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Falling Up: The Gravity of Art at The Courtauld Gallery
“Paintings, sculpture, photographs and engravings”
Jane Hallcome – June 2011
“Falling Up: The Gravity of Art” is an interesting initiative, from 23rd June to 4th September 2011, at The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House.
This exhibition, in fact, is curated by a group of students as a practical part of their MA Curating the Art Museum, a study programme organised by The Courtauld Art Institute.
What happens when you put together nine young students, hungry of life, quite eager of the future and willing to demonstrate to the world their real value is? The result is a lovely and cosy exhibition, organised in one room, with curators available to answer and happy to spend their time with visitors. Their passion overwhelmed all the rest. And this passion is also visible in the exhibition itself. And it is nice to have curators who really like it, not ‘doing it for work only’ but with real enthusiasm.
Besides, the idea of the exhibition is tickling: a study about the theme of the gravity in art through a selection of historical and contemporary works from The Courtauld Gallery and The Arts Council Collection. The artworks are in a series of conspicuous and unusual juxtapositions that disclose the fascination of the artists with notions of gravity, from the 16th century to the present days. The exhibition considers the subtle connections between weight and weightlessness, flying and falling, earth and sky, and rising and razing.
“Falling Up: The Gravity of Art” displays paintings, sculptures, photographs and engravings. The room is dominated by the installation of Cornelia Parker ‘Neither from nor towards’ (1992) which consists in numerous bricks collected from the White Cliff of Dover and suspended using wires. Other notably artworks are ‘The descent from the cross’ (1611) a painting by Peter Paul Rubens, ‘Sisyphus’ (1636) a piece by Guercino, ‘Dan’ (2008) a photograph by Wolfgang Tillmans and a bronze study ‘Nijinsky’ (about 1912) by Auguste Rodin.
The works reveal both visual and conceptual correlations. “Falling Up: The Gravity of Art” explores the artist ceaseless search on the idea of gravity within religion and myth, or as mere perception of the body rather then a fantasy. However, also the viewer is involved in reconsider his idea of gravity whether of defiance or submission, fear or fascination.
The curator is a team of nine students, eight women and one man, coming from the UK, Europe and the United States. They are: Svetlana Bountakidou, Aryn Conway, Amy-Rose Enskat, Sarah Fletcher, Christopher Huynh, Stephanie Lugon, Charlotte Proctor Smith, Alissa Schapiro and Rachel Walker.
Wishing good luck to them, we hope they will organise other pleasant exhibitions.
At The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN.