Friday, 16 December 2011

Magnetized space

This exhibition of the work of Lygia Pape is being held at the Serpentine Gallery. The centrepiece of the exhibition is ‘Web’, as series of thin threads tightly strung in interlocking, sloping columns from the floor to ceiling, lit so that different parts of the work are visible as you move round it. I first saw it in Venice (from where this image comes) but felt it was more effective here, probably because the space was more intimate and the lighting was more effective at producing an ethereal feeling as the columns seemed to float above the floor.

Other pieces in the exhibition included ‘Book of time’ a series of brightly coloured blocks with sections cut out of them, painted in contrasting colours and applied to the surface in different arrangements. This piece filled the entire wall and was quite fascinating for the ingenious way the shapes had been reconfigured. It complemented a series of paper explorations into folding and cutting and a film of pages from a ‘Book of creation’ being unfolded to produce different shapes and forms. Many of these would be a useful start for thinking about three-dimensional work.

I also found the engravings interesting. These included ‘Weavings’ which are woodcut shapes on Japanese paper and a series of panels of parallel lines with shapes ‘cut’ out of them and placed at angles to the original lines. They seemed so simple yet had obviously taken time to produce and construct and further reflection revealed that the shapes would not fit back into the spaces left for them.

There was a lot to see and think about in this exhibition, but the star of the show was definitely the ‘Web’.

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