Virginia Overton: Animal Magnetism




Animal Magnetism marks the first time that an artist will respond to the unique character of the CCA’s architecture, and will be Overton’s first solo show in a UK institution. The exhibition coincides with Overton’s inclusion in the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia curated by Cecilia Alemani, The Milk of Dreams, and the opening of a permanent new commission for the Delta Terminal of LaGuardia Airport in New York. The exhibition runs until 31 July.

Virginia Overton’s work comprises sculpture and installation, often beginning with materials reclaimed from industrial contexts, previous artworks, and scavenged from the gallery. Born in Tennessee, her work is frequently informed by memories of her family’s farm, and processes of industry and repair. She primarily works with raw construction materials such as timber, metal, glass, water, sand, stone, plastic, piping and lighting, to fashion objects that are at once new and readymade. Dubbed a ‘serial re-user’, she often breaks these artworks down again at the end of an exhibition into their component parts, to be recycled and reassembled into future new artworks and installations. In this way, Overton’s sculpture creates balance between control and decay.

The exhibition will feature a group of new works made in response to the architecture of the CCA building, alongside existing works and reworked materials from previous artworks. Overton’s new works incorporate steel given by celebrated British artist Sir Anthony Caro to Yorkshire Sculpture Park for use by future generations of artists. Caro’s sculptural legacy is continued by Overton’s exploration of weight, form and material, through her distinct lens. Much of Caro’s steel has corroded over time, adding a further elemental consideration to Overton’s treatment, through her integration of this weathering. Made from this passed-down material, the exhibition will include a new, room-sized chime installation of suspended shards and cut-off pipes, extending Caro’s play between weight and lightness. The exhibition will also feature works that have now become hallmarks of Overton’s handling of buildings’ signage and decoration, including a new light-box sign bearing Goldsmiths CCA’s name.

The show at the CCA continues Overton’s instinctive way of responding to the context and conditions of exhibitions – revealing the circulation, production and architectural framing of artworks. She often challenges this by subtle, poetic interventions in the space: wedging an object into a gallery, altering the flow of visitors, revealing materials usually kept in storage. In this way, the institution becomes the subject of the work, and is reinterpreted through Overton’s site-specific attention to architectural details. She is interested in ‘making a new place out of an old one, creating another way of being in it, looking at it, and walking through’.

Duration 06 May 2022 - 31 July 2022
Times Wed–Sun, 12–6pm
Cost Free
Venue Goldsmiths CCA
Address St James', New Cross, London, SE14 6NW
Contact 2082285969 / goldsmithscca@gold.ac.uk / http://goldsmithscca.art

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