Over the summer I went to the Saatchi Gallery, and as usual rolled my eyes at most of the art except one, my new favourite piece of art...
Richard Wilson, 20:50
Down in the depths of the Saatchi lies a big room full of oil and yes- it's art! But i love it! The first time i went to the gallery i didn't walk down to the bottom floor so actually missed this piece (a mistaken i often make in large galleries) but after hearing about its existence from friends i saw it for the first time a few months ago.
The piece made in 1987 and has been exhibited in every Saatchi gallery since 91', it is the only permanent piece in the gallery and has looked incredible in each different space.
I'm not usually drawn to pieces like this; large, installation, not a huge amount of concept. However, there is something so simplistic and visually beautiful about it that contradicts the medium used (oil), i could stare at it for hours.
Wilson is concerned with aesthetics, perception, form and this piece requires architectural concerns such as volume, illusionary spaces and auditory perception. The oil is recycled engine oil and the name of the piece of supposedly about the viscosity (resistance of fluid) of the oil. Quite a straight-forward, obvious name for a piece which, I like.
The piece poses beautiful aesthetics against hazardous materials which I feel is quite a relevant juxtaposition in art, often explored in a tacky way such as using litter to make sculptures (a common topic on Foundation- recycling bla bla bla).
The piece is viewed from a little balcony type-thing and it is hard to tell where the wall stops and the oil begins as it is so still, but if you blow very carefully you can see the ripples in the oil. Reflection is a beautiful thing to explore within art and Wilsons done it perfectly.
I took a picture of my reflection in the oil- not sure who's waving...
Richard Wilson 20:50 is at the Saatchi- forever! (Well for a while anyway...)