As you walk along Southwark Street eastwards towards Tate Modern you pass under Southwark Railway Bridge, one of the many dark railway bridges in and around this part of London which have gradually been improved with public art and lighting installations. This was one of the most ambitious with a huge 48m long mural ‘Pouring Lines’ created by Ian Davenport which, if the reported cost of £290,000 is correct, was amazingly good value for money for the difference it makes at this entrance to the art quarter of Bankside and for the technical and artistic expertise which Davenport exerted in what became a two-year project, completed in 2006.
Across the River Thames in Pall Mall, a selection of Ian Davenport’s latest prints in ‘Chromatic’ are on show alongside Naum Gabo’s prints in ‘Spacial Impressions’ – two artists whose work is 70 years apart.
Russian-born Naum Gabo (1890 – 1977), a pioneer of the Constructivist movement, is best know for his geometric swirling sculpures, which perhaps reflect his early training as an engineer and scientist in Munich, while English artist Ian Davenport (born 1966) uses geometry and colour in a different way, best known for his careful pouring of vertical lines of acrylic paint down a surface, which puddle and pool at the bottom, enabling him to explore different interconnections of line and colour.
Both artists also turned their hands to prints, as on show here, an interesting pairing of the two artists.