Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Liverpool Tate gallery visit

During my first week at University, I had an opportunity to explore the art galleries on offer in Liverpool.
I spent the majority of my time at the Liverpool Tate gallery, an experience I thoroughly enjoyed. Most of the galleries I have visited in the past have not interested me because they tend to be mostly paintings. I favour sculpture, and I was excited to see some fantastic displays of predominantly sculptural artwork showcased on the various floors. Within this post I have written my thoughts on some of my favourite pieces in the gallery, and why they are interesting to me.

Robert Therrien
No title (stacked plates) 2010.

This sculpture is very overpowering, but so unique.Standing below these unsteady plates gives a feeling of intimidation to the viewer, and the entire exhibition was very similar. I took a close up look of each plate, and each one had a glossy sheen that allowed me to assume they were ceramic. However, after reading the description I discovered that the plates are actually made from plastic.

No Title (Table and Four Chairs)

The opening piece to the Robert Therrien exhibition was this table and chair set sculpture. The exaggerated size was daunting at first, but at the same time very intriguing. Never before have I felt so affected by a piece of art, and it provoked many thoughts. It reminded me of the Alice in wonderland story, about a character being trapped in an oversized world.

No title (large red brick drawing) 2003

This piece was in the same room as the stacked plate sculpture, and is easily overlooked. I was overwhelmed by the oversized furnishings, but I eventually took notice of this subtle piece in the corner. I like the simplicity of it, and it works well as a contrast with the complex nature of the enormous plates.
Jean Arp

Pagoda fruit, bronze
Jean Arp's work is about taking objects from real life and reducing them to abstract form. This deformed shape is very unusual for a sculpture, and almost looks human-like. The positioning of the piece on the edge of the box allows the shadows to form in unexpected places. When the light hits the surface, it appears to have a slight rippled, yet smooth texture.
Jeff koons

 Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (two Dr.J silver series, Spalding NBA tip off) 1985

Jeff Koons has made a series of glass works presenting consumer items in glass cases, removed from any practical purpose. They appear to be in motion, and intrigued me enough to take a closer look. I was somewhat surprised to see that Koons had created such a simple piece of art, as I consider his usual style to be quite wacky.

Salvador Dali
 Autumnal cannibalism

Quote:‘These Iberian creatures, devouring each other in autumn, symbolize the pathos of civil war seen as a phenomenon of natural history.’

This image doesn't do the original painting any justice. The rich tones and colours of the piece are truly fascinating, and the extreme content even more engaging. Naturally I am not in favour of paintings, however Salvador Dali has a certain way of capturing the viewers attention through his undeniably abstract compositions.

Marcel Duchamp

Fountain, 1917

I was interested to see that the famous Marcel Duchamp 'Fountain' piece was at the Liverpool Tate gallery. After seeing various images of this work throughout the years, I always failed to understand the concept or reasoning behind such a piece. I was under the assumption that perhaps witnessing the original item firsthand would allow me to understand its purpose, and that somehow it might have a unique quality about it that cannot be expressed through a photograph. However I do not think that it is visually pleasing, or has any interesting qualities. Possibly one of the most disappointing pieces I have seen. 

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