Review: River Found Under An Art Gallery

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 99 months ago
Review: River Found Under An Art Gallery
Cristina Iglesias' installation seems to have uncovered a lost river. Image courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery.

Cristina Iglesias

Upon entering this Soho gallery space, the sound of trickling water is not something we were expecting to hear. Throughout the opening room the floor has been cut away in neat rectangles to reveal a 'river' running over metallic roots that appear to have been unearthed beneath the gallery's floor.

Upon further investigation we find this is a false floor fixed with some water pumps, but it's so well installed — it's impossible to find a water source — that the floor feels like it's always been there. A side room contains an aluminium well, continuing the theme.

The juxtaposition of the organic with the man-made is a well-trodden theme in art, but rarely is it done in such an arresting and exploratory manner.

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Jeff Wall's large scale photographs can be found in the upstairs gallery. Image courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

Jeff Wall

Upstairs is a very different exhibition, with recent photographs by Jeff Wall. They follow his usual style of capturing the everyday yet not relaying the whole story; it's up to the viewer to fill in the blanks. Who is that person peering out from behind that door? Why is that topless man on his knees surrounded by others?

It's a style used by many fine art photographers; work along a similar theme may be found in the Alec Soth show at the Science Museum's Media Space. However, in this exhibition, these works never quite manage to grab the viewer in the way that Wall's other works did when they were on display at Canada House.

This is a shame, as we're fans of Wall's work. The fact is there just isn't anything to generate much intrigue.

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Cristina Iglesias and Jeff Wall are both on at Marian Goodman Gallery, 5-8 Lower John Street, W1F 9DY.  Entrance to the gallery is free. It's open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm.

For nearby exhibitions see Faith after the Pharaohs at The British Museum, Ai Weiwei and Liotard at The Royal Academy of Arts, the portraiture of Giacometti at National Portrait Gallery and Goya's portraits at The National Gallery. Plus there's still time to catch October's most talked about art exhibitions.

Last Updated 05 November 2015