THE UNIVERSE CLEFT TO THE CORE
10 April - 7 May 2016
Dorothy Cross, Grace Weir, Richard Wentworth
The Universe Cleft to the Core is the inaugural show at DE LEÓN and features the work of Dorothy Cross, Grace Weir and Richard Wentworth. The exhibition is a ‘metaphorical fugue’ on space, time, light, and mortality, and our perceptions of reality and its inherent ambiguity. The exhibition is installed in a private 18th century Georgian house and the works selected, as well as new works by these artists, connect with the history and materiality of the house, as well as to the title of the exhibition.
Working in sculpture, film and photography, Dorothy Cross examines the relationships between the body and time and the human and natural world. Cross, like Wentworth, juxtaposes objects that bear little relationship to each other to suggest new meaning. Her work reveres the materiality of objects and bodies marked by lived experience and time’s gradual effect. One of the works in the show, Everest Shark, focuses on the shark, an animal that evolved hundreds of millions of years ago and one that has been much maligned by humans. In the place of the dorsal fin sits an exact replica of the Himalayan range with Everest at its peak. The highest mountain on the planet rose to its present height merely 60 million years ago long after the shark had evolved to near perfection.
The nature of time is similarly examined by Grace Weir working primarily in the medium of film. Her work probes the alignment of our day to day lived experience with scientific understanding, drawing upon Newtonian physics, Einstein’s general theory of relativity, and Maxwell’s theories of light, as well as film theory. Weir adeptly balances scientific and philosophical rigour with an elegance that resolves complexity with seeming simplicity. Weir describes time as “splintering at each moment into the past and the present, making a dark curve in space” and this is illustrated in The History of Light (Betelgeuse) c.1374-2015where photons that left this red star over 640 light years ago are captured by Weir on unique photograms. Francis McKee wrote of Weir that her work elaborates “the perpetual motion of human consciousness: an ever-evolving perception and interpretation of the world around us.”
Always attentive to the contingencies of everyday life, Richard Wentworth describes his work as “often brimful with interval and calibration, poking around in the strange connections between image and mental headspace, between size and scale, the gap between a noun and a function, and the friction between looking and seeing.” He is fond of collisions across historical time as demonstrated by the exhibition,History is Now, which he co-curated last year at the Hayward Gallery, London. For Wentworth these collisions operate across space, as well as time, as he muses in the same breath on the evolution of the city of Bath and Mike Davis’ examination of Los Angeles in his book City of Quartz. Fittingly, Wentworth’s contribution to this show will include a full sized five bar gate, an agricultural interloper in a two hundred year old Georgian domestic space - a ship in a bottle.
Dorothy Cross’s solo exhibitions include Connemara, Turner Contemporary, Kent (2013), touring to Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2014); Eye of Shark, a site-specific commission at Lismore Castle Arts, Co. Waterford (2014); Trove, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2014); Liverpool Biennial (1998); Istanbul Biennial (1997); 45th Venice Biennale (1993); Bad Girls, ICA, London and CCA, Glasgow (1994). Dorothy Cross is represented by Kerlin Gallery, Dublin and Frith Street Gallery, London.
Grace Weir’s solo exhibitions include 3 different nights, recurring, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2015-2016); The Golden Bough: In my own time, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin (2010); In my own time, The Science Museum, London, (2007); Weir represented Ireland at the 49th Venice Biennale (2001). Grace Weir is currently artist-in-residence in the School of Physics, Trinity College, Dublin.
Richard Wentworth’s solo exhibitions include Bold Tendencies, Peckham, London (2015); Black Maria with Gruppe, Kings Cross, London (2013); Richard Wentworth: Three Guesses, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010); 52nd Venice Biennale (2009); Tate Liverpool (2005); Artangel, London (2002); Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn (1998); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1994); Serpentine Gallery, London (1993). Richard Wentworth is represented by Lisson Gallery, London, and Peter Freeman, Inc., New York.