Tal R: Chimney school of sculpture
An exhibition of new work by the Copenhagen-based artist, accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, with essay by Tom Morton, view an online version.
Tal R has often used the word 'kolbojnik', meaning leftovers in Hebrew, to describe his practice of sourcing and collecting a wide range of imagery, figurative and abstract, from high and low culture. Installed collectively, Tal R’s works can give the impression of a group show, as adherence to a single aesthetic style is eschewed in favour of a non-hierarchical exploration of material and form. This is explored in the exhibition, which stages sculptures alongside furniture works and a series of paintings and works on paper.
The lower gallery is populated by a disparate collection of ceramic, creature-like sculptures. Tal R has employed a process of Raku firing, an ancient technique which originated in sixteenth-century Japan. The process produces notoriously unpredictable results – the clay’s surface is blackened or whitened according to the intensity of its exposure to the smoke and is liable to crack or even explode, a volatility that has drawn the artist to the material.