Radical Geometry, Royal Academy of Arts


Radical Geometry brings together work from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros by some of the great innovators of South American modern art, from Torres-García in Uruguay to Lygia Clark in Brazil, from Maldonado in Argentina to Gego in Venezuela. Inspired by European artists such as Mondrian and Kandinsky, their bold experiments with space, movement and colour radically transformed the relationship between art and viewer. This is art that refuses to be contained by its own perimeter, art that ruptures the boundary between the object and the space around it and introduces dynamic forms to give the illusion of motion and volatility. You will see work that changes as you move around it, and “drawings without paper” that use negative space and shadow to create unique, fleeting compositions.

I was really happy to receive another invite from the RA to attend their bloggers look at another of their exhibitions: Radical Geometry. It took place last Friday on the same night as the Latin takeover that was due to take place later that evening. As with the Dennis Hopper exhibition (still running until the 19th October) it started off with mojitos and an introduction to the marvellous works we were about to see.


We got a tad lost trying to find the exhibit and it was right at the top of the building so involved several sets of stairs by the time we got there but boy was it worth the climb. Once again no photography was allowed but to be honest the pieces in this show don’t really lend themselves too well to photography. They’re better observed from various points of view, in fact many of the pieces are designed to actually be touched and moved around rather than be static pieces of art but unfortunately there was no touching either. The exhibition has pieces from five different South American countries but my favourite had to be Jesús Soto’s Nylon Cube. 250,000 painted nylon strings that create the illusion of a blue cube suspended from the ceiling. It’s difficult to describe but it’s beautiful. As are the selection of Gego’s Drawings without paper, wire sculptures that cast the most beautiful shapes with their shadows.

Afterwards as I left the Latin takeover had begun with some fantastic toe-tapping South American music and dance in the courtyard, courtesy of Brazilian Grammy Award winner Zeu Azevedo. Sadly a friends leaving doo was happening that same evening so I couldn’t stay to enjoy it but there is a quick video over on my Facebook page if you’re interested. The exhibition is open at the Royal Academy of Arts until 28th September and costs £11.50 per adult and I thoroughly recommend that you go see it as pictures just don’t do the pieces justice.

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