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Tuesday, 11 August 2009
I don't have a great reputation when it comes to 'getting' art. I developed a fairly extreme case of gallery fatigue while my ex was an art student (it's only in the last couple of years that I've started to venture back), and many very famous pieces leave me cold and bemused.
On the other hand, when something does catch me, it really hits me.
Take, for example, Olafur Eliasson's apocalyptic sun in the Tate's turbine hall... I could have spent hours there, and I've been trying ever since (without success) to track down other Eliasson installations.
......or the oil room in the Saatchi gallery; I'm sad to say I didn't know who the artist is (Google assures me it's Richard Wilson), but it took my breath away.
......or almost anything by Lucio Fontana, whose slashed canvases have always spoken to me, and whose vertigo-inducing all-white labyrinth I encountered at the Hayward gallery's retrospective.
I'm not sure what it says about me that, almost without fail, my personal favourites are installations. I like to be immersed.... surrounded.... engrossed.
Leo Villeral's Multiverse has made an impression along with the best of them, guaranteed to stay in my head long after they un-install the installation.
In the basement of the National Gallery in Washington DC, around 41,000 light emitting diodes have been programmed to fade in and out in evolving patterns. (Being a Proper Geek, I really, really want to see the code... Mr Villareal, if you're reading this, pretty please...?)
In addition to being great fun to experience, it was also an interesting challenge to photograph. I went to full manual settings on my camera to get different light effects.
Even the blurry photos come out as quite striking images:
And this is the shot which almost got me escorted off the premises for getting in too close:
If you're anywhere near DC - and especially if you love LEDs as much as I do - you should make time to go and see this before they take it down in November. Honestly, it's art you can walk through. It'll make your day.