (possibly better than Lee Bul). Thus, scores 5 out of 5 pineapples!
The website has a very in-depth guide to a few of the key pieces, so in case you won’t be able to make it physically, hopefully, this post and the website would give you a good idea of what was there 🙂
My personal favourite was the sculpture WeltenLinie (2017) by Alicja Kwade. I love art that is interactive and given that the whole premise of the exhibition was to explore space in a different way, this piece did just that! I was very confused with my surroundings when walking around the various mirrors and frames. It made the viewer engage with the sculpture (no touching, of course) and invites you to wander around in order to get a different perspective. True masterpiece.
“Using double-sided mirrors and carefully placed, paired objects, the artist achieves the illusion of sudden and surprising material transformations”
Probably one of the most famous piece in the exhibition was the installation 20:50 (1987) by Richard Wilson. I had the pleasure of seeing this piece of work about a decade ago whilst on a school trip and the memory was just as vivid as I saw it again. You will smell the artwork before you see it as his installation uses engine oil to create an “infinite” black surface. This acts as a giant mirror and whilst walking down the narrow pathway to the middle of the piece, it completely distorted my senses. You feel submerged as if the sound has also been swallowed into the oil and you are all alone. Truely an experience!
“The surface of the dark, dense substance mirrors the space above it and creates for the viewer the vertiginous impression of being suspended within a curiously doubled and seemingly infinite environment.”
Tip: The installation is right at the end of the exhibition on the top floor of the gallery. I recommend once you enter the start of the exhibition to take the stairs on the right and climb all the way up to the top of the stairs. This will lead you directly to the queue for Richard Wilson’s piece.
It is (understandably) popular and the website states a wait can be up to 1.5hrs long at peak times. Even when I arrived at 11am on a Sunday morning (first slot of the day), the queue was already a 20-minute wait; so I recommend getting there early!
Notable other pieces include:
- Untitled (1971) by Fred Eversley – a parabolic lens made from violet, amber and blue polyester resin
- 360° Illusion V (2018) by Jeppe Hein – moving two large mirrored panels that have been placed at right angles to one another.
- Narcissus Garden (1966–2018) by Yayoi Kusama – an installation consisting of hundreds of stainless steel reflective orb
Have you had a chance to visit? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts!
With Sweet & Sour Love,
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