The British Art show – see here has some interesting work. Today my eye caught Magali Reus. I was particularly engaged by her abstract sculptures like this:
Leaves (Flint Levels, April) (2015)
The shapes are meaningless in one sense. The artist explains that this sculpture was made from milled and sprayed model board, aluminium tube, rubber, pigments, powder coatings, zinc plating and laser cut aluminium and steel. But it’s not meaningless. The item pleases my eye: the muted colours, multiple levels and tubes resemble a machine or engine. But it isn’t. It’s purpose is to be a shape.
The artist talks about her motivation thus…
‘I like to engage with the dislocation that happens when an object moves from the real world into the space of the gallery, which has of course its own codes of viewing or ways of imbuing objects with value.’ (Magali Reus)
This explanation partially worked for me but it seemed to miss something about the nature of the item: This wasn’t a engine placed in the gallery context, but rather an item made for the gallery context. It’s purpose is to engage the viewer. It’s in that way it worked for me and could explain some of my own recent motivations to create work. The end product has a pleasing, interesting form, and there is clearly a lot of craft gone into the piece.