The Hayward Gallery Project Space presents a new exhibition by one of the most significant artists to emerge from Romania in recent years, Victor Man. If Mind Were All There Was showcases 10 works, including several new pieces created for this show inspired by a piece of 17th-century graffiti on a fresco by Italian Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca. The vandalising of this fresco by this graffiti that simply reads ‘Giuseppe Sacchi‘ acts as the starting point for a possible set of narratives that inspire the works in the show.
For this exhibition, Man has created the sculpture Untitled (2009). The sculpture is a large concrete slab that dominates the Project Space. Its surface is pitted with holes that have been carefully filled with bird droppings, a substance that was traditionally used to split stone.
Another new work, also called Untitled (2009) is a projected text which gives a mythical account of howPiero della Francesca‘s fresco came to be vandalised. The ‘Guiseppe Sacchi’ of the graffiti may refer to the obscure 17th-century Baroque painter of the same name (son of the more famous Andrea Sacchi), who gave up art to become a mendicant monk, before dying young. Here, as in Man’s wider practice, loss and change gives rise to an awareness of the connectedness of all things.
Along the walls, Man’s dark paintings disclose a series of ambiguous scenes – a figure wearing a pantomime horse’s head, a man raising a woman’s skirt to reveal the stark whiteness of her underwear, a back fixed with a pair of makeshift angel’s wings – while the sculptural assemblage Faust(2008) suggests an unhappy pact made in pursuit of ‘the true essence of life’, as in Goethe‘s play of the same name. Curated by Tom Morton.
Also on at Hayward Gallery
Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years of Painting
Until January 2010
Major retrospective to focus exclusively on the paintings of one of the most influential and pioneering American artists of the past half-century. Spanning Ed Ruscha’s entire career, the exhibition features 78 paintings, many on public display for the first time, and reveals the depth and breadth of Ruscha’s achievement as a painter whose interests in printed matter, graphic design, cinema, photography and the cultural landscape of the American West make his elegant and provocative work both playful and subversive.
http://www.southban kcentre.co. uk/ruscha