1 February 2014

Liu Wei Density at the White Cube

Seeing Liu Wei's Density at the White Cube was an extreme act of serendipity.

At 5pm I was in a cafe on Golden Square wandering how to fill the time before a theatre date at 7:30 so I checked the Art Fund app for places near me and was pleased to learn that the White Cube gallery was only five minutes walk away in Mason's Yard, St James and that it was open to 6pm. So I went.

The brief walk there took me along Jermyn Street and then down Duke Street before turning into the courtyard where the White Cube was well hidden, especially as it was quite dark by then.

There were two galleries and the exhibition was spread over them both. There were no signs saying that photography was forbidden but as soon as I took one I was politely informed of the rule so all I have to show for the visit is this one picture of the ground floor display. The internet has not been very helpful either and I've not found any pictures of the rest of it.

This picture is in full colour though you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

The industrial looking panels made a big impression from a distance and impressed more as I got closer and walker round them. They had the feel of Mecanno (other construction toys are available) and I liked the way that they were put together. I could appreciate them as structures as much as works of art.



Downstairs there were three types of work in one room.

The centre was filled with large geometric shapes built from layers of wood and painted in a thin white paint that let the grain show through. The poster at the top shows the sphere and there were half a dozen other shapes of a similar size.

On the walls were two sets of hangings. These were rather like the metal ones except these were covered in think cloth, half in snooker baize green and half in dirty grey. As with everything else in the exhibition these were materials recovered from building sites and their previous use was not hidden.

The scale and simplicity gave all of the objects a strong sense of drama and grandeur. It was a proper joy to walk among them to experiment with different distances and angles.

It was only two rooms and fewer than twenty objects but that was more than enough to make an impact. That was half an hour or so very well spent.

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