Gallery 10th Year Programme of Exhibitions
For those who like their art shows small but perfectly formed, the
festival period offered up a plethora of bite-sized treats. But with
the August frenzy behind us once again, theres one gallery thats
still turning out a new exhibition every two weeks, each lasting for
eight days. With typical style and nonchalance, Ingleby Gallery is
celebrating their 10th year of existence with a perfect daisy-chain
of 26 shows.
And just to spice it up even more, the New Town gallerys team
have set themselves the challenge of coming up with 26 unusual pairings.
Already, weve seen one of Rachel Whitereads inside-out
plaster casts paired with Robert Burnss breakfast table, and
the combination which inspired the whole series: a slide-show of found
monochromes by contemporary artist David Batchelor shown alongside
a Russian Suprematist painting of 1924.
Surprisingly, it all started with a stroke of bad luck. We were
programming for a new gallery space, explains the gallerys
director, Richard Ingleby, but in two years of negotiations
the date of entry kept slipping, and by the time we got to Christmas
we thought, okay its not going to happen.
Finding himself back at square one, Ingleby decided to seize the chance
to do something completely different. We thought, actually if
we spent this year slightly challenging the way people expect a gallery
like us to behave, that might not be an unuseful thing to do.
The gallerys team got straight in touch with their core base
of around a dozen regular artists, along with others on their wish-list
such as Whiteread and Ceal Floyer. Some of the combinations are the
gallerys own suggestions, while others often weird and
wonderful were the unexpected ideas of the invited artists.
Ingleby produces the card listing all 26 combinations, and tells me
that some people are already determined to catch every single show.
Delighted with their enthusiasm, hes thinking of setting up
a reward scheme with stamps for each exhibition they attend. I
hope at the end of the year, he says, it will seem almost
as if its been one big show in 26 parts.
Ian Hamilton Finlay & Cerith Wyn Evans (20 to 27 October 2007)
One show not yet set in stone pairs contemporary Welsh artist Cerith
Wyn Evans with gallery favourite, the late Ian Hamilton Finlay. Its
possible that we might make a wall-painting that hasnt been
made before, says Ingleby, which would be a lovely thing
to do. Finlays Star/Steer, made in 1966, is well-known
as a screenprint, but it has never been painted, as the artist intended,
directly onto a wall.
Ingleby has been in discussion with Wyn Evans about showing one of
his neon text pieces in conjunction with Finlays concrete poem.
While the neon would go in the gallerys back room, where all
the shows in this series are based, the gallery is considering placing
the wall-painting up the stairwell, to allow it to last longer than
I mentioned this to Cerith, explains Ingleby, because
I thought it might off-balance what he was doing, and he said fantastic,
Ill think of some way to make a small intervention into that
space as well, that leads you from my neon piece in the back room.
Ori Gersht & Jan Brueghel the Elder (22 to 29 March 2008)
Young Israeli photographer Ori Gersht responded to Inglebys
challenge with a challenge of his own. He said to us I
want you to go and try and get a Jan Brueghel the Elder,
says Ingleby, and we looked at each other and thought Oh
God, what are we doing? The gallery, more used to handling
modern art, went on the hunt for a landscape by the 16th century Flemish
master, and successfully tracked one down with a dealer in London.
Its absolutely perfect. says Ingleby. You
look at it and you just think thats a wonderful little 16th
century landscape, and then you look at it with a magnifying glass
and goodness me, in that hazy little cloud theres a whole city
back there, and its one of those things that just reveals itself
more and more and more.
That attention to detail is echoed in Gershts films and photographs,
and particularly in his recent high-definition video Big Bang, which
shows a vase of flowers exploding in super-slow motion. The film,
and related photographs, recall the Dutch still lifes of Brueghels
era, making this an explosive combination.
Ian Davenport & The Simpsons (19 to 26 April 2008)
One of Ingleby gallerys regulars, Ian Davenport makes eye-popping
paintings by running highly-coloured stripes of paint down aluminium
panels, carefully administered by syringes. At the Tate Triennial
in 2003 he covered a whole wall in such stripes. At Ingleby, he has
leapt at the idea of a collaboration by sourcing all his colours for
one painting from an episode of The Simpsons.
Its a particular episode of The Simpsons that hes
extremely keen on, says Ingleby. I dont know why
I havent seen it yet, but I look forward to working out
why its the episode that means more than all others!
This is the first time that Davenport will have used a single source
to produce his colour scheme, and the Ingleby team are tickled to
have, however indirectly, inspired such a new direction. Ingleby is
modest about his part in shaping this unusual combination, admitting
thats one I could never have suggested to him!
Black, Sunday Herald 09.09.07