Eva Rothschild’s sharp-cornered sculptures are strewn across Modern Art’s new Clerkenwell gallery, complimented by the slanting angles of the ceiling girders and the roof of this pristine former factory. You have to navigate the space with dexterity. Squeezed between the floor and the top of a doorway is ‘Technical Support’, a multi-coloured totem of what appear to be different sized rolls of tape, but are actually jesmonite casts which, with one misplaced step, might come tumbling down upon you. The spiky triangular forms of ‘Fall, Fall, and Falling’ cascade on to the floor like dominoes. A group of tall spindly platforms made from steel reinforcing rods appear to defy gravity as they hold up a collection of disparate objects that includes balancing wood blocks, hammers in a clumpy, clay-like material and balls of string suggestive of some talismanic tribal purpose.
Rothschild contrasts her jagged interlocking compositions with pieces like ‘Teardrop’,a suspended tangle of curves that looks like a three-dimensional doodle. Its sections of steel are interspersed with concrete speckled with coloured stones. It floats in space, substantial yet apparently almost weightless.
You feel that there’s a constant threat of Rothschild’s work collapsing and falling at your feet because of its apparent precariousness. Yet, a sense of delicacy is countered by the solidity of the materials she chooses. It’s Rothschild’s ability to coax you into believing her work’s contradictions that makes this show so consuming.