Last year in April and May Dürst Britt & Mayhew showed its potential in painting in the exhibition Stretch Release, and with its present show it makes an equally interesting statement with its potential in sculpture.
Works by Alex Farrar (1986), Alexandre Lavet (1988), Joseph Montgomery (1979), Maarten Overdijk (1977) and Jonas Wijtenburg (1989) demonstrate a kind of physicality inherent to the discipline.
It not just deals with the physicality of sculpture itself but also with the corporeal approach of the viewer in the space where both viewer and sculpture are present.
Not just the fact that the viewer should move around the sculpture to see all aspects of it – which is always essential in looking at sculpture – but also the physical sensation of the viewer is an important aspect of the process in the relationship between sculpture and viewer.
That is of course always an important aspect in art, as body and mind always react to format, colour, construction and visibility, whether it is in painting, digital art, book illustration, architecture or film.
However, in sculpture – and in its wake installation art – it is essential.
In making a work of art a sculptor or installation artist moves around his or her work in the process to constantly assess what spatial possibilities it has in it and around it, and what physical and psychological sensation (always cross-linked in the use of our senses) it generates.
This show clearly invites the viewer to do the same.
Whether you want to see through Farrar’s hazy sweat paintings (and indeed they are more than paintings, as many paintings in last spring’s show also were) or through the obstructions of history (decay, building, repression, liberation) in Wijtenburg’s impressive Becoming/Unbecoming/Rebecoming works; whether
you experience the corporeality of abstraction in Montgomery’s works as well as in Overdijk’s sculptures, or the physical desire to escape the daily world and recoil yourself in the mind in Lavet’s I would prefer not to, it is clear sculpture always needs you as a partner.
As such Body Building has become a group exhibition of great eloquence and a great pendant to last year’s Stretch Release.
[Click on the pictures to enlarge]
© Villa Next Door 2018
Content of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Den Haag