Slowly diminishing sculpture

Anya Gallaccio, Intensities and Surfaces, 1996

Using ice as a building material for making art is pretty much always going to end in, well, if not tears, then puddles. In California that outcome will be comparatively speedy but in a London winter the process takes a bit longer. Anya Gallaccio’s Intensities and Surfaces, made in Wapping Pumping Station – the clue’s in the name: a former pumping station in, yes, Wapping, in London – took the form of a large scale ice construction at first glance not dissimilar to one of Allan Kaprow’s ice enclosures. But Gallaccio’s block was solid; it was also lit slightly from within (not apparent in any of the pictures I’ve been able to find of it but I’m almost certain I’m not misremembering) and with a block of rock salt within it and possibly, I think, layered between the ice bricks.

Continue reading

Beautiful decay

Anya Gallaccio, Beauty, 1991-2003

Flowers have a long history in art, not least in the history of pretty but clichéd painting. The flowers in Anya Gallaccio’s work aren’t painted though, nor sculpted. They are real, presented in panels and not altered – or, crucially, preserved – in any way.

Continue reading