2 - 5 March 2017
A focused display relating to the theme of the garden. A presentation of Yayoi Kusama’s installation GUIDEPOST TO THE NEW WORLD, 2016 will be on view in Platform, the fair’s new curated section for large-scale artworks and site-specific commissions across Piers 92 and 94.
The garden as a place of sensual pleasure, fantasy and escape, site of allegory and myth, or collision of manmade and natural worlds connects works by Alice Neel, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Maria Nepomuceno and Sarah Sze.
Alice Neel’s enigmatic painting Nadya and the Wolf, 1932, which depicts a figure seated on the ground before the bare trees of a winter forest, accompanied by a wolf – placid rather than aggressive – presents an ambiguous metaphorical scenario perhaps related to themes of motherhood and child-rearing that can, in turn, be traced to Neel’s own experiences during the period. Ian Hamilton Finlay’s iconic Republic, 1995, an installation of five wooden drums and painted metal watering cans, draws together themes of horticulture and revolution, both wellsprings of inspiration for the late Scottish artist and poet; the watering can – Arrosoir in French – relates to a day in the French Republican Calendar created and implemented during the French Revolution. Redemagma, 2013, by Maria Nepomuceno, extends the Brazilian artist's methods of rope weaving and straw braiding, in which pre-existing and found elements such as branches, twigs, seed pods, playful ceramic forms and paint brushes merge with the organic forms of the sculptures. A recurring form in her work, the hammock emphasises the interconnectedness of the individual object and its environment, while inviting the viewer to pause, draw close and engage with complex cycles of energy and creation. Crouched in a foetal position, the figure it contains also functions as a vessel from which sprouts a living orange tree. In Sarah Sze’s Four Rocks in a Landscape, 2013-2015, the artist’s ongoing concerns with the construction and measurement of space, mass, time and volume, our perception of the world around us and how we attempt to locate ourselves, is given uncanny form. Disorienting and disrupting our perception, Sze’s Rocks – in fact photographs of rock surfaces printed on to Tyvek and wrapped around aluminium armatures – play with ideas of gravity, stability and fragility, what is real and not real. Crucially, they remind us that it is our imagination that gives them weight.
The theme of the display is inspired in part by the gallery’s presentation of Yayoi Kusama’s
GUIDEPOST TO THE NEW WORLD, 2016, as part of Platform. A multi-part work created for both indoor and outdoor settings, GUIDEPOST TO THE NEW WORLD features 11 biomorphic forms made of painted cast aluminium, their surfaces covered with white polka dots on a red background. Appearing variously to emerge and rise from the ground, as if caught in particular stages of growth, these structures form a surreal landscape, confusing the perception and spatial orientation of those who view them. Displayed on the Victoria Miro booth, Kusama’s painting THE COSMOS (AABE), 2008, which again employs a scheme of white polka dots on a red background, will provide a further link between the gallery’s presentations.
Additionally, Victoria Miro will have works available to view by Jules de Balincourt, Hernan Bas, Verne Dawson, Peter Doig, Barnaby Furnas, Alex Hartley, Secundino Hernández, Christian Holstad, John Kørner, Wangechi Mutu, Chris Ofili, Celia Paul, Tal R and Kara Walker.