What would a 20th or 21st century mausoleum look like? Very often, traditional in form, following Classical, Gothic, Egyptian or Byzantine precedents, the last century has seen more modern examples such as the famous art deco chapel by Lalique in Havana and Pedro Matos’ modern vault for the Gomes family in Póvoa de Varzim in Portugal.
Cuban artist Carmen Herrera’s “Pavanne” in memory of her brother, a simple, geometric, blue cube, sits under the rooflight in the centre of the space in the Lisson Gallery Bell Street in a way that fills the space like the sculptural tombs of Wellington and of Nelson in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral, suggesting that her brother was perhaps her hero. Here, however, the rooflight allows daylight to flood the room. What is astonishing is how one simple form can have such an impact on a space, contrasting as it does with the white walls around it.
Around the sculpture are geometric paintings, as Herrara explores line, shape and colour, reducing her works to the minimum which achieves balance and proportion without going to the extreme of a single form, set against the white walls and ceiling of the gallery which creates a white canvas from which the boldness and simplicity of her colours and shapes project.