Everything At Once, Lisson Gallery X The Vinyl Factory at The Store Studios
The Store Studios
180 The Strand
Nicholas Logsdail took over a small derelict terrace house in Bell Street near the Edgware Road 50 years ago to use as an informal space for his newly founded gallery and his young artist friends to show their work. At the time London was almost entirely home to more formal galleries still showing old masters and classical works. Here, half a century later the Lisson Gallery represents more than 50 internationally renowned artists in spaces across two continents. In the years following Logsdail's first show, Lisson established itself as champion of minimalism, conceptualism and the new wave of British sculpture. In celebration of its half-century, the gallery has partnered with The Vinyl Factory to stage ‘Everything at Once’, an exhibition of new and historical works by 24 artists from its rather formidable roster.
'Everything at Once' is an unmissable exhibition which fills three sprawling floors of The Vinyl Factory’s Store Studios at 180 Strand. The selected artists do more than hold their own in the cavernous, Brutalist concrete spaces, derived from a vast 1970s former office block designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd, who fashioned the building’s stark, brutalist volumes in white-grey Portland stone.
This extensive exhibition: you will need comfortable shoes to make your way round the whole building: collapses half a century of work under one roof, while keeping an eye firmly on its original goals. It is an interconnected journey incorporating 45 works exploring experience.
Beginning, with utterly monumental works, the ground floor contains important sculptural statements from the last century such as Anish Kapoor’s gigantic, suspended pith helmet At the Edge of the World II (1998) floating above head height, receding seemingly impossibly into space and time. As you stare deep into the abyss at its centre, the shape turns the bright red colour into night black, you almost forget that the bright red covering the whole form ever existed at all. This was and still is an important sculptural statement from the last century, a thrill to see.
Also hiding behind the entrance on the ground floor is Ryoji Ikeda’s Test Pattern no.12, a site-specific audio-visual experience comprised of bright visual patterns. Commissioned by the Store X The Vinyl Factory for this collective exhibition, it nicely echos part of Store Studios’ mission to reframe what a cultural institution can be in the 21st century. A show of black and white bar code patterns that surge through the darkness of the blacked out space. The Japanese artist and electronic composer converts data collected from music and photography into monochrome binary patterns, immersing people in a dazzling kinetic environment.
Ranging widely from text to installation, painting, sculpture, performance and sound, the selection here presents some of Lisson’s leading artists, of both the past, present and no doubt future. The present, here being represented by Richard Long’s entirely site specific mud painting Peloponnese Line, 2017, is painted directly onto the walls of the Store Studios. The veteran British land artist has here used his fingertips to create a rhythmically scrabbled, splattered river of Greek mud which stretches into the distance along a 60-metre wall. Formed not only from his own movement and energy, but also gravity, chance and nature itself.
Amongst the other installations there is a trio of Marina Abramović films, Freeing the Mind, Freeing the Body, Freeing the Voice (1975), in which the expectation of a human’s potential is tested, albeit in stark physical and mental terms. An emotive wall of 100 television screens beaming out Susan Hiller’s Channels (2013), which are all recordings and testimonies given by those who have suffered near death experiences or claim to have glimpsed the here-after.
My favourite instillation is the machined cathedral spires of Tony Cragg’s Minster (1988) that meet his resolutely hand-made collection of oversized stone Tools (1986), as they share the same bright and open space in the building with views over the Thames and the bustling cityscape beyond, it is a charming site.
The whole exhibition, presented for free, is a testimony to Lisson’s enduring ability to challenge, explore and to keep supporting the very best artists of all ages from across the globe.