Sunday, May 10, 2009
Gladstone Gallery's latest show draws its visitors into a large room with a curious, monumental, snake-like structure by Chinese artist Huang Yong Ping. I've never seen such a piece that appeals so strongly to children but is equally as unsafe for them. The viewer is cautioned to coil themselves up and around the bamboo pathway, held together with what resembled garbage ties. The creaking creation leads you to the grand sculpture at the ceiling -- something that looks like Matthew Ritchie excavated from the Natural History Museum and then put his own pewter spin on it. All together, this piece was injured by its surrounding environment. Had it been outside and something to discover, the mysterious qualities of the work would have shone more than in an enclosed, white-walled space in Chelsea. Still, I'm glad I got to wander inside.