curated by James Putnam
TRANSFORMER launches a new cultural partnership between London and Venice. Featuring works by Rob and Nick Carter, Vik Muniz and Gavin Turk. It also includes Claude Lalanne’s iconic sculpture, Pomme de Jardin (Rouge) in tribute to the artist who died this April.
Art frequently involves a process of transformation that relates to subject, medium and context.
Rob and Nick Carter’s Transforming uses computer-generated imagery to transform static Old Master works into with subtly moving paintings. Their Transforming Nude Painting is a digital recreation of the Venetian Renaissance artist Giorgione’s famous Sleeping Venus (c.1510). It blends real-time footage of a sleeping model with a digital rendered landscape where the sky changes from dawn to dusk. Other works involve the paradox of animating Dutch 17th-century still life paintings. In Transforming Five Tulips in a Wan-Li Vase flowers wilt and decay referencing mortality in accordance with the traditional Vanitas.
Works by Gavin Turk and Vik Muniz are concerned with a different notion of transformation - the seemingly alchemic process of changing worthless, discarded, mundane everyday items into fine art. Gavin Turk’s PETE comprises a realistic painted bronze sculpture of a squashed plastic water bottle displayed in an elegant museum style vitrine.
Vik Muniz is renowned for his ingenious employment of unusual materials, including dust, sugar, chocolate, diamonds, caviar, toys, paper hole-punches, junk, dry pigment and in this case, shredded magazines and art historical materials which he uses to create bold new imagery magnified to a staggering scale. The works included here are inspired by old master paintings by artists such as Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez and Giovanni Paolo Panini, which are the objects of study and interpretation by an artist who is known for his re-creations of iconic and historically significant paintings.