Richard Wentworth, a leading figure in contemporary British Sculpture is to exhibit at the Lisson Gallery from 30 January to the 9 March. He continues to radically challenge the way we think about the material of the world. His artistic language confronts the way in which objects are used and experienced in the everyday, acquiring independent meaning whilst being tied to systems of grammar and usage.
Working with ready-mades and often incongruous found items, Wentworth transforms, juxtaposes and manipulates them into arrangements that subvert their intended use and undermine their supposedly routine and ‘fixed’ nature. He organises his imagery to be ‘read’ as a text and as a means of negotiating the protocol of forms. The viewer is encouraged to acknowledge the agency of the object and the dialectic relationship that exists between man and things.
The exhibition at Lisson Gallery will feature the ambitious site-specific installation A Room Full of Lovers (2013), informed by Gaudi’s calculations for the structure of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. The installation, consisting of a steel chain anchored high above and falling in catenaries all the way around the gallery space, explores the role of gravity and perception as artistic tools. The work encloses the viewer and binds them to the spatial and linear narrative of the chains; implicated in the loops and material divisions are the highs and lows of human social and physical relations.
A new series of photographs will be presented alongside the sculptural work in the exhibition. Here the (generally urban) motive is examined as though a ready-made. Everyday objects, geometries and uncanny situations are brought to the viewer’s attention. Wentworth casts light on the uneasy qualities of the mundane, which punctuates the city streets, his favoured space of conception.
Coinciding with the exhibition, Wentworth will unveil a significant public project, Black Maria, on the 12 February. Created in collaboration with Swiss architecture practice GRUPPE it is part of Relay, a nine-year arts programme that is turning the area around Central St Martin’s School of Art and Design into a destination for discovering international contemporary art. The second commission in the King’s Cross series, Black Maria, is a structure that acts as a place of meeting, based around discussion, performance and moving images.
Richard Wentworth has played a leading role in New British Sculpture since the end of the 70s. His work, encircling the notion of objects and their use as part of our day-to-day experiences, has altered the traditional definition of sculpture as well as photography.
By transforming and manipulating industrial and/or found objects into works of art, Wentworth subverts their original function and extends our understanding of them by breaking the conventional system of classification.
The sculptural arrangements play with the notion of ready-made and juxtaposition of objects that bear no relation to each other. Whereas in photography, as in the ongoing series Making Do and Getting By, Wentworth documents the everyday, paying attention to objects, occasional and involuntary geometries as well as uncanny situations that often go unnoticed. He lives and works in London.
Richard Wentworth Lisson Gallery 30 January – 9 March 2013 29 & 52-54 Bell Street