[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.