Sunday, 5 October 2014


Somerset House, London until October 25th,
then other venues - see below
Fabricated steel, paint, 100 x 88cms
 One of the many pleasures of the NOA exhibition is the variety of art on show.  I visit  places where watercolours are gathered together, or  oil paintings, or pastels, or videos...But at the NOA show you cannot guess what's coming next. On one side of the gallery is a soft, fragile installation called Rant. Opposite  is  a strong. taut. rhythmic, singing  sculpture called Unravel. A strange title. Fabrics unravel, knitting unravels, even lives are known to unravel... but steel?  The eye begins to trace the geometrical perfection it expects. The circle doesn't exactly go to pieces, but it refuses to satisfy our expectations.

 'Almuth Tebbenhoff is inspired by process: she loves the way objects of beauty and intrigue can emerge from a noisy session cutting and welding steel, sparks flying in every sense, or from a quieter but no less messy afternoon pushing wet clay around'. She is described as an artist who, working with her hands, distills 'dull, reluctant matter' into pieces which are interesting, challenging, both witty and profound. And sometimes breathtakingly lovely.

If only a board room or inventor's studio or writer's study could see Unravel. Here is no Pollyanna-ish pledge of success and happy endings, at least in the short term.  Instead we are greeted by freedom, space, light and bright colours exploding on the wall, releasing a new and unexpected energy.

You can see the exhibition in Chichester at the Pallant House Gallery from Dec2 - 14
and at the Minerva Theatre Gallery, Chichester Festival Theatre from Dec 17 - Jan 3
Also back in London at the Works on Paper Fair at the Science Museum from 5-9 Feb


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