The Middle – Tom Ellis at the Wallace Collection, The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1, until 27th November 2016
This intriguing exhibition starts on this prestigious Museum’s front lawn and then inside occupies the Front State Room and the downstairs exhibition gallery. The Museum’s own collections have inspired contemporary artist Tom Ellis (b1973) to create these site specific works. His large-scale paintings with their recurring motif of a shoemaker are inspired by work by Teniers the Younger while his furniture is inspired by those 18th century French examples in the Collection which have transformative elements.
The installation’s title reflects the unresolved nature of the works and the idea that the museum is neither a fully domestic or public space. The third inspiration comes from the writer Samuel Beckett who was interested in the idea of the unresolved and open-endedness that can be found in art. Beckett, a frequent visitor to the Wallace in 1935, also shared Ellis’s love of Dutch paintings.