3 May 2009

Soft Sculpture at the National Gallery - It's seriously good!

| johnboy
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[First filed: May 01, 2009 @ 10:08]

RiotACT was pleasantly surprised to be invited to the launch of the Soft Sculpture exhibition at the National Gallery on Wednesday night.

The free booze just about took the edge off the speeches and then the small percentage of launch attendees actually interested in the exhibition went for a stroll while the majority schmoozed.

Which was good because we got a chance to appreciate a truly excellent exhibition.

So firstly, what is “Soft Scultpure”?

Here’s what the exhibition website has to say:

    Soft sculpture looks at the ways artists use unconventional materials to challenge the nature of sculpture. Visitors will see works made from cloth, rope, paper, hair, leather, rubber or vinyl. The objects may droop, ooze or splash. They are fluffy, squishy or bent. They surround, suffocate and astonish and, in many cases, make us laugh.

And if you like name dropping then it features some really big ones like Eva Hesse, Robert Morris, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Joseph Beuys and Annette Messager. (Although Joseph Beuys’ hunks of felt seem a little pointless to this scribe).

More importantly, if you’re not an art scene regular, the exhibition is simply an amazing collection of astonishing things.

Some of them are ugly, some beautiful, some are funny, some will make you laugh, and almost all of them are things you won’t see every day.

As I walked through the exhibition space it was with a growing sense of wonder and excitement. The curation for this one is spot on.

If you have been going to the gallery for years then there’s also a bonus in seeing a number of old friends from the collection dusted off and brought back out.

Possibly best of all, it’s absolutely free.

I thoroughly recommend it.

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i went along to the exhibition last weekend and was unfortunately not as impressed by it as everyone else was – maybe i was in the wrong frame of mind for it at the time – who knows.
i must admit the wall of knitted toys did bring back many lovely memories though

Fabulous exhibition.

The room with the hanging parts is wonderfull.

Lots to bring a smile to the face.

The hardest part was not being able to touch everything … sooo tempting! I got beeped a few times when I got just a wee bit to close … naughty deezagood. I loved the gift shop too; they have decked it out with fake grass and other tactile things, and you are actually allowed to touch the things there (whew). I bought my niece some cute little knitted finger puppets for her birthday. The best installation is a wall of knitted toys collected from op-shops and second-hand stores; I stood there for ages counting the number of toys that I remember from my own childhood, and the memories just washed over me while I stood there (got really nostalgic actually). I bet you would find at least five of them from your childhood too Granny (when knitted toys were the thing to make!). Let me know what you think!

Glad you enjoyed it, deezagood! I think we should do the same!!

This was fabulous; even if you never go to the gallery … go!

I thought it was a sensational exhibition. every new room brought something interesting. Thoroughly recommend it

This reminds me to mention – folks, spend your $900 bonus on an Australian work of art!

grunge_hippy6:04 pm 01 May 09

do you get to play on them???

Good work.
Those balloons are fair inviting. Wouldn’t mind jumping on that bunch from a height!

That is possibly the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!

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