Tate Liverpool – DLA Piper Series: This is Sculpture
1 May 2009 – 11 April 2010. Admission free
This is a massive show spread across the first and second floors, so many good and iconic works and not just 3D, I was pleased to see plenty of paintings on the walls too. Also interesting to see such brightly coloured walls (though it makes photography difficult) and the Hemingway’s silent disco area is great fun.
There are three sections, each curated by different people.
First of all Michael Craig-Martin Sculpture: The Physical World
Artist Michael Craig-Martin has selected and arranged works to focus on the complex ways that sculpture informs our understanding and experience of the physical world.
Craig-Martin has paintied each of the three gallery spaces in this section a different vivid colour, centred around a new large-scale wall drawing made specially for the space. In his signature style, this drawing combines the word sculpture with boldly outlined motifs of dozens of everyday objects, from footballs to coathangers.
Masterpieces from Michael Craig-Martins section of the display include Amedeo Modiglianis Head (1911-2), Marcel Duchamps Fountain (1917, replica 1964), Pablo Picassos Cock (1932, cast 1952), Donald Judds Untitled (1973), and Franz Wests Viennoiserie (1998).
Secondly Wayne and Jack Hemingway: Sculpture Remixed
Put on your headphones and dance. Designed to counteract the perception of galleries as stuffy, formal spaces, Hemingway & Son have juxtaposed figurative sculpture with an interactive disco environment. 25 life-size sculptures, from the late 19th century to the present day, tell the story of the human body as represented through sculpture.
A light-up dancefloor designed by Kathrine Sandys (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) occupies the centre of the space and visitors are invited to take part in a silent disco. To provide an alternative gallery experience visitors can pick up wireless headphones and listen to specially-selected tracklists.
Highlights include Edgar Degas Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (1880-1), Germaine Richiers Shepherd of the Landes (1951, cast 1996), Antony Gormleys Three Ways: Mould, Hole and Passage (1981), and Ron Muecks Ghost (1998).
The third section..Tim Etchells Performing Sculpture
First time round I completely missed Jeppe Hein’s moving wall though I did wonder why there was a big blank wall there, you have to watch carefully to see that its moving.
Tim Etchells, Artistic Director of celebrated theatre company Forced Entertainment, draws on his experience to explore the role of sculpture as performance. This area is dedicated to exploring sculptures that perform, typified by the works of artists such as Jean Tinguely, the performed sculpture enacted by artists such as Helen Chadwick, alongside sculptures that invite the viewer to perform, such as Luis Camnitzers work Sentences (1966). There is also an ongoing performance entitled In Many Ways, in which a performer moves a chair to occupy many different positions marked by dots on the gallery floor.
Major works from the Tate collection featured in Tim Etchells section of the display include Piero Manzonis Artists Breath (1960), Rebecca Horns Mechanical Body Fan (1973-4) and Gilbert & Georges Happy (1980). This display also features Invisible Moving Wall (2001) by Jeppe Hein, where a large wall slowly moves within the space.