Tate Britain today unveils its new Duveens Commission, Cold Corners, by Eva Rothschild. This ambitious metal sculpture stretches and inhabits the full space of the Duveens, forming a spiky black line that threads through the gallery like a ‘scribble in space’. Cold Corners has been specially created for the Tate Britain Duveens Commission 2009, supported by Sotheby’s.
Cold Corners brings a chaotic, energetic presence to the grandeur of the neoclassical architecture of the Duveen Galleries. Comprising a sequence of twenty-six connected triangles the structure weaves through the space, climbing up to 12 metres as it loops up and over the stone architraves, swooping down to the floor of the Octagon before reaching the north end of the 80 metre gallery. Cold Corners frames the space, dwarfing the viewer and inviting them to navigate through the sculpture. The sculpture appears to posses its own kinetic power; a lightning bolt travelling through the space. It is at once delicate yet dynamic, achieving a powerful presence with minimal materiality.
Eva Rothschild said:
I wanted to produce something elevated and open that would not block the space, but would offer an alternative experience of these stately galleries. I want the piece to have a presence that combines clarity and confusion. It should offer itself to the eye as both whole and disparate, its skinny blackness agitating the architecture with a spidering sense of activity and strength.
Stephen Deuchar, Director of Tate Britain, said:
Eva Rothschild’s Cold Corners is a remarkable sculpture that captivates the viewer with its visual contradictions. Monumental in scale, yet light in form, the structure has an almost magical presence that contrasts with the solidity of the Duveen Galleries. We are delighted to be presenting this extraordinary work.
Illusion and the trickery of perception are vital to Rothschild’s work, as in her previous sculptures, Jokes 2007, a precariously stacked cascade of interlinked cubes, and Plain Gold Ring 2008, a gold ring standing upon what seem to be vertical ribbons of gold. Cold Corners exceeds the scale and scope of Rothschild’s previous work, and extends her exploration of the relationship between line and mass, between the solid form of the sculpture and the space within and around it, between its surface and its volume.
Chairman of Contemporary Art Sotheby’s Europe, Cheyenne Westphal, commented:
To further establish our relationship with Tate, one of the world’s foremost public art institutions, is a source of immense pride to Sotheby’s and it is with great pleasure that we continue our sponsorship of Tate Britain’s Duveens Commission.
Rothschild’s Cold Corners is the latest in an ongoing series of contemporary sculpture commissions in the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain, which since 2008, through the generous support of Sotheby’s, is an annual event for three years. Artists who have previously undertaken the Commission include Martin Creed (2008), Mark Wallinger (2007), Michael Landy (2004), Anya Gallaccio (2002) and Mona Hatoum (2000). The series builds on a long tradition of exhibitions in the Duveen Galleries, which has included memorable installations by Richard Long, Richard Serra and Luciano Fabro.
Cold Corners is curated by Tate Britain Curator Katharine Stout in collaboration with the artist.