The series aims to point out the existing dialogues between art and space, intended as architectonical or geographical and approached as material or relevant context.
Architecture and body,
Habitat and skin,
Materials and corporeality.
These are some of the recurring themes suggested in the sculptural works by the polish artist Piotr Lakomy, now exhibiting at The Sunday Painter Gallery, in Peckham.
His work engages with the idea of skin, seen as the first architectonic structure in which the body is contained, and develops using the physical properties of other materials, reflecting on human connections within its surroundings.
In his new solo show, Room Temperature, the artist extends the connection with architecture to the space itself, working across all aspects of the gallery’s structure and creating a eerie environment of bodily structures.
He approaches bodies’ habitats using organic and industrial materials in the gallery space, which in turn becomes an organism and a living body itself.
Beeswax, ostrich eggs, body bags, foam, aerospace materials and clothes are assembled in anthropomorphic sculptures that contrast with rectangular-shaped wall works. Fluidity and rigidity coexist in a context whereby the choice of materials, the forms and the use of the space all carefully contribute to the idea of inhabiting.
On entering the space, a suspended cylindrical sculpture appears on the stair.
It is a foamy, grey, juicy, spinal form; a protuberant and stalactitic introduction to a quasi-organic environment.
In the main gallery, another sculpture made of aluminium honeycomb, fabric and beeswax hangs from the ceiling. It is a structure that once encased the body of the artist and now, through its skin-like qualities and form, uncannily preserves a capsular character.
A cocoon-like atmosphere envelops the room; the effect is given by a layer of Vaseline, which covers the windows and, consequently, transforms the external light in to a milky shadow that raises the feeling of being inside something. And the same idea is amplified by the glimpse of the back of another painting installed outside one window, which materialises through the nacreous layer.
Positioned on the walls, there are three tactile rectangular paintings made of aerospace materials, foam and ostrich eggs, whose measurements follow Le Corbusier’s The Modulor. The overall effect they give is of a layered beehive-like structure; all three paintings have a rigid format but, according to the particular character of the deformation effected by compression or stretching, different kinds of movement are suggested. Then, in one corner, a smaller painting quietly augments the cocoon-like ambience through its soft and tactile quality, which is given by the re-elaboration of a jacket.
The show continues at the ground floor, using the rear side of the gallery plus the roof terrace and the experience of walking through a disorientating and intricately organic space is thus reinforced.
A work made with body bags is displayed in the archway at the back of the gallery, which is being used for the first time as part of a show.
A curved zip runs across the rectangular painting, mirroring the contour of the archway, and the low temperature of the space creates a sympathetic connection with the material used, inducing the feeling of inhabiting a body bag; the last container.
Ostrich eggs and body bags appear again in Untitled (Airhouse) or (Windhouse), installed in the back alley. The work maintains the rectangular format of the previous paintings, but it substitutes the rigidity of these with the use of voids.
In this instance, the body bag is cut seemingly following an architectonic plan and a similar treatment is reserved for the ostrich eggs, whose section lets their protective involucre be revealed.
Finally, a last work inhabits the roof terrace; it is another cylindrical sculpture made of bamboo, aluminium honeycomb and beeswax that stands proudly in the landscape, blending with the other vertical elements of the roof.
Its spinal appearance recalls the first sculpture of the show and completes the experiencing of a coherent and rich body of works.
Room Temperature is showing at The Sunday Painter Gallery until 5th November. For more information please click here
Caterina Avataneo (Turin, 1989) is an Italian architect and curator based in London. She is now attending the MA Curating Contemporary at Whitechapel Gallery and works at The Sunday Painter Gallery.
Her past experiences include: Concrete Matters curated exhibition, Bankspace Gallery London (UK), Between Crinkles curated exhibition, Palazzo Montevecchio Turin (IT); Norma Mangione Gallery, Turin (IT); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (IT).