Workplace Gallery is delighted to announce Richard Rigg’s first solo exhibition at Workplace London. Reoccurring Rose Garden consists of a body of recent work by Rigg that collectively navigate the psycho-geographical terrain of memory, place and object.
Song consists of 3 preserved leaves stacked on top of each other, balancing improbably upon a black telegraph cable that cuts a line through the full length of the gallery space. Occasionally they fall, disturbed by movement in the air, to be left until carefully repositioned by the gallery attendant. The list of materials for the piece: ‘leaves, cable, diaphragm-pump’ disclose the means, and shift the work away from the illusory towards a pragmatic, sculptural attempt to recreate an imagined or half-remembered occurrence or vision. This near futile attempt by Rigg to physically manifest the ambiguities of a semi-cognitive interiority alludes outwardly to the poetic, through a paradoxically reductionist sculptural strategy. Related conceptually to an earlier work ‘I forgot what was said when we were outside, stood empty, now without those words I fell back’ (2010) comprised of 2 full sized telegraph poles with a small cable between them, Song is part of a family of works that relate to a half forgotten conversation between the artist and a significant other. Shown here in Workplace London, the particularities of the gallery space and its dislocating effect (being located in the ½ floor of a corporate building with no natural light) combine with the effect of being, unusually, at the same level of a normally very high telegraph wire to further disorientate the viewer.
Alongside Song, Rigg presents 3 works on paper. Selected from an on-going series of drawings for extant or future artworks, these pieces can be considered as extractions from a mapping of thought, or calculations. Comprised of repetitious isolated objects in flattened or isometric perspective, alongside various notes and numerical equations - these drawings can be seen as indexical and diagrammatic renderings of thoughts and ‘workings – out’, that are often interrupted by ordinary life such as ‘to-do’s’ or a scribbled phone number that shares its space with a numerical equation or poetic statement.
Relating materially to the 3 balanced leaves, these drawings reinforce a structural repetition that echoes throughout Rigg’s practice. The title of the exhibition Reoccurring Rose Garden alludes to a yet to be realised piece that draws its inference from the pattern found in a commonplace floral carpet. Implying both the idyllic and an implication through ‘reoccurrence’ of the incomplete or the unresolved; Rigg’s work purposefully addresses a problematic uncertainty and paradox that lies between the intangible basis of human thought and our relationship to reality.
Richard Rigg was born in Penrith, Cumbria in 1980 and graduated from Newcastle University in 2005. Rigg’s previous solo exhibitions include LACUNA, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2013), The Inhabitant of the Watchtower, High Desert Test Sites, Joshua Tree, California, USA (2012) and Holography, Workplace Gallery, Gateshead, UK (2010). In 2010 Workplace Gallery staged Ballade op.23 (without words), a performance in which a classical pianist played a Chopin recital using Rigg’s 2007 work Piano, a piano entirely tuned to Middle C. Rigg’s selected group exhibitions include Chance Finds Us, MIMA, Middlesbrough, UK (2014), The Difference Loom, Iziko South African National Gallery, South Africa (2013), QUIET WORKS, Temple Contemporary, Philadelphia, USA (2013), Glamourie, PSL, Leeds, UK (2012), Broken Fall, Galleria Enrico Astuni, Bologna, Italy, (2011), The Glass Delusion, The National Glass Centre, Sunderland, UK (2010), Cage Mix: Sculpture & Sound, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2010), Suns Neither Rise Nor Set, Royal College of Art, London (2009), Explum 09, Murcia, Spain (2009), TOMORROW THE FUTURE, Fishmarket Gallery, Northampton (2008), King Fisher's Tales, Union Gallery, London, UK (2008) . Rigg is the winner of the Visual Artist of the Year 2012 at The Journal Culture Awards and was nominated for the Northern Art Prize in 2011. He lives and works in London.
Main image Credit: Sonya Nagels
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Workplace Gallery is a contemporary art gallery run by artists.
Based in Gateshead UK, Workplace Gallery represents a portfolio of emerging and established artists through the gallery programme, curatorial projects and international art fairs.