Tate St Ives
14 May – 25 September 2005
Richard Deacon: Out of Order
Richard Deacon (born 1949) is widely regarded as one of the principal British sculptors, best known for his innovative use of open form and his interest in materials and their manipulation. For the first time, Tate St Ives brings works by this significant British artist to Cornwall for it’s summer season. In the Gallery’s unique spaces, Deacon presents a mixed display of previously unseen works in wood, ceramic and stainless steel.
For more than two decades, Deacon has created unique sculptures in a wide range of materials such as laminated wood, polycarbonate, leather, cloth and ceramic. Working on both a domestic and monumental scale, his structures combine organic and biomorphic forms with elements of engineering. The sculptures are defined by the space within and around them, as much as the solidity of their shape. Never overwhelming the viewer, they interact dynamically with the architecture of Tate St Ives.
Deacon’s installation in three galleries and the courtyard establishes a vitality and plays with the visitor’s usual interaction with sculpture. Large hand-built ceramic works such as Throw 2004 and the series Gap 1-8 2004 are assembled from thrown elements and finished with a very rich glaze which overrides their part by part making. Deacon’s dissatisfaction with the materials commonly associated with outdoor works drove him to explore the use of clay on a large-scale, overcoming technical difficulties to produce a body of work such as Another Kind Of Blue 2005 or Flower 2004 that illustrates his fascination with the relationship between the physical and the material.
Deacon’s preoccupation with methods of construction and materials expresses the continuous development of his ideas on sculpture, the interaction of surface, skin and structure, mass and volume, space and its relations. Deacon describes himself as a ‘fabricator’, for he neither carves nor models, but constructs using manufacturing or building techniques. Individual 2004 and Couple 2004 along with a new wooden work made especially for this exhibition are examples of the spectacular development of his practice in working with steamed and twisted wood.
Born in Bangor, North Wales in 1949, Richard Deacon lives and works in London. He was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize, Tate Gallery, London in 1987, and currently teaches at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris.
The exhibition is curated by the artist and Susan Daniel-McElroy, Director of Tate St Ives, and an illustrated 48 page publication accompanies the exhibition with essays by Clarrie Wallis, Curator of Contemporary British Art, Tate Britain and leading ceramist and author Edmund de Waal.
Paul Feiler: The Near and The Far, Paintings 1953 - 2004
Painter Paul Feiler (b.1918) has always been concerned with the architecture of space and the ambiguity of our visual experiences. From the early 1950s, when he became known for his gestural abstractions inspired by the structure of natural forms, to his recent work expressing shrine-like portals, Feilers’ paintings are sensitive constructions using space, tone and light, leading to simplification. This summer’s exhibition explores the evolution of his ideas with paintings that span six decades of Feiler’s career from 1953 to 2004.
Originally associated with the post-war Modernists in St Ives, by 1953, Feiler had moved permanently to Cornwall where he still resides. Inspired by the Cornish light and landscape, his painting during this and the following decade became influenced by Abstract Expressionism. However, his abstraction has consistently drawn on external sources, using light, tone and space to render an environment in pictorial terms. The earliest work on display, Mousehole v Paul, 1953, relates the experience of a particular event through simple structures, subtle tonal harmonies and a luxuriously active painted surface.
During the 1970s the character of Feiler’s work changed dramatically. He began painting thinly glazed surfaces of mechanically organised geometric forms. Meditative paintings relating to recessive spaces and projecting forms developed from themes of ‘the hidden’ and ‘the shrine’. Superimposed squares of closely gradated tone, latterly incorporating gold or silver leaf, have a quiet movement, the square and circle becoming the central motif. Feiler uses these spatial explorations of the horizontal and the vertical as a gateway for the viewer to make potent connections with the world as he makes it.
Feiler was born 1918, in Frankfurt am Main. He came to England in 1933 and studied from 1936 to 1939 at the Slade School. Interned in Canada at the outbreak of the Second World War, Feiler returned to Britain in 1941 to begin his career as an artist. From 1941- 1975 he taught art at the Combined Colleges of Eastbourne and Radley and West England College of Art. He currently lives and works in Newlyn, Cornwall.
An illustrated 48 page catalogue accompanies the exhibition, with an essay by the writer and curator Peter Khoroche.
Open every day from 10.00 - 17.30 last admission 17.00