The Middle – Tom Ellis at the Wallace Collection, The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1, until 27th November 2016
The Middle- Tom Ellis at the Wallace Collection
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.
Front State Room The Middle- Tom Ellis at the Wallace Collection
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.
Exhibition Room The Middle- Tom Ellis at the Wallace Collection
Measuring Poetry – Jorge Méndez Blake, Faggionato, 49 Albemarle Street, London W1, until 21st November
Méndez Blake has established himself internationally for his clever combination of the written word with architecture. In this show he concentrates on “measuring” the text of poets who share the English language – James Joyce, Wallace Stevens, Dylan Thomas, Shakespeare, Beckett and Ray Bradbury.
How you may well ask? The measurements correspond to the silhouette of the stanza, the type and the area of ink used and then they are translated into sculpture, drawing or tapestry. For example the 19 floor- to- ceiling columns represent the stanza silhouette of Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas. In his drawings the artist precisely works out the area of ink on a page and then reorganizes it as palindrome. He also measures the length of poems and transforms the lengths into sculptures made up from aluminium tubes.
It is an intriguing way to examine the written word and poetry.