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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Charles Matton, 'Enclosures', All Visual Arts

Hidden away in once grotty King’s Cross is the All Visual Arts building, a pristine space that exhibits innovative and aesthetically intriguing collections. A wonderfully unique show has just opened here with free entry to the public: the first major retrospective of French artist, Charles Matton in an exhibition entitled ‘Enclosures’.

Matton spent the years from 1985 until his death in 2008 creating the most enchanting miniature rooms in boxes, replicas of real interiors and revisiting memories from his life as well as a few fabricated from his imagination. All thirty eight enclosures are painstakingly authentic, and created by Matton and his assistant to exactly 1:7 scale. Tiny mirrors, elaborate book shelves, hectic and messy art studios - each box is perfected to evoke a vivid and significant place. They are quite enchanting, and unlike anything I have ever seen before; they are, as Grace Glueck from the New York Times, puts it ‘a voyeur’s delight’.

Some of the boxes use double-sided mirrors, a wonderful invention that seems to create real magic within the boxes. We are unable to see our reflection when looking into the artwork but the tiny rooms surrounding are reflected -immaculately, creating a seemingly impossible illusion. I found the artist studios most awe inspiring. Matton uses such unbelievable detail to recreate the studios of famous artists such as Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti; torn newspapers litter the floor, paint pots lie discarded and miniature works of art sit half-made.

I have never heard of Charles Matton before, and was delighted to be introduced to his exquisite and poetic world in this lovely retrospective exhibition.

Continues until 7th October, visit the website for more information here.

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