ONCE AGAIN THE WORLD IS FLAT until 21 April 2014
|Shelf with Annie Figurine, 1981, wood, |
plastic masks,plaster & paintphotographer (c) 2014 Hugh Grendinning
I came to the Serpentine Gallery after a glorious sunny walk across three parks, through daffodils, crocuses, harebells and blossom with happy tourists speaking in many tongues, while squirrels, moorhens, ducks and geese noisily sorted out their domestic arrangements. And I found that Haim Steinbach's extraordinary talent has produced a show which is bracing and fun.
Once Again The World Is Flat illustrates Steinbach's forty-year career, starting with his minimalist paintings of coloured bars placed round a monochrome square. These are juxtaposed with sculpture, artefacts and children’s playthings: an Ajax can, a retro kettle, a plastic train engine. The ordinary ( salt and pepper pots) as well as the extraordinary (a ceramic cookie jar shaped as a grinnng skull), are side by side. Some objects are hand made, some mass-produced, some old, some new. The artist questions 'high' versus 'low' culture, the unique versus the multiple, the personal versus the universal.
|Shelf with Cookie Jar 1982. wood, paint, spray paint, shelf, plaster|
The Serpentine has also invited curators from a range of private and public institutions – including the Zabludowicz Collection and the V&A Museum of Childhood in London and Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery – to select works from their collections to be included in the exhibition.