20:50 (1987) by Richard Wilson

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 10:24

Since the 1980s, Richard Wilson has been making large-scale sculptural interventions into architectural spaces: rearranging, disrupting and displacing their basic physical components – bricks, concrete, glass – in order to radically alter our sense of space and, in the process, ‘knock [our] world-view off-kilter’.

Installation view of Richard Wilson's 20:50 (1987) at Space Shifters, Hayward Gallery 2018
Installation view of Richard Wilson's 20:50 (1987) at Space Shifters, Hayward Gallery 2018. Photo: Mark Blower

 

For his installation 20:50 (1987) – first presented at Matt’s Gallery in 1987 – Wilson has flooded one of Hayward’s upper galleries with engine oil, leaving only a narrow passageway through the centre. The surface of the dark, dense substance mirrors the space above it and creates for the viewer the vertiginous impression of being suspended within a curiously doubled and seemingly infinite environment.

‘We all have preconceptions about architectural space, about rooms, about buildings – whether they’re galleries or museums or not’, Wilson has said, ‘– and if you can do something that unsettles those preconceptions, you can generate a whole new way of understanding your place in the world.’

 

 


 

20:50 (1987) exhibited in Space Shifters at Hayward Gallery, 26 September 2018 - 6 January 2019.

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