Wednesday, 12 September 2012



There are some  unflattering comments on the internet from visitors to Tate Modern, who have accidentally come across Reis's sculptures. Does this really look as though a bunch of workmen have just gone off for a ciggie and a burger?

Am I prepared to wait and see?  Not for the workmen to come back, but to give the artist the benefit of the doubt.

Is the work melancholy, or is there a twist of the unexpected? Reis says he sees his work as an extension of his painting. He says he defines space in a gallery using industrial materials such as steel bars, window frames, fluorescent strip lighting, electric cable and glass bars instead of brush strokes Is it fanciful that to see those hollow tubes - stuffed with slim luminous cables which flutter with silver and gold and pink light-  as glowing like the wings of a Renaissance angel? Do those shapes and that lighting suggest a funfair? Probably that's going too far.. And his work is arresting. What looks provisional, even abandoned- - and is given ambiguous titles -  alludes to the 'homelessness' of every human being and could be set alongside the paradoxes of life which theologians and poets and dramatists invite us to consider.

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