Playground Structure

Playground Structure Blain Southern

The group exhibition Playground Structure takes its title from a 2008 photograph by Jeff Wall that depicts a climbing frame in a suburban park. The climbing frame is an invitation to play, and yet it also resembles an anonymous public artwork that might bring to mind a modernist grid or a constructivist sculpture. In the exhibition, Wall’s large-scale photograph will be exhibited with paintings from 1969 to the present day by Amy Feldman, Mary Heilmann, Rachel Howard, Jeremy Moon, Ed Moses, Joan Snyder, Daniel Sturgis and Dan Walsh. The exhibition invites viewers to imagine each painting as an open-ended ‘playground structure’, re-conceiving the grid as a utopian space of freedom.

The modernist grid has exerted an inescapable influence on minimalism, conceptual art and painting for over a century. In her influential essay Grids (1979), Rosalind Krauss argued that artists used the grid in the early twentieth century to signal an absolute break from the past, and that it occupied a ‘schizophrenic’ position that could be either materialist or spiritual. In this sense, abstract art is usually in a literal or a tragic mode. But what if the grid, and its rigidly straight lines, were reimagined as the boundaries of a game, a space of ritual and repetition – or subjected to natural forces, such as gravity, or decay? What if, in the wake of modernism’s demise, the grid became not an ideal structure or a portal to an otherworldly realm, but a climbing frame for the eyes and mind, an open-ended space where the viewer’s imagination could play and improvise?

Duration 01 August 2017 - 16 September 2017
Times Monday to Friday: 10am – 6pm Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Cost Free
Venue Blain Southern
Address 4 Hanover Square, London, W1S 1BP
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