Magazine of art press and reviews from London
David Franchi – Monday, 14th March 2016.
It was a great exhibition ‘Line’ at the Lisson Gallery, London. It was a celebration of the line and an investigation on its possibilities, what the Lisson Gallery (London) presented.
Guest -curated by Drawing Room, London, the exhibition focused on the three -dimensional development, from the line which is used to draw, to installation created for the Lisson Gallery and using its spaces.
Fifteen artists displayed their interpretation of the line, from images to minimalist, with installations and a video. Works spanned from seminal artworks, from the late ’60s, through to performative and site-specific pieces made especially for this exhibition.
The artists involved were: Athanasios Argianas, Ceal Floyer, Monika Grzymala, Victoria Haven, Susan Hiller, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Tom Marioni, Jonathan Monk, Julian Opie, Florian Pumhösl, Fred Sandback, Maximilian Schubert, K. Yoland and Jorinde Voigt.
Lisson Gallery’s almost fifty-year history frames the exhibition. Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing ♯165, a diagonal line first drawn according to the artist’s instructions by Nicholas Logsdail in 1973 and re-drawn again for this exhibition, proposes an expanded field for contemporary art through its conceptual idea. Richard Long’s 1980 work A Four Day Walk expresses an imaginary 94 miles line in the ground, which shifts the parameters of drawing to consider man’s physical yet transitory relationship with the world. Long’s ephemeral line contrasts poignantly with British artist K. Yoland’s recent photography series and a film, bath named Border Land Other (2013-2014), the result of a residency in Texas. A new work by Julian Opie also brings the natural world into the gallery via a black vinyl installation, Pine Forest, a vertical procession of tree trunks mimicking bar codes and lines.
Brooklyn-based Maximilian Schubert and London-based Greek artist Athanasios Argianas both presented new and recent work that employs metallic forms to execute three-dimensional drawings. The installation of Argiana is made of a freestanding steel armature draped with brass ribbons. Etched with words that describe subjective measurements, such as “the length of the strand of your hair”, the ribbons’ descriptions were activated via spoken performances during the exhibition’s opening.
In Viennese artist Florian Pumhösl’s animated film Tract (2011), moving lines explore the relationship between dance notations and a figure’s movement in space. Drawing from Paul Klee’s Pedagogical Sketchbook, which states “a line is a point, which goes for a walk”, Berlin based artist Ceal Floyer’s 2008 work, Taking a Line for a Walk. The performative element of drawing is also referred to in German artist Jorinde Voigt’s Botanic Code (2015), which translates the artist’s perceptions by way of an algorithmic code into a row of painted aluminium rods leant against a wall.
American conceptual artist Tom Marioni’s One Second Sculpture (1969) records the artist throwing a coiled tape measure into the air and letting it fall – an act echoed in Jonathan Monk’s neon Fallen (2006) – with the aim of eradicating the distinctions between sculpture, drawing and performance. Such crossing and erasure of medium specificity is a feature of the minimalist sculptor Fred Sandback’s dematerialised work, Untitled (1974).
An installation by Susan Hiller, Work in Progress (1980), contained the residue of a week-long performance of dismantling canvas by the artist. Using the soft material of tape, Berlin-based installation artist Monika Grzymala created a densely crosshatched maelstrom blizzard of black. Seattle-based artist Victoria Haven created new delicate site-specific works for the exhibition a minimalist and geometrical abstractions.
The exhibition ‘Line’ was at the Lisson Gallery, London, from 22 January until 12 March 2016.