Thursday, 17 January 2013

Fred Sandback

Although the minimalist sculptures by Fred Sandback at the David Zwirner Gallery, London, fill several rooms and the stairwell, the entire exhibition could probably be packed away into a small bag, because they are made of a few lengths of stretched acrylic yarn. The yarn is stretched horizontally, vertically or diagonally to produce planes of space that make the audience rethink ideas of space and volume. I thought the most effective were in the first gallery space, where six lines of black yarn were stretched from floor to ceiling in a diagonal line across the room, culminating in an L shape of red yarn. Although the whole piece was insubstantial it gave the impression of a solid wall in the gallery. In the same gallery, two ‘squares’ of black yarn were made from yarn stretched from floor to ceiling and joined across the top and bottom by two separate lines of yarn, producing what appeared to be two planes of intersecting squares. In fact, so real did these planes seem that you had to put your hand through them to check they were just air enclosed by a thread. I was amazed how perceptions can be altered by what are essentially a few lines of yarn in a room. The exhibition also includes some drawings, wall pieces and more yarn sculptures but it was those in the first room that impressed me the most.

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