Anthony Reynolds Gallery

Amikam Toren: Moving in the Right Direction

Amikam Toren: Moving in the Right Direction

London, United Kingdom Wednesday, March 21, 2012Saturday, May 5, 2012
installation view

Installation View

London, United Kingdom
Wednesday, March 21, 2012Saturday, May 5, 2012

At the centre of Toren’s last exhibition at the gallery stood Deus Ex Machina an old, injured wooden clothes horse assisted in maintaining some upright dignity through the insertion of an elaborate steel ‘crutch’. A white cotton towel draped over its fractured frame testified to its original function and fitness of purpose. While retaining its role as a drying rack it occupied new territory as an eccentric, complex sculptural form. As with all Toren’s work, the material and purpose of an object is represented to richly expose its potential for further meaning. The current exhibition includes the very same Deus Ex Machina as a prelude to the discovery of a family of variations on the theme. These are very strange and wonderful objects, their stepped form, half proud and erect, half collapsed, clad in a thick, newspaper pulped papiermache, rendered homogenous and monumental, absurd but proud. Like archaeological artefacts dragged out of history, they reprise their function as bearers of cotton towels, pink and white, while engaging in a newly discovered formal conversation.

Over three hundred arrows, printed or stencilled on packing case cardboard, form two ordered assemblages on the walls of each gallery space. All pointing upwards moving in the right direction these are the symbols deployed on boxes to tell you, simply, which way up. Toren here celebrates the curious variety of these basic indicators, isolates them, fakes them, prints them and organises a riot of verticality, two flights of fancy that richly and perfectly express the potential of their form and function.

Amikam Toren held his first public exhibition in London at the ICA in 1974. That exhibition was the first of many that have had a profound influence on generations of artists in this country. He has had solo exhibitions in many of the major national venues including shows at the Serpentine Gallery, Ikon Gallery, and Arnolfini. His work has featured in the Venice Biennale and in public exhibitions in Switzerland, France, the USA, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Israel. This year he will show at the Guangzhou Biennale in China and a major new video work will be included in the London Open at the Whitechapel Gallery in July. Toren has been represented by Anthony Reynolds Gallery since 1984.

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