Kim Lim
Intervals II 1973

Artwork details

Kim Lim 1936–1997
Intervals II
Date 1973
Medium Pine
Acquisition Purchased 1975
Not on display

Catalogue entry

T02002 INTERVALS II 1973

Inscribed ‘LIM’ (incised) and ‘73’ (impressed) on one end of the central spine of each of the two elements
Two pine units, each 72×8 3/4× 7/8 (183×22×2)
Overall dimensions when installed variable within specific limits
Purchased from the artist (Gytha Trust) 1975
Repr: Catalogue of 1977 Hayward Annual Hayward Gallery, May–September 1977, p.47 (showing four of its several permitted variant arrangements).

This work is in an edition of three examples, all unpainted. There were no drawings for it (or for ‘Intervals I’). Kim Lim had the materials for both sculptures unused in her studio for about a year before formulating the works. The initial inspiration for her sculptures comes usually (as on this occasion) from her response to materials she has around her. She then works, from the start, in the scale she intends to use. For the Tate's works she made full-size maquettes in the same material she intended for the final sculptures. Not being machine-cut, these maquettes were destroyed after the finished works had been cut to specifications, jointed and glued (by a woodwork firm). Like ‘Intervals I’, ‘Intervals II’ was surface treated with polyurethane sealer and sandpapered down to avoid a ‘varnished’ look. None of the elements in either work has a ‘top’, ‘bottom’, ‘back’ or ‘front’.

Unlike ‘Intervals I’, ‘Intervals II’ cannot be displayed flat against a wall. It may be displayed in any one of three arrangements, viz:-

Intervals IIA, in which the two elements are placed side by side, separated by a gap of between 1 3/4 and 4 inches (at the installer's discretion), with prongs facing ‘outwards’ in opposite directions, the central spines almost vertical, the bottom edges on the floor and the top edges leaning against the wall. As in the leaning version of ‘Intervals I’, the bottom edges (which should be aligned) should be between 2 and 9 inches away from the wall, at the installer's discretion.

Intervals IIB, which is the same as ‘Intervals IIA’ except that the two sets of prongs point ‘inwards’ towards one another. However, unlike ‘Intervals IIA’, ‘Intervals IIB’ may also be displayed flat on the floor (at no point touching a wall).

Intervals IIC, in which the spines of the two elements are placed so as to touch the floor continuously and be parallel with one another, and the two elements intersect, supporting one another at a diagonal angle, with each prong touching a prong of the other element (not at their tips), no further means of support being required. In this position, the work should not at any point touch a wall

In addition to being displayed at the owner's discretion in any of these ways, each of the three examples of ‘Intervals II’ can also be displayed in a fourth arrangement unique to it. Of these alternative arrangements, two do not belong to the Tate. In the first of these the spines of the two elements are placed parallel to one another, touching the floor continuously, close to one another but not touching, and the prongs point vertically upwards. In the second non-Tate arrangement, (‘Intervals IIE’) the elements are placed flat on the floor, spines parallel, with the two sets of prongs pointing ‘inwards’, each prong abutting one prong of the other element, and also touching the other element's spine. The arrangement of ‘Intervals II’ that is unique to the Tate integrates it with ‘Intervals I’ and is called ‘Intervals I plus II’. In this work the three elements are leaned against the wall aligned and at the same discretionary distances (one from another and all from the wall) as in ‘Intervals IIA’ and ‘Intervals IIB’. The central element is ‘Intervals I’ and the prongs of the two elements of ‘Intervals II’ (which it separates) point ‘inwards’.

In notes written for the Tate Gallery in March 1977, Kim Lim explained how these works manifest her interest in ‘that space between wall and floor-the tension set up by the vertical, horizontal and the angle’. This interest first appeared openly in her sculpture in untitled works of 1970 and 1971. One of these consists of two boards each some 6 feet high by 9 inches wide which are leaned, aligned, against the wall with a small gap between them; in front of them a disc with a hollow centre lies horizontal, almost on the floor but crucially not quite touching it as it is supported on low blocks, thus appearing to float. This work is in wood painted pale pink. The other work, which is painted dark blue and leans against the wall, is a wider board out of which square sections have been cut at regular intervals down its length. In such a work ‘rhythms are set up in the piece itself, and forms caused by light falling on the piece repeat the rhythms like an echo. In works such as Intervals I and II and even more so in “Link” [acrylic tube and painted wood, 1975], light becomes an important element in the structure of the piece-making the work more “physical”, “comprehensible”. The works that follow the Intervals Series are pieces using mainly wood, and are a continuation of the same preoccupation with space, rhythms and light-I avoid “development” because it seems to imply a progression that starts at one end in a linear way-whereas my pattern of working seems more cyclic-certain forms and ideas reappear sometimes quite a few years later.’

Images very close to those of ‘Intervals I’ and ‘Intervals II’ are used in four prints by Kim Lim made in the previous year, ‘Ladder Series’ 1972, Nos. 1, 2,3 and 4. She writes ‘the two activities-making sculpture and print making-are of equal importance to me. The difference being that sculpture, for me, is a rather slow process while working on a plate or wood block can produce quick feedback-so that ideas I am involved in during a period sometimes appear first in the prints.’

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1974-6: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1978

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