Looking Forward to Robert Orchardson


Despite recently arriving in Vancouver as the new Director, I was already back in the UK in February to install the exhibition Endless façade with artist Robert Orchardson. Orchardson was born in Dundee and now lives in London. Here’s an image of the first room at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. A version of this ambitious new installation comes to the CAG in November.

The exhibition partially revisits stage sets designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1955 for a Royal Shakespeare Company production of King Lear. His proposals aspired to an other-worldly feeling where abstract, mobile forms created a shifting landscape against which the play unfolded. However, the designs were met with damning criticism and regarded unsympathetic. For Orchardson, who appropriates various forms and reconfigures them as prototypes for ideas, the inherent modernist idealism and eventual redundancy of the designs become carriers for something beyond themselves. Here’s a preview of some more rooms with huge monochrome cement walls acting as backdrops for a series of prop-like forms.

As well as the exhibition we’re working on a catalogue in collaboration with Ikon, the first devoted entirely to the work of Robert Orchardson.

The nature of Orchardson’s work with its references to modernist architecture and theatre design, mean the occasion of his exhibition here will mark an appropriate moment to celebrate Abraham Rogatnick’s ongoing legacy of support for the CAG. We plan to host a number of events in honour of his memory.

More blogs from me soon.

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