David Batchelor / Jonathan Callan / Ian Davenport
Grace & Owens / Yves Klein / Peter Liversidge / Kay Rosen
Gravity’s Rainbow is, as the title suggests, an exhibition about colour, with a nod to the American writer Thomas Pynchon’s use of ‘borrowed’ colour adjectives as imaginative prompts in his novel of the same name (“drowned man green”, “creamy chocolate FBI-shoe brown”, “deep cheap perfume aqua marine”…) This is a show in which colour is integral to the work, and may even be its subject, but which always originates elsewhere. “Found” colour, in other words, borrowed or stolen from outside the studio.
In the main gallery space David Batchelor’s five giant balls of colour are scattered across the floor, each one of them wound from electrical wires in different shades of blue, yellow, green white, black and orange. Peter Liversidge’s take on colour is quite literally found: picked up on his travels and on the street and assembled on a shelf – a series of random finds and fragments united only by their common hue; in this case an army of yellow objects which the artist has recreated by hand. Jonathan Callan finds his colour in the hard covers of old books, which are sliced and rearranged into abstract reliefs.
Three site-specific installations anchor the exhibition. The first is provided by Tommy Grace and Kate Owens whose temporary stained-glass window transforms a section of Ingleby Gallery’s glass frontage with panels cut from coloured pastic bags, filtering the early summer sunlight and bathing the gallery in a synthetic pool of colour.
Kay Rosen’s wall painting is made from ordinary house paint layered in rectangles to form a kind of modernist abstraction in which the colours are chosen from the pages of a paint chart entirely on the strength of their quasi poetic names and the evocative, if slightly ridiculous, phrase that these names create when gathered together.
Ian Davenport is also making a wall painting; his choice of colour is found in the real world, in this case by deconstructing an old master painting into its colour components and re-assembling it as a series of poured lines. His painting offers an alternative, and quite literal, reading of the exhibition’s title: paint flows in rivulets directly down the gallery wall, a rainbow of colours drawn by gravity towards the floor where it pools into a technicolour puddle.