This weekend Occasional Geometries opens at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, an exhibition selected largely from the Arts Council Collection by Bangladeshi-born artist and guest curator Rana Begum.
Begum is an internationally respected artist who creates abstract installations that challenge the distinction between two and three-dimensional practice, sculpture and painting.
For Occassional Geometries she has selected works from the Arts Council Collection by artists who share a similar viewpoint and those from different generations. Throughout Longside Gallery, Begum’s selection creates an architectural, spatial and playful experience. Her approach has been to bring together abstract works that, as she describes, ‘have a soul’. The exhibition takes its name from Richard Wentworth’s photograph Tirana, Occasional Geometries (2000), which features in the show. In his photography, Wentworth documents the everyday, paying attention to objects, as well as uncanny situations that often go unnoticed.
Soda Lake (1968) by Nigel Hall is a response to the physical geometry of the southern Californian lake of the same name in the Mojave Desert, where the views extend so far it is possible to perceive the curvature of the Earth.
In Hungarian artist Dora Maurer’s photograph, Studies of Minimal Movements (walk on the seashore with Klaus Groh) (1972), the artist breaks down the simple actions of four people walking by the sea so that the viewer can view the piece ‘as movement, not a photograph of movement’.
The exhibition also features two new works by British-Pakistani artist, Rasheed Araeen. Jab Chuker Chulay Jayain (When the Chakras Float Away) (2016–17) features painted plywood circles which float on the historic Lower Lake, photographs of which are displayed alongside painted plywood triangles in a 4 x 4 formation. Araeen’s Zero to Infinity (2016–17), a large interactive sculpture made of colourful wooden open-framework cubes, is presented in front of Longside Gallery’s vast windows overlooking the Bretton Estate. Arranged in the open air, the cubes are initially positioned in an ordered structure, but the artist’s intention is for viewers to interact with its components by moving them into new configurations.
A strong use of colour continues inside the gallery with Gary Hume’s Fragment of a Rainbow (2011). Hume has divided the rainbow into its seven colour sections and the fragmented arcs of different shapes and sizes are displayed high above eye level as if in a joyful dance around the gallery walls.
March of the Valedictorians (2016) by Jesse Darling is a collection of bright red primary school chairs towering above visitors on long, bent legs. In Estelle Thompson’s Whiteishwhiteishness (2003) the artist plays with expanses of white paint, set off with light grey rectangles and primary colours.
Jill Constantine, Head of Arts Council Collection said:
“Rana Begum, winner of this year’s Abraaj Group Art Prize, is one of the most innovative and exciting young artists working in Britain today and we are delighted that she has accepted our invitation to curate an exhibition from the Arts Council Collection. For this exhibition, Begum has chosen to address the theme of occasional geometries of life. The show promises to be playful, colourful and it will offer a number of imaginative interpretations of the Arts Council Collection.”