Leelee Kimmel: Wormhole review

4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

With reliable regularity, someone will publish clickbait on the subject of ‘You’ll never guess what [insert name of previously famous person] is doing now!’. The contents will express faux-grief over the idea a former Hollywood hotshot is now living as an Arkansas midwife. Under her previous surname (she now goes by her married name of Kimmel), Leelee Sobieski became famous in the late ’90s as a film star. Her work included teen romcom ‘Never Been Kissed’ and ‘Eyes Wide Shut’, but she’s now swapped movies for art.

This exhibition at Simon Lee is the artist’s first in the UK. It’s filled with large-scale abstract paintings, sculptures made using 3D printing and a five-minute-long VR piece.

The show has a pleasingly geeky aesthetic to it. Shapes in primary-colour brights or Tipp-Ex-white wiggle about like Looney Tunes characters fighting. The sculptures bulge out in plasticky lumps, resembling Transformers toys or chunks of deep sea coral.

The VR piece zaps viewers inside this world. Densely coloured blobs fly above, below and around. Sometimes you’re gazing at flying, wobbly shapes, then you’re bobbing through an undulating blue river, worried about the approaching waterfall. This is deininitely cooler than being the nerd in a romcom.


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