Photo Feature: Mystics And Rationalists At Modern Art Oxford




Modern Art Oxford is currently marking 50 years as an internationally acclaimed powerhouse of contemporary visual culture. Celebrating the role art plays in shaping our perception of the world, KALEIDOSCOPE offers a shifting prism on an illustrious history founded upon the vision of artists. Iconic works from the past return to the gallery from across the globe, as part of a year-long programme of displays, commissions, performances, talks and events including work by artists new to Modern Art Oxford.

Image: Dorothy Cross, Scales, 2014. KALEIDOSCOPE: Mystics And Rationalists, Modern Art Oxford. Photo P A Black © 2016.

Over 700 exhibitions have been presented at Modern Art Oxford since the gallery was founded 50 years ago. KALEIDOSCOPE does not aim to be a definitive history by any means. It offers a snapshot of some of the many highlights in the gallery’s history and reflects on some of the key ideas in contemporary art over the past half a century.

Image: Amy Sillman, One Lump Or Two, 2016, installation view. KALEIDOSCOPE: Mystics And Rationalists, Modern Art Oxford. Photo P A Black © 2016.

The gallery’s latest exhibition, ‘Mystics and Rationalists’, draws on Sol LeWitt’s assertion that “conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions which logic cannot reach,” this show explores new forms of knowledge. The artists all provide unconventional perspectives that eschew traditional logic. These new modes of expression are increasingly important in a world dominated by the visual, with images channelled ever more rapidly through advertising, smartphones and social media. Featuring Karla Black, Daniel Buren, Dorothy Cross, Ibrahim El-Salahi, Dan Graham, Sol LeWitt, Yoko Ono and Amy Sillman.

Image: Dorothy Cross, Buoy, 2014. KALEIDOSCOPE: Mystics And Rationalists, Modern Art Oxford. Photo P A Black © 2016.

The shark has been a recurring theme in Cork-born artist Dorothy Cross’s practice for a decade, and here the viewer is met with the creature’s empty skin, the underside of which has been gilded in precious white gold, below a thin slab of translucent alabaster echoes the once living skin, as it sits above a gallery filled with a collection of ancient cast iron bathtubs.

Image: Dorothy Cross, Eye of Shark, 2014. KALEIDOSCOPE: Mystics And Rationalists, Modern Art Oxford. Photo P A Black © 2016.

Mystics and Rationalists turns around to It’s Me to the World between 31 July and 20 August. In KALEIDOSCOPE, one exhibition transitions into the next enabling visitors to look behind the scenes and catch a glimpse of the gallery at work with artists and artworks.

Photos: P A Black © 2016

Lead image: Daniel Buren, installation view, KALEIDOSCOPE: Mystics And Rationalists, Modern Art Oxford. Photo P A Black © 2016

KALEIDOSCOPE: Mystics And Rationalists – Modern Art Oxford – until 19 August 2016


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