17-18 Golden Square, London W1F 9JJ
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An Ensemble of Gallery Artists
Frith Street Gallery, Golden Square & Soho Square
Summer Breeze is a group exhibition that presents ethereal artworks by a selection of Frith Street Gallery artists. Whether by exploring complex notions of identity by foregrounding the multifaceted nature of the self, delving into the realms of domestic or natural worlds, or returning to the archive, these works remind us of the physically and temporally precarious nature of all things. Spanning both gallery locations, this ensemble of photography, drawing, painting, moving image and sculpture allows viewers to drift into unfolding discovery.
The works at Golden Square reveal how the notion of body is imbued with multiple meanings, including recurring bodies of artwork, or bodies of human subjects themselves. These nuanced approaches to making work across a range of media places the viewer in an active position, and testifies to the diverse methods taken on and transmuted by artists. Two figures by Daniel Silver are particularly dynamic at the entrance of the gallery. An analyst, an archeologist, and an artist, Silver moves constantly between styles, examining the physical and emotional impact of the body and its representation. Hanging from the ceiling is Fiona Banner’s Black Blind (1999), implicating the body through its sheer scale as well as the process of mark-making with graphite on paper. Cascading from above, this monumental piece transforms the act of drawing into an immersive, all-encompassing gesture. Conversely, Dayanita Singh questions the nature of representation itself with the still moving image Mona and Myself (2013). Hovering in a space between video and still photography, the unfixed nature of this work mirrors the uniqueness of its non-binary subject, Mona Ahmed.
At Soho Square, narrative dissolves into the threshold of memory with a selection that reveals as much as it conceals. Shot on a mountain in Secciano, Italy, Mountain Wind (2002) by Jaki Irvine portrays wind moving through trees, causing the mountain to appear to breathe. In the accompanying soundtrack, the Italian diva Mina is heard singing as she watches her lover sleeping. Here, two seemingly disparate elements contribute to an encompassing melancholic longing. In the second room, Anna Barriball and Tacita Dean use source materials to reimagine the past in an ever-unfolding present. For Barriball, found 35mm slides are photographed and re-projected as burnt out artefacts, becoming objects that are at once tangible and fleeting. In Dean’s Trying to Find the Spiral Jetty (1998), the artist is on a search for Robert Smithson’s iconic earthwork, but the blending of fact and fiction ensures that the work, as well as the journey itself, is steeped in myth. Downstairs, photographs by John Riddy propose a release from gravity. In creating images of the sky, the otherwise fixed environment of a constructed landscape gives way to an endless vista extending overhead. Only when the light, colour, atmosphere and formation appear to fall into place can the final work emerge and swell.
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