The Saatchi Gallery is a flattering space to show any kind of art, the enormous white rooms can make anything seem spectacular and important. ‘The Shape of Things to Come’ shows a group of bold works from twenty sculptors from around the world.
Of course with many of Charles Saatchi’s exhibitions, one expects to not ‘get it,' after all he is always ahead of the rest of us, sussing out what will be hot before anyone else has had time to move on from the last artistic revelation. This show is slightly different though as it exhibits some older works too; they must hold some significance for Saatchi if they have remained in his favour for this long.
I went along to the Gallery for a work “do," a summer cocktail party in this lush setting. Curators were on hand to explain and discuss the works on display but none of the suited and booted men seemed interested, so I went round for a private guided tour. The lovely Saatchi curator was knowledgeable and spoke at length about the origin and inspiration behind each of the sculptures, answering my questions patiently.
In my opinion, often the artists' intentions are more illuminating than the actual pieces which are in the true sense of the word, ugly. This is particularly the case with the giant work by Folkert de Jong: grotesque green female figures huddling together, a strange seemingly Shrek-inspired work, part of a series called ‘The Shooting Lesson’. Other works too seem obsessed with physicality, desperate to make their presence felt. I was drawn to the pale clay figures by Rebecca Warren which feel a little more sensitive in their creation and are certainly more interesting to look at and think about.
I’m not sure Saatchi has got this one right... if this is the future of sculpture, we haven’t got a lot to look forward to.
Until October 16, visit website here.