Brian Griffiths: The Invisible Show

4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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A little disappointment sits at the heart of Brian Griffiths's 'The Invisible Show' – you can see it. With a title such as this, there looms the danger that slim pickings will lie beyond this initial quip, but there is great warmth and richness to Griffiths's apparent conceptualism.

Awkwardly filling and obscuring the gallery space are five large cuboid structures swathed in worn beige fabrics. These are accompanied in the office by three prop-like objects: a rather limp looking canvas punch-bag, white and speckled with bright ink dots – pink, blue and yellow – and two plaster manhole covers placed on the floor. With concealment, a sack of tricks and two escape routes, Griffiths's makeshift scene looks like a charlatan set-up for some bogus illusionist or sham circus act.

Beyond the sense of endearment felt towards these overgrown forms, clothed in their modest materials, it is a series of very human failures that gives this exhibition its thrust. Invisible artworks are not inconceivable – Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni and John Cage have proved as much – it's Griffiths's choice to founder, to present a very visible mass of apologetic matter, that intrigues. Further, he falls short of presenting sculptures that actually look like they are hiding anything at all. As such, the impoverished dustsheets, with their wistful promise of the carnivalesque, are promoted, becoming the focus of our ruminations on Griffiths's spurious show.

Less referential, and with only hints of the colour and pop that usually adorn his sculptures, this exhibition represents an intelligent progression for Griffiths. One feels that while the sculptor continues to complicate his relation to artifice, material and object, he is moving closer to the essence of his practice.



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