White Cube Mason’s Yard presents an exhibition of new work by American artist Virginia Overton, which is her first in the UK. For this exhibition Overton has worked with the gallery space, creating new, site-responsive sculptural works using locally sourced, recycled materials that continue the artist’s playful use and investigation of different materials.
Overton’s work is marked by a minimal and elegant economy, the artist’s large-scale sculptures and installations are intuitive and adaptable, focusing on volume and space and the inherent physicality of their component parts. Overton’s process is a journey of trial and error whereby works are mostly created on site. The artist uses materials more commonly associated with building or construction, such as wood, metal, fluorescent lighting, mirrored acrylic, lumber, rope and cement. These, as well as appropriated ready-mades such as sandbags, chairs, ladders or pipes, which often obstruct and bisect the space, are used to highlight the specific dynamics and architectural motifs or to alter the space’s layout and flow.
The ground floor gallery has been transformed by an installation made from planks of whitewood which flex against the gallery walls. The wood is held in place by its own tension, creating an acrobatic and elegant bow where it reaches the ceiling. Through this bending and stretching the sculpture breaks the linearity of the surrounding architecture, escaping from it but also working within its boundaries.
In the lower ground floor gallery three open-ended rectangular wooden boxes are suspended from the ceiling by single looped cords, forming a constantly shifting cluster. These long boxes, made with the remaining whitewood from the ground floor installation, encourage the viewer to pause, perhaps peer through the open side, or whisper to someone at the other end. The sculptures appear like over-sized mobiles, the oblong boxes interact with each other, slowly shifting and swinging in what appears to be a constant search for the perfect balance.
A third sculpture also made from whitewood which has been interwoven and stacked together, has been created for the smaller lower ground floor gallery. Unfolding and extending from the corner of the space, the planks of whitewood feel almost elastic as they naturally deflect off the walls, as if wanting to escape a gravitational pull.
The artist’s intuitive sculptures are able to phenomenologically transform a space, while still retaining traces of their original use, while relating to the history of minimalism in art.
Virginia Overton – White Cube Mason’s Yard – until 14 March 2015