Gabriel Kuri: before contingency at the South London gallery


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Gabriel Kuri works with form, material and colour for the large peices in the main room of the gallery. Juxtaposing hard/soft, giant/shrunken, crafted/ready made, he produces works which are beguilingly simple, yet which jar on closer consideration.
In his largest installment, shelter, we are presented with a minimal palette of dark greys, muted match-head red and an almost medical turquoise. Then my eye moved to the tombstones leaning on the wall, heavy smooth granite with rounded corners, they are representations of sections of credit cards, and the groupings leading up against them are not figures, but giant matchsticks. The heads on them take on anthropomorphic qualities as they huddle together. There are strangely in scale in relation to the granite slabs, but this leaves us with the sense of having been shrunken.
Outside in the courtyard is ‘100%’ – 4 seemingly abstracted metal structures arranged in a line, each touching the next. The colours are saturated yet toned down, and as you move around the piece, your mind starts to assemble the parts, and it suddenly becomes clear that the four parts are quarters of a circle, approached from different sides, but sound and together.
The possibility of reassembly not yet carried out carries the work forwArd for me.

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