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Exhibition Review: Space Shifters at the Hayward Gallery – 26th September 2018 to 6th January 2019


The Hayward Gallery presents a new exhibition entitled Space Shifters which features artworks by 20 leading international artists that challenges the visitor’s sense of space and perception. Many works in the exhibition interact directly with the Gallery’s distinctive architecture using  reflective or translucent materials like glass, resin and mirror.

The exhibition presents a range of historical and contemporary sculptures, as well as immersive, site-specific installations. It also premieres several major new commissions.  Participating artists include: Leonor Antunes, Larry Bell, Fred Eversley, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jeppe Hein, Roni Horn, Robert Irwin, Ann Veronica Janssens, Anish Kapoor, Yayoi Kusama, Alicja Kwade, John McCracken, Josiah McElheny, Helen Pashgian, Charlotte Posenenske, Fred Sandback, Monika Sosnowska, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané,DeWain Valentine, and Richard Wilson.

The earliest works in this group show are often associated with the ‘Light and Space’ movement which originated in the mid-1960s in the Los Angeles area. At this time, a number of the American artists included in the exhibition began experimenting with unconventional materials and innovative fabrication processes.  Helen Pashgian contributes several epoxy and acrylic spheres and a series of large acrylic columns which use varying degrees of transparency and light to generate optical effects.

Many of the works created by these artists allow viewers to both see into as well as through the material of a solid sculpture. Robert Irwin’s work Untitled (Acrylic Column), 1969–2011 is a large clear acrylic column that rises over 4.5 metres in the Hayward’s upper gallery.

Using an innovative spinning casting process, Fred Eversley creates vivid coloured lenses through which viewers can explore the world in many different hues.

Larry Bell is represented in the exhibition by his first large-scale installation Standing Walls (1969/2016). Viewers can enter to experience its different reflections and effects.

Contemporary artist Ann Veronica Janssens demonstrate the diversity of perceptual effects using glass by exploring colour in radically different ways. Janssens bonds reflective film between sheets of smashed glass for her Magic Mirrors.

In the first gallery,  Jeppe Hein’s 360° Illusion V, 2018, a huge rotating mirror sculpture constantly changes the reflections of the surrounding architecture and viewers.

Other reflective highlights of the exhibition include: Yayoi Kusama’s renowned Narcissus Garden (1966-), a landscape of hundreds of large stainless steel spheres.

Using the outside light, Sky Mirror, Blue (2016) by Anish Kapoor captures a piece of the sky and reflects it onto  one of the Hayward Gallery’s sculpture courts.

Alicja Kwade’s WeltenLinie (2017) is shown for the first time since its premiere at the last Venice Biennale. This installation encourages the viewer to walk around and through its structure of frames, as objects seem to change appearance.

Occupying an entire upper gallery, Richard Wilson recreates his monumental installation 20:50 (1987). Thousands of litres of recycled oil form a waist-high horizon that surrounds the viewer as they proceed down a gangway.

Leonor Antunes  has created a piece that cascades downward from one of the new Hayward Gallery ceiling full of  brass shapes.

And while wandering through the galleries, visitors encounter Josiah McElheny’s Interactions of the Abstract Body (2012) which keeps perceptions shifting – trained dancers wearing mirrored wooden costumes interact with visitors as well as other artworks in a continuously changing performance.

This enjoyable and entertaining exhibition uses the Hayward Gallery’s unique architectural features to the full with works that fill the spaces with a variety of reflective effects. Visitors can engage with the works to create a number of perceptual effects to create an ever-changing landscape. The exhibition illustrates the fascination and skill of artists to find different ways of looking at the world around us, sometimes the changes are subtle whilst others can be dramatic and disorientate the viewer. The exhibition is a fitting conclusion to events celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Hayward Gallery and provides evidence that the Hayward Gallery often offers a different experience to many of the other galleries in London

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and book tickets , visit the Southbank Centre website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Space Shifters at the Hayward Gallery – 26th September 2018 to 6th January 2019

Hayward Gallery’s Autumn exhibition Space Shifters features artworks by 20 leading international artists that alter or disrupt the visitor’s sense of space and re-orient their perception of their surroundings in ways that are subtle yet dramatic. The works in the exhibition focus the attention of the viewer on the act of perception whilst transforming their experience of the Gallery’s distinctive architecture. Often constructed from reflective or translucent materials like glass, resin and mirror, the artworks in the show aim to elicit surprising responses that are both physiological and psychological. They also comprise an alternative history of minimalism: not a geometric, austere, serial minimalism, but one with a more alluring, elegant and playful sensibility.

Space Shifters presents a range of historical and contemporary sculptures, as well as immersive, site-specific installations. It also premieres several major new commissions.  Participating artists include: Leonor Antunes, Larry Bell, Fred Eversley, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jeppe Hein, Roni Horn, Robert Irwin, Ann Veronica Janssens, Anish Kapoor, Yayoi Kusama, Alicja Kwade, John McCracken, Josiah McElheny, Helen Pashgian, Charlotte Posenenske, Fred Sandback, Monika Sosnowska, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané,DeWain Valentine, and Richard Wilson.

The earliest works in this group show are often associated with the ‘Light and Space’ movement which originated in the mid-1960s in the Los Angeles area. At this time, a number of the American artists included in the exhibition were experimenting with unconventional materials and innovative fabrication processes. One of the few female artists associated with Light and Space, Helen Pashgian contributes several epoxy and acrylic spheres and a series of large acrylic columns which use varying degrees of transparency and light to generate optical effects.

Many of the works created by these artists allow viewers to both see into as well as through the material of a solid sculpture. Robert Irwin’s work Untitled (Acrylic Column), 1969–2011 is a monumental and majestic clear acrylic column that rises over 4.5 metres in the Hayward’s upper gallery, yet is almost imperceptible, save for its refractive properties. Using an innovative spinning casting process, Fred Eversley creates sensuous coloured lenses through which viewers can witness the world anew.

Larry Bell, who explores similar concerns through the medium of glass, is represented in the exhibition by his first large-scale installation Standing Walls (1969/2016). Viewers can enter to experience its compounding reflections and effects whilst seeing themselves within the sculpture. Contemporary artists Ann Veronica Janssens and Roni Horn demonstrate the diversity of perceptual effects using glass by exploring colour in radically different ways. Janssens bonds reflective film between sheets of smashed glass that give her Magic Mirrors a dynamic, iridescent shine, while Horn’s large cast-glass lozenge Untitled (“Everything was sleeping as if the universe were a mistake.”), 2012–13 seems to contain an uncanny depth and liquidity.

In Space Shifters, several artists ponder the notion of reflection and that its definition holds a double meaning: the physical mirroring of an object and the contemplative act. The most dramatic example of this is Jeppe Hein’s 360° Illusion V, 2018, a huge rotating mirror sculpture that presides over the first gallery. This work reflects the surrounding architecture as well as groups of viewers, drawing them in with simultaneous inversions. Other reflective highlights of the exhibition include: Yayoi Kusama’s renowned Narcissus Garden (1966-), a landscape of hundreds of stainless steel spheres. Engaging the external environment, Sky Mirror, Blue (2016) by Anish Kapoor dramatically shifts a portion of the sky onto one of the Hayward Gallery’s distinctive sculpture courts.

Alicja Kwade’s WeltenLinie (2017) is shown for the first time since its premiere at the last Venice Biennale. This installation encourages the viewer to walk around and through its structure of frames, as objects seem to change appearance – a greyish rock turns to rusted metal, while a wooden tree trunk becomes a gleaming silver impression of itself.

Occupying an entire upper gallery, Richard Wilson recreates his monumental installation 20:50 (1987). Thousands of litres of recycled oil form a waist-high horizon that surrounds the viewer as they proceed down a gangway spliced through the inky liquid. The artwork’s glossy surface will reflect the Hayward Gallery’s new pyramid roof lights and the open sky beyond.

Several new commissions in the exhibition play off of the unique brutalist architecture of the Hayward Gallery building, taking on some of its more transitional spaces like the staircases and corridors. Daniel Steegmann Mangrané is inspired by the shape of the poured concrete stairwells and he has created, especially for this exhibition, curtains that echo their curves. Creating an equally delicate piece that cascades downward from one of the new Hayward Gallery ceiling coffers, Leonor Antunes conjures a light-filled volume of brass shapes. And while wandering through the galleries, visitors will encounter Josiah McElheny’s Interactions of the Abstract Body (2012) which keeps perceptions shifting – trained dancers wearing mirrored wooden costumes interact with visitors as well as other artworks in a continuous performance.

With spatial perception at its centre, Space Shifters is a fitting conclusion to the Hayward Gallery’s 50th anniversary, highlighting and making the most of some of the renovated building’s architectural features.

For more information , visit the Southbank Centre website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here