All three of the White Cube galleries co-ordinate the launches of their new exhibitions within a week of each other. Below we’ve reviewed two of these exhibitions, at the Hoxton and Mayfair branches.
Antony Gormley: Standing Still
It’s hard to escape Gormley’s figurative sculptures, from the gargantuan Angel of the North to the upside down ceiling-piece at the Wellcome collection. His latest collection is a set of ‘people’ made from iron blocks that all seem to shy away from the viewer — one cowers in the breach position while another shamefully covers its nether regions.
The collection has a humorous feel to it but aside from the use of a new medium to create them, these sculptures don’t build upon the many Gormleys that have come before. The lone sculpture upstairs is an improvement as its skeletal composition gives it an airy and ethereal feel but, once again, it’s not different enough to truly stand out from his earlier works.
Antomy Gormley: Standing Still is on at White Cube, Hoxton Square, N1 6PB until 15 September. Entrance is free.
Damian Ortega: Traces of Gravity
Salt is at the heart of Ortega’s latest works. It was once a valuable commodity and often used as payment and can be considered the ancient equivalent to the cocaine whose trade now plagues Ortega’s native Mexico.
The magnum opus is a 9-meter-long submarine filled with 2 tonnes of salt that will slowly leak out throughout the course of the exhibition. It’s both imposing, hanging aloft in the darkness, and comical in the fact that it’s made out of empty sacks of flour and sugar. It’s a reference to submarines being used in the drug trade and watching the salt drain out is a cathartic experience. The political message comes across muddled but the sculpture itself is a marvellous spectacle.
Damian Ortega: Traces of Gravity is on at White Cube, Mason’s Yard, SW1Y 6BU until 8 September. Entrance is free.