Attention Grabbing Art By Pipilotti Rist And Berlinde De Bruyckere

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 38 months ago
Attention Grabbing Art By Pipilotti Rist And Berlinde De Bruyckere ★★★☆☆ 3

The two Mayfair galleries of Hauser & Wirth have put on a pair of attention grabbing, yet very different exhibitions that contain video art and sculpture at a grand scale.

Visitors on duvets enjoying the immersive video installation. Copyright the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Pipilotti Rist: Londonist Rating: ★★★☆☆

Pipilotti Rist is known for her immersive video installations that have a new age feel to them, focussing on creating feminine works that are designed to generate an emotional connection with her audience. This is her first significant exhibition in London since her Hayward gallery show two years ago.

Visitors first encounter video and a soundtrack inspired by the natural world including images of plants projected on to the side of a model building. But this should be considered a warm up before we remove our shoes and head into the main space — visitors are encouraged to lie on the duvets provided and view two massive video screens from a horizontal position.

The screens take us on a journey through countryside landscapes and what we assume to be inside the human body, accompanied by a calming soundtrack. It's tranquil and meditative, but we felt that there should be more to gain from this exhibition. It's a truly novel experience that most people will enjoy but we were hoping for a more meaningful connection with the work, which never arrived.

Segments of tree are painted and bound to appear like human limb bones. Copyright the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Berlinde De Bruyckere: Londonist Rating: ★★★☆☆

Berlinde De Bruyckere is a sculptor who uses wood from trees to create sculptures that appear to have a life of their own. The works feel a little gruesome as some resemble human bones, only on a much larger scale.

The fact they are on a table or propped up from the ground furthers this sense of examining a specimen, and the bindings with tattered fabric around the 'joints' has the feel of a hurried medical treatment to hold the bones in place, as is more commonplace in war zones.

Smaller sculptures on the wall and the drawings are along the same theme, and add to the atmosphere of the exhibition, but aren't as effective as the largest works.

We first encountered De Bruyckere's work at the Venice Biennale where an excellent piece featured a tree-like organism extending throughout the Belgian pavilion and, though this exhibition offers a similar unsettling sensation, it's not as atmospheric.

Pipilotti Rist: Worry will vanish & Berlinde De Bruyckere: Of Tender Skin are both on at Hauser & Wirth, 23 Savile Row, W1S 2ET until 10 January (gallery will be closed 24 Dec-5 Jan). Entrance to both is free.

Last Updated 07 December 2014