The entrance to the Mount Street Gardens in Mayfair, London has a new marker in the form of a colourful tower of polyhedra by the Canadian artist Angela Bulloch who has an exhibition of her work at the Simon Lee Gallery showing more of her geometric towers which build on Brancusi’s Endless Column using 21st century digital technology to create the shapes and add illumination of some of the shapes through internal lighting.
Bulloch has an interest in the cybernetics; the linkage of biological, social and technological systems. These sculptural towers have doubled-layered meanings – they might suggest human forms or they may suggest robotic equivalents. Two of the sculptures are even entitled ‘Anima’ and ‘Animus’, a reference to Jung and his theories on the male and female attributes that we humans subconsciously assign to inanimate objects like cars.
The sculptures have been carefully placed in the gallery, with complimentary painted rectangles on the walls behind them. The relationship of the viewer to the sculptures changes in walking around and through them and seeing them against the brilliant light of the outside world where the colour fades into white and black geometric shadows. While the geometric shapes at first appear quite simple; in reality they are quite complex and sophisticated.
Angela Bulloch is also one of the artists who has been commissioned to create site-specific art installations across the new Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital, London, which will be complete in 2016 and where her work will focus on the interior spaces and link to the colours scheme and design for each floor.
At the Gargosian Gallery in Mayfair, a towering column of 25 over-sized shining pots, pans, and lids are stacked into a teetering tower that reaches from the floor to the ceiling, one of three sculptures on display by the American artist Robert Therrien.
Robert Therrien transforms everyday simple items such as tables and chairs and crockery into over-large sculptures that often defy appear to risk collapse at any moment. In doing so, he transforms the relationship between the viewer and the items, from one where the viewer dominates, to one where the objects dominate.
The exhibition includes two other sculptures – double-hung “Dutch” doors, linking back to Therrien’s childhood home and a metal cart containing kasina discs used in Buddhist meditation. Each disk has an image at its centre while a tenth disc, which will be changed during the exhibition, hangs nearby like a religious image.
Visit both exhibitions and compare how these two artists create sophisticated works that question the relationship between humans and inanimate shapes and objects in a way that also appears to defy and conquer gravity in the way the elements remain together.