Hello all, the Archive Gallery is opening on the 15th of September and Bob has been really busy painting the walls of the space. See below for the films of weeks 2 & 3 of his residency. What’s next is that the cases will be installed in the next few weeks and we can begin to put the archive material alongside Bob’s fantastic wall pieces. I hope that you can make it along on the 15th, 6-8pm, free and all welcome.
Week 2 – Bob’s History of Art
Week 3 – Epstein’s Travels
Bob has been up at the gallery this week to start his work painting the Archive Gallery on Floor 1 of the Garman Ryan Collection. Inspired by the Festival of Britain, the room is very colourful and has a distinct 1950s feel, which sits well with the time period of the Epstein Archive. See the below film for an explanation of the project from the man himself…
The danger after the success of The Life of the Mind exhibition was always that the Epstein Archive would quietly slip back into obscurity in the basement of the gallery. Not so. We are now at the start of the next exciting installment of the gallery’s relationship with Bob and Roberta Smith. We were always aware of the need for a legacy for the New Ways of Curating project and the Archive Gallery on Floor 1 of the gallery is the best place to cement the outcomes of the project into the fabric of the building.
So, what next? Bob and Roberta Smith’s Epstein Archive Gallery is now closed for the summer and will open again in mid-September, completely transformed. The new archive gallery will be the antithesis of the White Cube, extremely colourful and rammed to the gills with material from the archive, art, film and interactives. The room itself will be transformed into an artwork as Bob will be painting directly onto the walls. The gallery’s technicians are making new display cases for the space and Bob has chosen a colour scheme inspired by the 1951 Festival of Britain. The FoB was a huge exhibition, much like a World’s Fair, designed to celebrate everything good about Britain and also raise the nation’s morale as wartime restrictions, such as rationing, continued into a new decade. An anniversary exhibition of FoB is currently on at the Southbank Centre – I’d really recommend it if you’re in London.
This week saw the gutting of the old room, removing all of Bob’s works – though a large chunk of it will be included in the new room. All of the paint has had to be specially mixed as 1950s colours are obviously not the public’s first choice for their living rooms – their loss. The room will be painted next week ready for Bob to paint directly onto the walls.
While the gallery is closed, you can still look into it, so have a look next time you’re there – you never know, there may be an artist at work! I will be updating the blog at each stage of the process, so check back to see how we’re getting on.