Bryan Wynter, Bridget Riley, Rivane Neuenschwander, Liliane Lijn, Barbara Hepworth, Dan Flavin, John Divola, Nicolas Deshayes
What happens when art works are set in motion? When they move around the gallery or out into the world? Images Moving Out Onto Space is an exhibition that asks these questions. The galleries are animated by light, colour and movement, and are full of bodies in all kinds of different states: flattened and fragmented, illuminated and reflected.
The exhibition brings together eight artists, with works spanning fifty years, from the iconic to the specially commissioned. The title and inspiration for Images Moving Out Onto Space is borrowed from a series of psychedelic kinetic sculptures that Cornwall-based artist Bryan Wynter began to make in the 1960s. The exhibition uses this series, which Wynter referred to as 'IMOOS', to consider how abstraction can move us.
Coinciding with Bryan Wynter’s centenary year, the exhibition will feature an IMOOS alongside a selection of his paintings from the same period. These sculptures, which place mobile forms inside a parabolic mirror, seem to reach out around the viewer. There will also be an archival presentation of Wynter’s work in the Studio Resource Room, paired with archive works by and relating to Barbara Hepworth, which will coincide with her retrospective at Tate Britain.
Following a similarly psychedelic vein of artwork, the exhibition will feature a suite of rarely seen works by Bridget Riley from the mid-1960s. A pioneer of Op art, Riley has for more than 50 years produced vibrant paintings that have a disorientating effect on the eye, producing complex and arresting visual experiences. Riley’s works will be shown alongside a selection of rotating cone sculptures from the same period by Liliane Lijn, an early exponent of kinetic art who has continually experimented with light and matter.
A new body of work by Nicolas Deshayes, Tate St Ives' recent artist-in-residence, will also be shown. A sculptor whose work addresses the legacies of minimalism, his work has a human or organic quality that belies the industrial materials – such as vacuum-formed plastic and anodised aluminium – that he often uses. Alongside these newly commissioned pieces, Deshayes has curated an exhibition-within-the-exhibition from the Tate collection. These will include a mirror work by Michelangelo Pistoletto, as well as a tableau of bronzes – by Frank Dobson and Elisabeth Frink, among others – presented on specially made anodised tables.
Installed in the curved gallery overlooking Porthmeor Beach will be a selection from John Divola’s Zuma 1970s series, beautiful photographic records of derelict Californian beach huts. The works observe these structures over two years as they are ravaged by fire, vandalism, and the artist's own graffiti. Mostly taken at dawn or sunset, the resulting photographs are lit in such a way as to flatten the ocean view, making its destroyed buildings appear strange and otherworldly.
One of the Artist Rooms, an iconic installation by the American minimalist artist Dan Flavin, will also be presented. This work, dedicated to Flavin's friend and contemporary Donald Judd, comprises a series of T-shaped structures of fluorescent lights, using seriality to animate the space.
Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander’s large-scale participatory work I Wish Your Wish consists of thousands of multicoloured ribbons, each stamped with one of 60 wishes left by previous viewers of the piece elsewhere. Visitors will be invited to take a ribbon in exchange for leaving behind a new wish of their own. In this way the installation encourages a literal movement of the work into the space of the gallery, the town and beyond.
Images Moving Out Onto Space resonates with different modernist practices from minimalism to kinetic art, to Op Art. The exhibition is testament to Tate St Ives’ commitment to producing new works with contemporary artists and to the continued reassessment of the town’s modernist legacy.