Tom Lovelace

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Tom Lovelace
© the artist and Son Gallery
Tom Lovelace, In Preparation No 09

A complex meld of mediums and gestures, this grouping of Tom Lovelace's new works comprises a floor-based sculpture and two photographs – the images themselves appearing to document a performance or action. In the photographs, we see the feet of a figure balancing precariously atop the same rickety sculpture of steel braces to be found resting nearby in the gallery. This knife-edge scene, constructed entirely for the lens, is typical of Lovelace's composite approach to creating such manipulated moments.

In his self-portraits the artist is sweetly pictured as a virtuoso trickster, a performer of seemingly purposeless feats. The almost dandyish inclusion of the artist's own booted feet cleverly lightens what could be a rather academic investigation of where sculpture meets performance.

Elsewhere, minimalist bends of industrial materials – steel arches and blue plastic loops – are presented either as sculptures within the gallery, or as photographs of objects in gallery settings. In one image we see the artist's feet again, this time poised on top of a tall narrow column, its elongated form dominating the image. It's actually an unembellished length of industrial pipe, its impoverished material at odds with the exquisite classical architecture normally associated with such pillars.

Lovelace's reference to a classical embellishment propels thoughts towards the privileged status of the object within artistic settings, further complicating his double use of the photograph both as art, and to document art. Although difficult, it is worth unpacking these works, as Lovelace makes an elegant excursion into the workings of functional and functionless objects.

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