Construction and its shadow




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Peer reviewed



This exhibition at Leeds City Art Gallery, funded by the Henry Moore Institute, draws on collections both from Leeds Museum and Galleries and the Arts Council collection to look at groups of British artists that came to prominence in the 1950’s and 60’s. The exhibition locates these often overlooked practitioners against a number of younger artists working today who engage with working methods of Construction and Systems art in their current practice. The logic of Construction and Systems often makes reference to works that often contain architectural components, systems of repetition and mathematical ordering that appear rational and methodical. My contribution to the exhibition includes a series of A4 drawings displayed in a stack on a plinth and under a perspex lid and a number of sculptures mounted on the wall. The works emerge from a day-to-day engagement with utilitarian materials and processes of making that are rarely governed or steered by any over bearing concern for order or rationalisation, instead indulging in fiddling, fidgeting and what appears to be deliberate attempts at obfuscation. These works exhibit and set up an abrasive and awkward counterpoint to the assumed solidity and organisation of Construction and Systems art. The improvisational and scatty pragmatics of the works are further heightened and explored through the installation process, allowing external factors and local experiences to inform the final resolution, rendering each subsequent outing of the work a new piece and defying any drive for consistent and ordered art objects.


There was also a seminar held at the Henry Moore Institute on May 11th 2011.


Group exhibition at Leeds City Art Gallery


Gillam, A.M. (2010) Construction and its shadow.


Research Institute