24 March - 12 May 2012
|© Bill Woodrow|
24 March - 12 May 2012
We are very pleased to present the second exhibition of the English artist Bill Woodrow (born 1948 near Henley, Oxfordshire) in our gallery. In a similar way as in the opening exhibition of our gallery in May 2008, Bill Woodrow combines works on paper with sculptures continuing his ongoing investigation into the micro- and macrocosms of the world.
The philosophical point of departure is introduced in the first room of the gallery with the sculpture Revelator 4. On a high red form made from modern laminated material a bronze cast head is contained within a tangle of branches. The prominent beard identifies the figure, iconographically since antiquity, as the stereotypical dominant male, the wise man, the philosopher and leader. The title of the work gives a hint to its interpretation: The revelator is secured by a natural system and is in his thoughts. The branches represent both a thinking space but also a structure within which the stereotype is locked and waiting to be redefined by the onlooker. Next to the sculpture hangs a group of drawings from the Lighthouse series. The rotating, recurrent light of lighthouses provides orientation in the darkness of night. Above the black silhouette of the shore and the lighthouse opens up the sky, in which Bill Woodrow has inscribed with black ink mysterious abstract formations hinting at constellations.
In the main space of the gallery are three sculptures, two more Revelators and a sculpture called Informer 2. Informer 2 is composed of an open book, clamped and held by branches cast in bronze. The sculpture has a fragile, ephemeral character. The branches capture the book. The book as in previous works by Bill Woodrow acts as a symbol of the knowledge of the world. In this sculpture it is visually available but physically unavailable because of the protection of the network of branches, representing once again a natural system. Next to the three sculptures hang two series of drawings. In one Bill Woodrow has depicted detailed images from the Arctic Tundra.
In these delicate drawings painterly impressions of the landscape mix with detailed representations of predator and prey. As under a magnifying glass the artist catches the challenging living conditions in this both barren but also very rich landscape. The exhibition is completed by a series of drawings of insects. In this group Bill Woodrow undertakes a combination of precise studies with the intuitive abstraction of the light blue hues and the pollen yellow.
The exhibition allows the possibility of tracing various paths of association and continues to show Bill Woodrow's lifelong interest in the relationships between humans, other animals, manufactured and natural systems.