Reflections, lights, colours and shapes brought the sunshine of California to the dark cold winter of Edinburgh at the Fruitmarket Gallery. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, artists in California such as Robert Irwin and Larry Bell were experimenting with minimal materials using colour, lighting, reflections and geometry in a movement known appropriately as “Light and Space”. Robert Irwin’s bold but mesmerising white interlocking circles in “Untitled #2220” from 1969 starts things off, alongside Larry Bell’s transparent but reflective “Cube #15 (Amber)” from 2005 as this exhibition explores how the ideas from this Californian movement influenced many of the next generation of artists.
Olafur Eliasson’s hypnotic “Ephemiral Afterimage Star” leaves its evolving geometric images in the viewer’s mind even when they have died, as does Ann Veronica Janssens bright “Yellow Rose” which appears alive within its misty environment. Eliasson also runs a sequence along the walls of 48 shades of the colour spectrum seen through, and reflected in, Jeppe Hein’s “Geometric Mirrors II”, Larry Bell’s “Cube #15 (Amber)”and Sarah Braman’s “Your Door”.
Spencer Finch uses simple coloured fluorescent tubes to translate the light and shadow of photographs by Eugene Atget into sculptural bands of colours, Sam Fall’s “Untitled (Cobalt, Red, Sky Blue, Teal 18) at first glance appears an anomaly as his coloured metal tower fills the space, but it appears both solid and empty. What would the visitor find if he or she crawled inside?
“Another Minimalism: Art after California Light and Space”, the winter exhibition at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, explored the impact of Californian light, colours and space on artists from the USA, Europe and the UK including, in addition to those mentioned, Uta Barth, Tacita Dean and Carol Bove along with works by the two pioneers of West Coast minimalism – Robert Irwin and Larry Bell.
A fruit and vegetable market built in 1938 just before the start of the Second World War at the south entrance to Waverley Station in Edinburgh, Richard Murphy Architects refurbished the building for the Fruitmarket Gallery in the 1990’s, creating a café and shop at the front of the ground floor and gallery spaces on the ground and first floor connected by a central open staircase which transforms the experience for visitors as they rise up into the light spacious open first floor gallery.
The Gallery runs exhibitions of international artists such Louise Bourgeois, Martin Creed, Eva Hesse, Gabriel Orozco and Dieter Roth and supports new Scottish talent and other initiatives such as commissioning Martin Creed’s Work No. 1059 on the nearby Scotsman Steps.
Plans are afoot for a major expansion to the gallery with an anticipated closure from 2018 until 2020.
“Another Minimalism” demonstrates what the Fruitmarket Gallery does best, creating an exhibition which is bold, dynamic and colourful, allowing the visitor to move round, explore the juxtaposition between the different works, engage with them and experience them in different and unexpected ways.