Prussian Blue, 2017
May Day, 2017
Stanley Whitney (born 1946, USA) has been exploring the formal possibilities of colour within ever-shifting grids of multi-hued blocks and all-over fields of gestural marks and passages since the mid-1970s. Whitney’s signature format revolves around his use of a loose grid, structured around abstract coloured blocks and lines, testing combinations, arrangements, density and transparency of colours to evoke a sense of rhythm and cadence.
There are strong connections to music in Whitney’s work, from the performative ‘dance’ he enacts when working on each canvas, to the ‘call and response’ technique that governs his decisions over neighbouring colours, mimicking the musical pattern of the same name. Examples of jazz and African music are often cited by Whitney as sources for his polyrhythmic, near-synaesthetic paintings. An exhibition of drawings by Stanley Whitney is currently on view at Lisson Gallery in New York until 21 October.
Wall work across three floors:
WHOLE CLOTH STRETCHED TO THE LIMIT, 2013
Texts by Lawrence Weiner (born 1942, USA) have appeared in all sorts of locations over the last five decades: as vinyl or paint on walls and windows of galleries and public spaces, spoken as audio, video or performance, printed in books and on posters, cast or carved as letters and even turned into tattoos, graffiti, lyrics and so on, ad infinitum.
He defines his medium simply as ‘language + the material referred to’, signifying that text is as much a means of construction as any sculptural matter. While his works exist only as words in these multiple formats,
he is closely involved in their physical manifestations, detailing type sizes, surface texture and placement, often inventing new fonts. For EVERYTHING AT ONCE, Weiner has chosen to repeat his phrase like an instruction or mantra across all three stairwells, suggesting a constancy and layering that ties each level together, even if also threatening that it might all burst at the seams.
Al Araba Al Madfuna III, 2015
Based on extensive periods of research and enquiry, the work of Wael Shawky (born 1971, Egypt) tackles notions of national, religious and artistic identity through film, performance and storytelling.
This film (23 mins) is one of three titled Al Araba Al Madfuna (meaning ‘buried cart’) after a village in Egypt where shamans urged inhabitants to dig underground tunnels, revealing a network of ancient temples and Pharaonic treasures. Acted by children who have been dubbed in classical Arabic with adult voices, the layering of history and narratives over many centuries creates sensations of wonder, alienation and estrangement, exacerbated by the film’s production in negative, which further highlights the protagonists’ role reversals.
This is the third and final film in Shawky’s Al Araba Al Madfuna trilogy and is being shown in London for the first time, following a screening of the first two films at the Serpentine Gallery in London in 2013.
Lick in the Past, 2016
The latest artist to join Lisson Gallery in 2017, Laure Prouvost (born 1978, France) explores notions of language and translation in her multidisciplinary practice. Embracing linguistic complexity and the limitations of communication, Prouvost creates films and installations that reveal fantasies, question comfort zones and propose new freedoms. For Lick in the Past (8 mins 25 secs), the artist follows a group of teenagers cruising through Los Angeles while nonchalantly discussing dreams and desires, as filtered through their environs. These trance-like confessions and conversations are inter-cut with images of squid and fish, which – together with glimpses of Prouvost’s body and the landscape of LA – form a poetic road movie about the vague promises and wistful possibilities of youth. The film is installed within a sea of detritus trapped in poured resin and viewed from bucket seats within a scattering of tropical pot plants, resembling the aftermath of a pool party. The visuals are accompanied by a hip-hop soundtrack composed by LA-based producer WYNN.
Imagine you are driving (Sculpture 4), 1993
Night motorway. 1., 2017
Tunnel. 1., 2016
The distinctive visual language of Julian Opie (born 1958, UK) reflects his artistic preoccupation with the technological mediation through which we experience the world around us. A combination of early and recent works feature in EVERYTHING AT ONCE, from empty cabinets that evoke the urban or working environments, to a scaled-down model of a racetrack, constructed from concrete, and two driving films that reflect the urban cityscape beyond.
Opie’s slick finishes and geometric shapes mirror the ruins of this former corporate interior – the office architecture long emptied of any human interaction. Opie’s racetrack and first-person driving videos represent
a different kind of rat-race: the endless circuits around which we are all inexorably travelling, proffering hypnotic visions of mass transit and mass consumption. From our homes and workplaces to our roads and highways, Opie plays with this vocabulary of everyday life; his reductive style evoking systems of control hiding in plain sight.
Time Waterfall, 2017
Employing contemporary materials such as electric circuits, video, and computer systems, Tatsuo Miyajima (born 1957, Japan) creates supremely technological works centred on his use of LED counters, or ‘gadgets’ as he calls them. These numbers, flashing in continual and repetitious cycles from 1 up to 9 or from 9 down to 1, represent the journey from birth to death, the finality of which is symbolised by ‘0’, the void or zero point, which consequently never appears in his work.
Time Waterfall is a new work by Miyajima in which numbers tumble randomly and incessantly for eternity, with the different sizes of the numerals and varying speeds of descent representing the trajectory of individual lives within that continuum. The work presented in EVERYTHING AT ONCE is a sculptural realisation of Miyajima’s Time Waterfall, first created for the facade of a Hong Kong skyscraper, produced for the International Convention Centre commission in March 2016.
A Chamber for Horwitz,
Sonakinatography Transcriptions in Surround Sound, 2015
Sonakinatography Composition III, 1996
Haroon Mirza (born 1977, UK) has won international acclaim for installations that test the interplay and friction between sound and light waves and electric current. Transcribing a complex working drawing by LA-based artist Channa Horwitz (1932–2013), Mirza turns her notational sequences and matrices into a multi-coloured, sonic score. The electric noise of the currents that light the LEDs in one of the eight possible configurations and colour combinations, as marked by Horwitz, is simultaneously translated via speakers to audible noise pulses in different octaves. Together, these acoustic, visual interpretations of the Horwitz data result in a choreographed, compositional concert, which is at once computer-programmed and man-made – both ‘live’ and historic.
A Chamber for Horwitz; Sonakinatography Transcriptions in Surround Sound is a conceptual development of an earlier piece by Mirza, titled Adam, Eve, Others and a UFO (2013), which is currently on view at the Zabludowicz Collection in London until 17 December.
Peloponnese Line, 2017
Richard Long (born 1945, UK) has been in the vanguard of conceptual and land art in Britain since he created A Line Made by Walking half a century ago in 1967, the same year as Lisson Gallery was founded. That photograph, of the fixed path left by his feet repeatedly traversing a section of grass, established a precedent that art could be a journey. Ever since, Long has made site-specific, ephemeral works in the open air, as well as in gallery settings.
This new large-scale mud work, made directly on to one wall of Store Studios, continues a series of temporary murals in clay and mud that include other monumental examples, such as Long’s Red Earth Circle, made for the ‘Magiciens de la Terre’ exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in 1989. Over a minimal black line, the artist’s gestures and finger strokes suggest a simultaneity of forces governing each mark – from his own bodily movement and energy, to the gravity, chance and nature of the unstable, liquid material.
Floor / wall installation:
Dialogue – Silence, 2013
Painter, sculptor, writer and philosopher Lee Ufan (born 1936, South Korea) came to prominence in the late 1960s as one of the major theoretical and practical proponents of the avant-garde Mono-ha (Object School) group. The Mono-ha school of thought was Japan’s first contemporary art movement to gain international recognition. It rejected Western notions of representation, focusing on the relationships of materials and perceptions rather than on expression or intervention. The artists of Mono-ha present works made of raw physical materials that have barely been manipulated.
Composed of a raw stone facing a blank canvas and a wall painting bearing repeated, layered sweeps of paint, Lee’s two Dialogue works are displayed in a discrete, chamber-like environment. This silent, ascetic, but highly charged space encourages a close, personal encounter with the works and offers a place for contemplation.
At the Edge of the World II, 1998
Anish Kapoor (born 1954, India) creates large-scale installations and sculptures that recede from view, protrude into space or distort the air around them. By combining them with pigment and light – or the lack of it – he transforms the viewer’s perception of his work, creating ephemeral experiences as much as actual objects.
In common with Kapoor’s large-scale site-specific public commissions, including Cloud Gate (2006) in Chicago, USA, and ArcelorMittal Orbit (2012) at the Olympic Park in London, the pigment piece presented at Store Studios is at once monumental and personal, expanding the area it occupies while swallowing its visibility from below.
At the Edge of the World II has been exhibited previously at the Hayward Gallery in 1998 and most recently at the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) in Mexico last year.