Sculptor and writer Josiah McElheny transforms the Gallery into a hall of mirrors. Seven large-scale, mirrored sculptures are arranged as multiple reflective screens for displaying reconfigured abstract films. Chosen by a group of invited collaborators and programmed to change throughout the year, the sculptures refract the projections and reflect the viewer within the work, saturating the gallery in images and light.
Distorted and multiplied, the moving images explore how abstraction is used to symbolise the Modernist enlightment project. The Bloomberg Commission is displayed in Gallery 2, a dedicated space for site-specific works of art that was previously the reading room of the former Whitechapel Library. The work is inspired by the Library’s history as a lantern of learning and a creative haven for early Modernist artists such as David Bomberg and Jacob Epstein.
McElheny’s new work explores the history of abstraction in film and video, reinterpreting them by presenting fractured, constantly morphing versions.
Also a student of glass blowing, Josiah McElheny (b. 1966) lives and works in New York. His work combines a conceptually rigorous examination of history with an ability to create deeply engaging sensory experiences.
The Bloomberg Commission invites an international artist to create an annual site-specific artwork inspired by the rich history of the former library. Bloomberg’s support reflects its commitment to innovation, and its ongoing efforts to expand access to art, science and the humanities. Additional support provided by the Wingate Scholarships. With thanks to the White Cube.
Images: The Bloomberg Commission: Josiah McElheny: The Past Was A Mirage I Had Left Far Behind. Photographs by Todd-White Art Photography