Visual art exhibitions and events with a platform for critical writing
The New Art Gallery, Walsall
2 June 9 September
Reviewed by: Krystyn Finn »
Walsall-born Darren Lago has produced work that is informed by the local manufacturing companies with whom he collaborated closely during this project. Duchamp's ground-breaking use of the everyday, manufactured and found object, witty verbal and visual puns, and the exploration of the boundaries between artisanship, art, commerce and production are echoed in much of the work. Big wheel barrow functions like an assisted readymade, consisting of forty wheelbarrows in a large Ferris wheel-like construction. Play and the play with objects and words are also metaphorically and literally evident in Bucket ball, a suspended rotating sphere made out of 150 steel buckets. In Brush bench, the altered scale and manipulation of an everyday object is carried through in a different manner more akin to Oldenburg's sculpture. A scaled-up domestic brush a functional object is transformed into an object that reinvents its functional quality as a usable bench seat in the rarefied gallery space.
Estelle Thompson's series of paintings complement and articulate the gallery space in a subtle variation on a theme that has been the hallmark of her work for the last four years. The paintings, on aluminium supports, vary in dimension and scale, using narrow vertical bands of oil paint that differ marginally in tonal value and colour within the series. The effect this produces elicits an obvious comparison with the work of Bridget Riley. However, the bands of colour fuse subtly at their periphery without the polychromatic precision of Riley's work. At close proximity one becomes aware of the subtle dusty quality of surface, reminiscent of oxidised metal or, with the addition of pigment, the delicacy and vibrancy of a butterfly wing.
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