18 March 2016

Jeff Lowe: Object Lessons at Pangolin London

Pangolin London is one of the two galleries at Kings Place and is the one that I pass every time that I go in or out of the building. It has a prominent position at the front of the building and with its large windows it gives me a nice shot of art as I go past.

Of course I go in sometimes too and this tends to be during the day when events at work make a more intense shot of art a welcome boost. I visit the larger Piano Nobile Kings Place gallery on the lower ground floor for the same reason but their exhibitions are on for longer and so going there repeatedly gives diminishing returns.

And that is why I was in Pangolin London on this Friday afternoon. It was a bad day in the office and I had already decided that this shot of art would need to be followed by further shots of coffee and cake from Green & Fortune Cafe.

The current exhibition Jeff Lowe: Object Lessons had a mix of objects that could be broadly categorised as lines, blocks or lines and blocks.

The big pieces, like the one below, were all about lines and the joins between them. This piece looks like a pile of bent tubing that was found somewhere and welded together almost randomly whereas the similar sized piece on the floor next to it looked more like a large wire basket with thinner pieces of metal and everything in parallel straight lines.

There were several smaller pieces made of layers of metal welded together to make rectangular blocks which could have been models for modern buildings. But it was the large block piece that demanded attention as it filled most of the wall at the far end.

This single piece consisted of 36 cast iron plates arranged in a 3 x 12 grid that measured approximately 1m by 5m.

The designs on each plate reminded me of hieroglyphics but that was probably because I was going to see Akhnaten that evening. A closer inspection of the shapes suggests that at least some of them represent countries or territories, if you look at them upside down then the one in the middle appears to be North America and the one diagonally up and left from it is Africa.

This was my favourite piece because of the visual impact that it had from a distance and the images on the individual plates that drew me towards it.

The lines and blocks came together with a series of woodblocks. The structural lines from the metal work were repeated and the colouring of the spaces between them repeated the blocks.

I liked these too because I almost always like modern art that consists of simple shapes and a few colours.

Pangolin London is quite a small gallery which makes it ideal for a quick visit and there is always enough interesting stuff in there to make it a rewarding visit.

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