Monday, 9 June 2014

RUTH SWITALSKI & PETTER YXELL - SKIN & BONES

It's hard to believe that 6 months ago I was the first artist to exhibit at the newly founded Glasgow gallery, 1 Royal Terrace.
6 months on, last night was the opening of the final exhibition in this season's programme. Having helped install the 5 previous exhibitions, the time came for Petter and Ruth to install their own work in the gallery. 

I went along, curious to see how they would respond to the space, and they did not disappoint.



Entering the gallery, the viewer is faced with a line of wooden beams that are standing tall, wedged between the floor and ceiling. Each beam or column has been partly burned using a stencil, so that when lined up, a kind of skyline silhouette is suggested. Petter used this exhibition as an opportunity to focus on materiality, and all his work in the exhibition is made from pine. 

Ruth's work also demonstrates her love of material and the physical qualities of what she is working with. Stratum corneum (horny layer) is one of the gallery walls that has been covered in layers of silicone, having the effect of forming a thick, sticky skin that is hard to resist touching. 

Switalski’s work builds on a longstanding interest in the liminal spaces between painting and sculpture. Often using the body as motif, her casts, films and drawings explore intensely physical and sometimes interrupted representations of these disciplines. 

Yxell works mainly in sculptural installations taking architecture as a starting point for explorations of history, time and memory, with a keen eye on the role of language.

For their joint exhibition at 1 Royal Terrace, Switalski and Yxell have found a common ground in their nigh obsessive fascination with material, resulting in two large scale interceptions in the space, flanked with smaller sculptural objects drawing loose parallels between the bodily and the architectural.

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