I’ve written about Lygia Pape’s web installations here before, I know, but having seen her exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery last spring seeing Ttéia 1 again – albeit a slightly different, silvery, version – in the Galeria Graça Brandão space of Spotlight at Frieze Masters was a welcome chance to interact with the work in a rather different way.
Here too, the light catches the thread and makes it sparkle and standing in front of what seem to have become criss-crossing beams of light carries the same sense of enchantment. But whereas in the Serpentine Gallery the work was effectively put on a pedestal (albeit in the form of a slightly raised floor), as something to wonder at rather than interact with, here it simply criss-crosses a corner of an art fair stall.
The idea of entrapment in a web is one it’s hard to explore without establishing more than a passing relationship with cliché. Though Alice Anderson’s anarchic loop of tangled dolls’ hair won me round – mainly by its refusal to stay contained within the gallery – sadly Chiharu Shiota’s After the Dream just doesn’t quite do it for me. Though I like the way Shiota uses thread to confuse my understanding of the space, I’m less taken with the entrapment of the white dresses within the web of thread. There is, arguably, the suggestion of spectral figures but really the reference of wedding dresses trapped within a web that might surprise even Miss Havisham seems that bit too obvious.
Fred Sandback, Untitled (no. 48, Three Leaning Planes, from 133 Proposals for the Heiner Friedrich Gallery), 1969
I think it’s pretty clear by now that I quite like a bit of visual confusion and that I have a bit of a soft spot for the large scale minimal sculpture made in particular by American artists in the 1960s and ’70s (and later), which means Fred Sandback is definitely right there on my like list (even if I do have a tendency to forget his name from time to time, possibly, for some weird reason, I don’t expect artists to be called Fred).
This is sculpture at its simplest. Sandback makes works that divide the space or rest against a wall. At first glance, it usually looks like there are large sheets of glass either creating barriers in the space or resting against the walls. but all is not as it seems..
Perhaps it’s just my preoccupation of the week (or perhaps I’m desperate to make links here, no matter how tenuous), but seeing Lygia Pape’s beautiful installation of gold thread at the Serpentine Gallery put me in mind of a forest. The space is disrupted by thread that sparkles in the space rendering it unnavigable. The thread seems to form beams of light through the darkness, like sunlight penetrating a forest. Though the whole of Magnetized Space, Lygia Pape’s installation at the Serpentine Gallery, is fascinating and though this may be the only work I’ve seen in real life before, Ttéia 1, C is definitely the highlight for me.