The act of finding, rather than carving is celebrated in Morphisisation at APT Gallery

By Mark Sheerin | 14 August 2014

Mark Sheerin enjoys a group show of sculpture and found objects at Deptford's APT Gallery until August 17 2014

a photo of a group of kitsch figurines on a shelf
© Courtesy ATP Gallery
A new exhibition of sculpture in Deptford provides an examination of the act of finding, rather than carving, modelling or moulding. Morphisisation brings together some 14 artists whose chief interest lies with pre-existing objects.

There are 21 of these largely found artworks which fill the well-respected APT Gallery without crowding it. Initial impressions are of light, colour and good humour. It is an engaging suite of artwork, perhaps thanks to the widespread use of familiar raw materials.

Highlights include a Simon Lewandowski piece, which comes with the self-explanatory title: 100 Things with Handles. Among those things is a copy of Giorgio Vasari’s early example of art history: The Lives of the Artists. You might not have thought a paperback book could be improved with a suitcase handle.

Alan Magee has two works, one of which is made out of ubiquitous plaything Lego. The result looks like a Death Star the size of a tennis ball and has been sanded into a spherical form.  Attached here, another handle of sorts, is a wordy title: There is no way of knowing if this is meaningful, let alone the beginning of something. Thankfully the small piece has enough presence to own it.

Susan Collis, who is perhaps best known for recreating paint splattered building materials with semi-precious stones and coral, brings a new departure to APT. Her so-called Little Helpers, a dozen kitsch figurines which perch on the edge of the reception desk, repay close attention as you spot the many subtle differences between them. Just where might you find such a collection as this, one wonders.

Artist Ben Woodeson might know. The joint winner of the 2014 Anthology Prize at Charlie Smith Gallery has curated this mercurial show. His own piece is a precarious arrangement of free weights and plate glass.

So the found objects are put in a dynamic and, yes, dangerous relation. You wouldn’t get away with it outside of an art gallery.

But then again, art is what you can get away with, as Warhol said. That goes for all the works in this coherent show, where the stuff of everyday life is displaced to witty and quietly subversive effect.

Click below to launch a gallery of images from the exhibition.

Morphisisation is at APT Gallery, Deptford, London, until August 17 2014. Admission free. Open 12pm-5pm (Thursday to Sunday).

Visit Mark Sheerin’s contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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