RCA summer show


I am drawn always to the sculpture department of the RCA, for it’s physicality, though I often end up yearning for some of the more delicate poetry of the jewellery and glasswares found in Kensington.
This year there were some standout works which struck that balance for me, both in sculpture and in the painting building.
It’s always interesting to observe how my personal preference for object based work influences how I respond to the work of other artists, as I was drawn to the monastic objects of Benjamin Wadler, and the mechanical presence of Samuel Zealys’ work. Walker had reduced his structures to about 50cm high, and they were lit with candles. The melting wax in a variety of colours was reminiscent of stained glass windows to me. Zealy had cast huge obscure mechanical components which occupied their space with solid calm. They held an ostrich egg securely, integrated into the structure. It might have been celebrated for its strength, or on the verge of being crushed.
Nicholas Smith had introduced virtual objects into his films of public monuments. As people passed by about their business, the monuments where transformed into black monoliths. Censure or enforced egalitarianism.
It was also interesting to see how the work of the students had influence each other, evidence of a group who had been sharing studio space for 2 years. The ostrich eggs were present in several artists works, as were melting and dripping, and monumentalism.
Over in painting I spent a long time looking at the work of Frank Ammerlaan. One piece in particular appealed to the object/ materials nut in me. It was a board about A4 and the surface was an inky black. The colour changed slightly as you moved around it. The material was marker ink, meticulously applied until the surface was completely saturated.

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