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r ev iews

Alice Theobald Ian Wallace Lawrence

Pilar Corrias / London Greta Meert / Brussels Buchmann / Berlin

Wedding and Babies, Alice Theobalds In 2008, the exhibition Un Coup de Under the Blue, the third exhibition
second solo exhibition at Pilar Corrias, Ds: Writing Turned Image. An Alphabet by American artist Lawrence Carroll at
took me a while to grasp, and to digest. of Pensive Language, at the Generali Buchmann Galerie, is a rather laid-back
Perhaps Ive reached an age when such Foundation in Vienna, brought together affair. The smaller works are dabs of paint
a title resonates with my own situation sixteen artists, including Ian Wallace, on newspaper, as if lifted from the studio
enough for me to be skeptical about it. around Stphane Mallarms famous poem. floor. The larger pieces are thoroughly
White vinyl lettering on the front window, Wallace returned to the topic in 2011 for worked surfaces: less spontaneity, more
Titled (2017), proclaims the shows title in the Biennale de Montral, with works gravity. Yet these days, one questions
pop graphics a forewarning of the complic- such as La Table III, Les feuilles rpandues, how such objects still claim relevance in
ity required to fully experience the exhibi- Lbauche and La tentative, now on display an age when hectic media cycles sputter
tion. Untitled (Love and Patience) (2016) at Greta Meert. These white canvases, forth ever more warped shades of truth.
broadcasts passersby from the street into incorporating a single geometric color field, First of all, they do so through their
the gallery using a baby monitor, immedi- also include a picture of the artists worktable silence. The two main pieces in the show,
ately challenging the condition of viewership with a copy of Un coup de ds on it. They both untitled and dated 2003, are large,
by introducing the frenetic rhythm of the are perfect examples of mise en abyme, solemn, monumental paintings bearing
outside. Pillowcases and sandbags barricade with Wallace turning a photograph of the the worn-out appearance of second-hand
the entry space, blocking ones view and working process into the artwork itself. appliances: abstract, modernist, minimal, yet
forcing confused visitors toward a space of According to Wallace, Mallarms Un built upon near-tangible artistic decisions.
contrived intimacy at the rear of the gallery. coup de ds jamais nabolira le hasard Secondly, they convey presence. Their
Issues of war and domesticity, of public and (A Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish apparent depth derives from surfaces
private, are drawn together here, signal- Chance) has been a source of inspiration ceaselessly overlaid with spare strips of
ing the performance of violence within the since the early 1970s that is, since Marcel canvas, as if the artist had previously bored
privacy of the home. Three anthropomorphic Broodthaers offered his own pictorial into his paintings in search of a hidden motif
sculptures, I dont like your tone, Second Best interpretation of the text. In MACBA behind the picture plane and, on discovering
and Corner Bath (all 2017), positioned at Interior IV (2009) and MACBA Exterior I it, decided to patch the rest up again. The
different heights and illuminated by theatri- and II (2009), Wallace demonstrates his motif is revealed as a milky cyan square
cal lighting from below, project enlarged understanding of the aesthetic as well as the in the upper-left corner not painted on
shadows of scripted dialogues and draw- socio-cultural implications of the poem (it is the canvas but rather residing in a hole
ings. Haunted by their own transfiguration, about a shipwreck, that of tradition). These cut out of the canvas: a painting within a
these works reveal the moments before and works all display huge photographs of the painting, a window onto a blue sky. The
after parenthood, while connoting a sudden Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona artist worked these pieces for thirteen years,
change in couple dynamics. I realize I have with a large vertical stripe of paint hiding lugging them from one studio to the next,
entered a meta-space, inadvertently becom- part of the left-hand side. Monochrome an act that undoubtedly helped contribute
From top:
ing part of a mise-en-scne in which viewers canvases from 1967, recreated by Wallace the traces that lend them their aged and
Alice Theobald are transformed into impromptu actors. in 2009, are displayed alongside. Both dignified appearance. In their dialogue with
Weddings and Babies A 3-D film, titled The Next Step (2016) Richard Meiers architecture and Wallaces the smaller newspaper pieces, these works
Installation view at Pilar Corrias and displayed as part of an installation on monochrome paintings embody a turning offer an alternative glimpse of extemporality.
Gallery, London (2017)
the lower floor, includes a scene of two men point in the history of the arts a form of This is a good thing, and a rare find.
Courtesy of the Artist and Pilar
Corrias Gallery, London
walking through a park, one pushing a pram radical modernity that echoes Mallarms
Photography by and the other walking a dog. That their con- quest to renew poetry at the very end of the
Damian Griffiths versation never coincides reminds us of the nineteenth century. It is no accident that, for
importance of language, while our technolog- MACBA Interior IV, Wallace used a picture
Ian Wallace
ical gaze further contaminates the ordinary of one of Lawrence Weiners Statements
Installation view at Greta Meert
Gallery, Brussels (2017)
tone of their actions. I am unsettled and won- painted on the wall. It builds a 130-year
Courtesy of the Artist and der what part I might be playing in this scene. link between two successful attempts to
Greta Meert Gallery, Brussels reshape language, poetry and the arts.

Lawrence Carroll
Untitled (2016)
Courtesy of the Artist and
Buchmann Galerie, Berlin
Photography by Roman Mrz by Attilia Fattori Franchini by Pierre-Yves Desaive by Andreas Schlaegel

97 may 2017