Haunch of Venison

Mixed Media

01 Mar - 05 Apr 2012

© Joana Vasconcelos
Carnaby, 2011
Handmade woollen crochet, ornaments, polyester, on canvas
270 x 170 x 60 cm
New Sculpture
1 March - 5 April, 2012

Haunch of Venison presents an exhibition of contemporary sculpture including works by Rina Banerjee, Nathan Coley, Richard Long, Giuseppe Penone and Jaume Plensa.

Mixed Media is an exploration of recent sculptural work by a selection of international artists. The exhibition highlights current practices in sculpture focusing in particular on the extraordinarily varied range of materials employed by artists today.

This exhibition presents the work of nine artists that feature materials as diverse as plastic dolls heads, bronze, wool, fairground lights and resin. The exhibition includes a new work made especially for the exhibition by Richard Long, major works by Giuseppe Penone and Jaume Plensa, as well as new pieces by younger and emerging artists.

Mixed Media presents the work of three senior figures in contemporary sculpture: Richard Long has been at the forefront of art for forty years, pioneering new ideas and directions in earth, minimal and conceptual art. From the action and imprint of a walk, to the temporary placement of a stone, from piles of stones placed on the gallery floor to mud smeared upon the walls with his hands, Richard Long redefines the very parameters of what can be considered and understood as sculpture. Giuseppe Penone’s work explores man’s relationship with nature. He is best known for his work using trees although he also uses bronze, clay and stone and incorporates traditional techniques in the process of making his work. Jaume Plensa sculptural work has gone through several stages of development largely with materials such as iron, bronze, copper, moving to cast iron sculptures in the mid-80s, incorporating light and relief written text. Recently his melting materials have been synthetic resin, glass, alabaster, plastic, light, video and sound.

The exhibition includes the work of three important international female artists: Rina Banerjee born in India in and now based in Brooklyn has a love of materials and found objects; she combines them in theatrical sculptures creating a fusion of cultures that reference specific colonial moments and represent her own diasporic experience. Her love of substance, fabric and texture manifests itself in works in which disparate objects such as taxidermy alligators and wooden cots, ostrich eggs and light bulbs are strung up or nestled in with feathers and umbrellas, icons of different faiths and plumes of fabric. Chiharu Shiota’s work explores themes of remembrance and oblivion, childhood and dealing with anxieties. Shiota finds diverse visual expressions for these subject matters; the most celebrated being impenetrable installations made of black threads that enclose various household and every day, personal objects: a burnt-out piano, a wedding dress, a lady’s mackintosh, sometimes even the sleeping artist herself. Joana Vasconcelos focuses on the identity politics of gender, religion, class and nationality. Having pushed the boundaries of traditional crafts and techniques and the use of textiles as a medium, Vasconcelos crafts her work from a combination of pre-existing materials and mass-produced objects, along with hand-made crochet and knitted fabrics.

Three young British artists are also in the exhibition: Turner Prize nominee, Nathan Coley investigates the social aspects of our built environment, working across a diverse range of media including public and gallery-based sculpture, photography, drawing, and video. Interested in public space, he explores how architecture comes to be invested - and reinvested - with meaning and how its significance is dependent on the social history of a building and surrounding area. Stuart Haygarth has a passion for collecting abandoned objects, finding beauty in the everyday discarded item and uses it to challenge our perceived notion of what is precious and desirable. Haygarth gathers these insignificant objects on regular excursions to flea markets, car boot sales, beaches and the streets of London and transforms them into functional objects, wall mounted vitrines and chandeliers.

Alex Hoda recent work uses the surrealist’s technique of automatism, where the element of chance and chaos are introduced into the production of a work. He begins by dropping molten copper into water to form small and bulbous shapes that he then scans and enlarges them using digital technology, the final work is cast and finished with a raw copper surface.

Tags: Rina Banerjee, Nathan Coley, Stuart Haygarth, Alex Hoda, Richard Long, Giuseppe Penone, Jaume Plensa, Chiharu Shiota, Joana Vasconcelos