"Body Politic" Antony Gormley at White Cube Bermondsey

Install shot of South Gallery II

In this takeover of the entirety of White Cube’s space in Bermondsey, Gormley’s sculptures play with concepts of manipulation of space and fragility of the body. Each room of this extensive gallery is curated differently - difficult to say which is the favourite.

From the enormous 5 metres tall singular sculpture at the centre of one of the rooms, to the South Gallery II entirely filled with fired clay blocks which become 244 different body-like sculptures, the audience is forces to navigate the space extremely cautious of their surroundings. Continuing with this concept, South Gallery I hosts a human-sized body sculpture with steel strips extending each over the floor onto the corridor, to the ceiling, and on the wall mid-air. Interestingly, the audience seems skeptical to go around the room fully, having to duck-down or ‘jump’ over the mid-air stripes. That’s the whole point though. In another one of the rooms, some jenga-like pieces make up other body-sized sculptures leaning onto the wall in semi-‘normal’ poses, which prompt the visitor to almost want to mimic them, humorously - again curious to observe how the visitor interplays with the exhibition and the sculptures.

The exhibition pushes the person in the space to be aware of their body and how it plays with the surrounding environment, which in the outside world happens naturally, and yet we are less susceptible to the influence of a certain space as it is normalised, with architecture playing an important role in this environment.

“Two Eyes Wide Open at the Edge of Dawn” Liorah Tchiprout’s solo at Marlborough Gallery

“Two Eyes Wide Open at the Edge of Dawn” Liorah Tchiprout’s solo at Marlborough Gallery

Install shot of exhibition at Marlborough Gallery

After initially seeing Tchiprout’s work at the Eye of The Collector’s fair in May and then again at Marlborough Gallery in June with other artists like Naila Hazell, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud etc, Marlborough is now presenting a show entirely dedicated to her.

Over the two floors of the gallery, Liorah presents a range of her latest work from smaller to larger canvases, to etchings and monotypes. 

As previously written about in Art for Thought #5 with the “Face to Face” June exhibition just mentioned, Tchiprout’s paints puppet dolls as subjects, although the resemblance to herself is undeniable, adding personal touches too such her dog and objects from her studio or garments which seem to be rather old-fashioned, from another time. In fact, the paintings are rather melancholic and romantic: from the colours used, to the expressions of the sitters, to the titles given to each work - taken from poetry, everything in her work creates an idea of delicacy and a sense of intimacy between the viewer and the sitter. 

Despite being painted from an inanimate object, one can still imagine the sitters thoughts based on the expressions, and the context in which it is painted - without a background, but with the addition of some aforementioned details. For these reasons, portraiture can be exceptionally powerful.

"Wedgwood" at Pippy Houldsworth

Install shot of space with two light sculptures

It is quite obvious at this point that I am a big fan of transformed spaces, hence why Francesca DiMattio’s exhibition at Pippy Houldsworth is in this list. The artist recreated the entire space from floor to ceiling. 

The space does not have one single painting, but basically serves as a setting of a painting in itself, once again with the audience being crucial part of the exhibition’s outcome. The entire floor and wall space are ornate with wallpaper designed by the artist, and the room is filled with sculptures of disrupted ordinary objects (such as amazon packages, AirForces, cleaning spray bottles) and particular house-ware objects such as a Rococo-style mirror, plates, vases and chairs. The works are exaggeratedly froufrou, which is definitely particular, but works very well in its context.