Galleries - September 2013

Indifferent Matter The Henry Moore Institute has a specific brief to engage us with sculpture on levels that challenge; here is stunning fulfilment on the Headrow in Leeds until Oct 20. Three spaces, sculptural in their own right, are filled with argu- ments and artefacts that are the- atrical, provocative, entertaining and discursive, engaging with core dichotomies of art, language and interpretation. The third space explores con- tradictory dissonance through the juxtaposition of a found object named as ‘sculpture’ withEoliths ‘proven’ not to be ‘sculpture’. This trauma is reached through a haunting near-cubic second space like the hangar for a cath- artic missile. Airborne and floored; the contrast and use of the di- mensions of the space and volume, the mix of antiquity and its care make the artefact. Presaging the whole show in the first space is a glittering ob- long of sweets flanked by an as yet ‘un-named’ mineral, growing grass and beautiful ancient ‘scul- pted’ nephrite and jade objects of unknown use and name but that which we guess at now. Dynamically, the grass grows and is cut, sweets disappear and are replaced, floating silver pillows are herded; go there – a visit is recommended. PH There is no better introduction to the exhibition at CGP Dilston Grove than to paraphrase the press release: ‘The work uses a 2B unmodified standard pencil and crosses the boundaries of existential philosophy with astro- physics. These combine into a complex feedback system that can achieve the subtle balancing of the pencil to a point that comes close to a sensation of suspended time’. Steven Pippin has been developing this idea for ten years – this is definitely work in pro- gress. Following displays in Dept- ford, Berlin and Verona, a new optical system means the pencil can now be viewed without any visual distraction whatsoever. Greco is a common Italian sur- name, particularly in the south, an indication of the close relation- ships that existed for centuries be- tween Italy and Greece. Emilio Greco was born in Catania, Sicily, though most of his life was spent in Rome. His practice was deeply entrenched in the classical trad- ition with its emphasis on the human form and the harmonious balance between parts. To mark his centenary, the Estorick Colle- ction will show 40 works, together witha number of drawings and studies for monumental commi- ssions suchas the bronze doors of Orvieto Cathedral. It’s the Esto- rick’s first dedicated sculptor’s show: quite a tribute . Sarah Drury 12. GALLERIES SEPTEMBER 13 Richard Thornton’s work in stain- less steel has made him a very successful public art sculptor, with his latest piece, an 8 metre double helix commissioned by the Frie- nds of the Queen Elizabeth Hos- pital, Birmingham, to be installed later this year. A chance to see his smaller sculptures, ideal for gar- den settings, is at Abbey Walk Gallery , Grimsby. Often enriched with glass, copper or etched de- tail, they are designed to interact with water and light, catching and using reflections, while incorpora- ting ‘easy maintenance features’. Thornton demonstrates that inspi- ration and inventiveness comb- ined with project management skills is a winning combination. Whitford Fine Art are showing the steel sculptures by Jeff Lowe made in the early 80s. These marked a new way of working with this material, neither starting with freshly cast bars and plates nor making assemblies of found ob- jects. Lowe bought from British Steel fifty tonnes of mis-shapes, ingots that had missed the dies and had, in their molten state, dis- torted and twisted in mid air, solid- ifying into unpredictable and uni- que shapes. Cutting and shaping with band saw and profile cutter, Lowe then welded them into clus- ters and configurations before applying the band saw again to cut across the different parts. The results are beautiful. SCULPTURE from left: R ichard Thornton at Abbey Walk Gallery. Emilio Greco ‘Wrestler’ 1947, private collection at the Estorick Collection. J eff Lowe ‘Janus VI’ 1982, at Whitford Fine Art. Candies from Felix Gonzales-Torres ‘Untitled (Placebo)’ 1991, at the Henry Moore Institute