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Gasworks Gallery, London 12 January 11 February
Reviewed by: Rob Wilson »
Lothar Götz's work at Gasworks Gallery is the culmination and generator of a project he has been working on for several months.
It consists of six areas of colour, painted directly onto the wall surface of the top-lit rectangular gallery space, bands stacked horizontally three to the left: purple, pink, blue; three to the right: yellow, acid green, red meeting vertically at the centre of each of the shorter walls.
This painting is site-specific set out in response to the gallery space. But in a room next door there is documentation of two previous installations of the 'same' painting same colours and identical areas of paint in an empty church in Southwark and a 1930s flat in Hackney.
These were very different spaces in the vast hulk of the church, the painting barely laps around the walls, settled like a sediment only a yellow strip hovering tokenly in the apse behind the altar. In the flat, the painting has had to splinter and adapt occupying spaces around and above the stuff and things of everyday life leaching onto the ceiling where necessary in order to make up its required area. And the lighting too is very different. The flat provides competing rectangles and warm washes of sun from the windows, whilst in the half-boarded-up church, the painting is lit from ground level beneath the dark void.
However in the photos of the church and block of flats their elongated rectangles do suggest at some vague volumetric equivalence to that of the galley space. But whilst they are presented out in the 'everyday', the experience of the gallery is removed and internalised. Even if the church were not deconsecrated, it is the gallery here that is the sacred space and Götz seems to be playing on this notion. He has actually modified the space at Gasworks to conform more fully to a classic white-cube one of the walls is timber-stud, cutting out a lower monopitched area at the back.
Whilst not immediately obvious, attention is drawn to these modifications of the space by a double plug socket, cut in half by the wall. Götz is acknowledging this as a highly artificial environment, a theatre of art installation. Is the painting designed for the space or the space for the painting?
Having been on its 'Stations of the Cross' around London, this painting has finally reached its Calvary or apotheosis in the gallery space, where it can both demand contemplation yet allow its meaning to remain indistinct.
I am a writer, curator and architect. I write on art, architecture + art & architecture!, and their curation. I am the Exhibition Curator at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London.
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