This year’s summer exhibition at Frith Street Gallery is a very monochrome affair, much like our summer in fact. Again it brings together works from the gallery’s stable of artists in a loosely-themed group show, this time entitled Look With All Your Eyes, Look, examining the concept of materiality and/or illusion in art through painting, sculpture and photography.
It’s much smaller than 2010’s After the Volcano, occupying just the upstairs gallery and presenting work from only eight artists across an open-plan space. But space and sparseness (along with subdued colour) are key here. Just take the sculptures from Sara Barker and Rudolf Polanszky that sit in the centre of the room – both are marked by a distinct lack of mass and a quality of containing empty space within their structures (be that Barker’s spindly aluminium frames or Polansky’s Perspex boxes) rather than being a manipulated mass themselves.
Rachel Adams’ pieces have more of a form but still a sense of lightness – she takes sheets of paper and crumples them into large forms which suggest much more weight and solidity than they actually possess.
David Malijovic photographs his own sculpture, which is in itself a reconstruction of a piece of futuristic Yugoslavian architecture from the 1950s, and shows it over a series of repeated shrinking images, which suggest a receding motion without ever actually moving. Meanwhile Alex Dordoy uses squishy fabrics to paint upon, while Neil Clements shapes canvases into jagged, minimalist, very hard-looking planes of black and white.
It’s a very restrained show and a much harder nut to crack than last year’s more varied and energetic collection of pieces. These works don’t leap out at you but rather, as the title suggests, demand a bit of your time and attention to take effect.
-- Laura Bushell
All images courtesy Frith Street Gallery.
Images: Rachel Adams, Recliner, 2011, 90 x 160 x 85; Neil Clements, AF, 2010, Oil on Canvas, 221 x 250 cm and 221 x 250 cm.