From That Which It Came
Galerie Gabriel Rolt is delighted to present the first solo exhibition in the Netherlands by the British artist Conrad Shawcross. Shawcross’ work interrogates past quests for knowledge and ideas of certainty. His enigmatic sculptures and mechanical installations combine meticulous design and engineering while dealing with ideas within physics and metaphysics.
Shawcross creates his captivating montages using a wide variety of materials and technologies; regularly working on an epic scale. For Galerie Gabriel Rolt, the artist has selected a multi-faceted body of work that seeks to question our notion of reality by delving into the philosophy of perception. One concurrent device of the artist that is strongly present within the show is the use of the sequence to create both comparison and control through which objectivity is made possible.
A major new piece Pre-Retroscope VIII (Amsterdam Journey) (2012) continues the artists performative investigations into urban nautical wastelands. Shawcross will head out on a voyage through the industrial canals of the city in a specially adapted rowboat, capturing the expedition on a 360 degree film with his bespoke panoramic camera setup. The vessel will then be presented in the gallery where it will retell the journey in real time that the artist undertook a few days before.
Another new body of work is from which the show takes its title. From that which it came (2012) is a series of glass cabinets of different sizes that contain a sequence of strange hyperbolic forms that have been drawn on a lathe out of a rod of nylon. Essentially the by-product of making a hole these white cloud-like forms sit next to the cone from which they have emerged or been born, twisted and folded in on themselves they powerfully describe the perplexing relationship between the centre and periphery of a spinning disk.
The Limit of Everything (2010) is the second mechanical sculpture in the show that conveys aspects of space, light and time. This complex system consists of a rotating articulated tri-arm that slowly expands and then contracts in the space creating a constant interplay between constancy and change.
Perimeter Studies - Icosahedron (Arrangement 2 a-d) (2012) − develops the artist's ongoing investigation into the radiant properties of platonic solids. This new sequence in aluminium investigates the twenty sided Icosahedron. Sometimes described by the artist as diagrams of explosions this series touches upon similar ideas of expansion and contraction as in The Limit of Everything.
A final set of works comprises a sequence of Harmonic Drawings (2009), made by an apparatus based on the Victorian ‘Harmonograph’ and a modern ECG machine. These analogue ink-on-paper drawings are visual descriptions of a chord falling into silence.
British artist Conrad Shawcross (1977) was educated at the Slade School of Art (London) and the Ruskin School of Art (Oxford). His work has been exhibited at institutions and galleries worldwide - including solo presentations - at The National Gallery (London, 2012), MUDAM (Luxembourg, 2012), The Pace Gallery (New York, 2010), Art Brussels (2009) and The Saatchi Gallery (London, 2004), among others. Besides his personal work, Shawcross completed several public realm commissions including installations for the Unilever Building (London, 2007), The Oxford Science Park (2010) , and Measure Arts (Chord -Kingsway Tram Tunnel, London, 2009). Shawcross currently resides and works in London.