Sunday, 18 October 2009

Abstract America: New Painting and Sculpture

Guerra de la Paz - Nine

The Saatchi Gallery, now housed in the old Duke of York's HQ in Chelsea, is a grand and impressive place; I went earlier in the Year to visit Collect: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects. On that occasion the nature of the show was less conducive to the grandeur of the building, but the current show Abstract America: New Painting and Sculpture works exceptionally well with the architecture of the gallery spaces. The work itself is often large - contemporary re-inventions embracing Abstract Expressionism; its scale and bravado. In truth, it is undoubtedly a lovely space and the work sits within it effortlessly - but it didn't actually engage me - I was more involved with enjoying the aesthetic than the work itself.
My favourite piece was the sculpture by Cuban born collaborators Guerra de la Paz. Using second hand clothing, the pair (Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz) have used their medium to address issues of contemporary culture through the 'silent histories' of the garments they use and with reference to iconic and historic images.

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