Spatial Experimentation

Spatial Experimentation

In an increasingly digital world, notions of physical space are changing to accommodate new, virtual landscapes. Questioning notions of perception, Space Shifters at Hayward Gallery, London, brings together works by 20 leading international artists that alter the audience’s sense of place. Highlighting a range of sculptures and site-specific installations, the show offers a playful and surprisingly immersive experience that presents an alternative view of minimalism.

Providing a comprehensive overview of such artworks from the experimental mid-1960s Light and Space movement to the present day, the collection foregrounds artists including Leonor Antunes, Larry Bell, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jeppe Hein, Roni Horn, Robert Irwin, Ann Veronica Janssens, Anish Kapoor, Yayoi Kusama, Alicja Kwade, Josiah McElheny, Helen Pashgian, Charlotte Posenenske, Fred Sandback, Monika Sosnowska and Richard Wilson.

Many of the featured pieces explore notions of physical and conceptual reflection, encouraging mediation on notions of the self. Examples include Yayoi Kusama’s (b. 1929) renowned Narcissus Garden (1966-), a landscape of hundreds of stainless steel spheres. Tapping into Kusama’s continued interest in repetition, each object mirrors its surroundings, distorting and echoing the image of its observer. In a similar way, Larry Bell’s (b. 1939) large freestanding glass piece Standing Walls (1969/2016) invites viewers to enter an arena of reflections and visual effects whilst seeing themselves within its walls.

Further engaging the external environment through reflection is Sky Mirror, Blue (2016) by Anish Kapoor (b. 1954). The piece dramatically shifts a portion of the sky onto one of the Hayward Gallery’s distinctive sculpture courts. Acting as an ever-changing canvas, the large dish continually presents the fluc tuating skyscape in an outdoor cinematic experience.

Offering a deeply immersive, disorientating journey, Richard Wilson’s (b. 1936) installation 20:50 (1987), occupies an entire upper gallery. The monumental work uses thousands of litres of recycled oil to create an endless, untarnished pool. A gangway penetrates the glossy mirage; audiences are encouraged to proceed, waist-high, towards the centre.

The show opens 26 September. Find out more here.

1. Anish Kapoor. Sky Mirror, 2006. Installation view, Anish Kapoor: Turning the World Upside Down, Kensington Gardens, London, 2010. © Anish Kapoor/DACS 2018.
2. Larry Bell, Standing Walls II, 1969/2016. Installation view at Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles. © Larry Bell/DACS 2018. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.  Photo: JR Dot 
3. Yayoi Kusama, Narcissus Garden,1966. Installation view at Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover 2013. (detail) Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © Yayoi Kusama. Photo: Ulrich Prigge 
4. Richard Wilson, No Numbers, 2013. The Bunny Smash exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Photo: Eiji Ina