dimensional form. Hall's interest in the void is in reality, being taken to ever more complex levels. NU October Gallery has an interesting habit of finding highly original voices from the international avant garde (what they term the Transvangarde) and bringing them into worldwide recognition – El Anatsui for example. Now, with Belgian-born textile artist Sylvie Franquet they may have found another. Coming from an unconventional background of travel writing and fashion, she creates distinctive and disturbing art out of found needlework and tapestry fragments, life size dolls pattern cut from her own body (Poupées) and a battalion of small clothed dolls (Wayward Sisters). All are then heavily reworked or overlayed with found words from poets, philosophers, even text messages from friends. It is both exuberant and sinister, loaded with strongly political and feminist implications. NU DECEMBER 2016 GALLERIES 45 The Isenheim Altarpiece is the joint creation of painter Matthias Grünewald and sculptor Niclaus of Haguenau, between 1512-16. The huge, moveable work offered the brothers in the Monastery of St Anthony a collection of religious scenes that, while forceful and captivating, are deeply idiosyncratic and often disturbing. Featuring ten painted panels, which could be configured into three different views, the piece is densely layered in meaning, and is the product of an apparently fevered imagination. Along with the series of rather conventionally sculpted gilded wooden saints at its core, the piece also includes a grisly scene of a brutal crucifixion and a bizarre resurrection scene in which Christ appears to rise into the night in a fireball. ‘Yalta 1945’ (1986-87), a polyptich installation by the Soviet duo Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid is historical and political rather than religious, but has some similarities to the great, older work. Featuring a trail of scenes, it too features multiple media and has a trinity at its thematic centre. The work consists of 31 panels, each measuring 4 x 4ft, and made of wood and canvas, with a mix of subjects including a pop art style script representing the United States and Soviet Union, a classically rendered painting of the judgement of Solomon and a panel comprising patches of fur. The three figures of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin seated together at the Yalta Conference figure in the work and their meeting provides focus of the work’s discourse. Like the altarpiece, Komar and Melamid’s installation demands plenty of unpacking by its audience, invites movement with its labyrinthine structure and comes from a pair of powerfully creative minds. Now on display for the first time since 1990, at Ben Uri Gallery , and with the run recently extended, there’s time to get to grips with this modern day polyptich. Frances Allitt At first sight the four monumental, free standing, cut plywood pieces that make up the central installation in Nigel Hall's latest show at Annely Juda Fine Art 'Here and Now, There and Then' – with their quite chunky, substantial forms, seem to represent a distinctly different direction. This is an artist whose work has always seemed so preoccupied with an elegant exploration of spatial ambiguity, a refined elegance where line, edge and shadow are key and in which less is so often very much more, as much about void as solid form. Paradoxically though, for all their apparent solidity, these four pieces, made up of 160 sheets of laminated plywood, are effectively records of an emptying out of space, records of the circular and elliptical forms that have been removed from them, circles transformed into ellipses in three CODA from left S ylvie Franquet ‘She Famously Fainted When She Saw The Elgin Marbles’ October Gallery Nigel Hall ‘Here and Now, There and Then’ Annely Juda Fine Art Vitaly Komar & Alexander Melamid ‘Yalta 1945’ Ben Uri Gallery C omplex voids Times three New voice