VISUAL ARTS: PICK OF THE GALLERIES A line through space
Sunday 28 November 1999
I was a bit dubious about travelling to the middle of the New Forest to see a show whose content is so inseparable from London (London-based dealers; the Tate Gallery), but I needn't have worried. For a start the gallery is an ideal space for displaying work, reminiscent of the Lisson Gallery, indeed designed by the same architect. The show has been well- organised by the curator, who lives locally and has succeeded in attracting first- rate contemporary art to the area. On show is one work from each of the 15 Turner Prize-winning artists since the prize's inception in 1984, chosen to be representative of the artists' work when they won the prize. Five of the winning artists were represented by the Lisson Gallery at the time, and large sculptural works by Grenville Davey, Richard Deacon, Douglas Gordon (the video Blue) and Tony Cragg dominate the spaces.
Wall-mounted information panels summarise the main developments in the prize over the years. The set-up was basically flawed until 1991 when Channel 4 got involved. 1993 was a big year with the first female winner - Rachel Whiteread - and the K Foundation's intervention.
The show encourages thoughts about galleries as well as artists, and inevitably made me think about this Tuesday's prize-giving. The Wilson twins' video-installation Gamma looked superb at the Lisson. Will its impact on the judges have been enough to offset the less seductive presentation of their work at the Serpentine, and the twins' lacklustre piece presently showing at the Tate?
`': Artsway, Sway (01590 682260), to 23 Jan
A22 Projects, London
National Geographic adverts provided the starting point for Peter Liversidge's naive-seeming paintings of cameras, watches and aeroplanes. The iconic images are detached from advertising copy and page design, but ad-speak is ironically re-introduced through the title of each work.
Downstairs, landscape paintings seem to address National Geographic's celebration of the world's natural landscape and wildlife. Liversidge's mock tributes to the North Montana Plains feature flat land, a wide sky, implied buffaloes, and the harsh realities of outdoor life. Sometimes the harshness faced is just the weather. But in one small painting a nuclear bomb explodes, and in another aliens abduct an unfortunate buffalo by beaming it aboard a flying saucer.
Linking the two strands of work is a rejection of both materialism and a colonialist form of individualism that's been on the way out since the developed world put a man on the moon. The attitude voiced is abject rather than aspirational. Not so much "To boldly go" as "Oh my God, they've killed Kenny."
Peter Liversidge:, A22 Projects, EC1 (0171837 2101) to 5 Dec
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