The thought of driving to Bermondsey for the exclusive preview brunch of an artist, was not what I felt like doing on a rainy Sunday morning.
My friend, the brilliant Latin American Art Curator, Cecilia Brunson, had sent me an invitation to the project room in her home. It was not clear from the invitation, Sebastian Gordin – Collected Tales, what sort of exhibition it was.
Always surprised by Cecilia’s rich and varied taste in art, this exhibition did not disappoint and is well worth a visit.
Sebastian Gordin is an Argentinian artist whose work is unlike anything you have ever seen before!
Set up on long white trestle tables are what appears to be book or magazine covers. Upon closer inspection, one realises that these objects are actually made entirely out of wood. Each surface is an homage to the tradition of marquetry, a technique used in the intricate inlay of wood, creating a surface design.
The exhibition encourages you to pick up and touch each book-object-piece of art. From the title of each cover; the whimsical figures inlaid into these ” magazines”; the intricate patterns that grace the front and sometimes back of these wooden books, you will be astounded. Each surface has been laser cut and inlaid with rare and precious woods.
Twenty three of the approximately forty existing Gordín magazines are being shown this month at the Cecilia Brunson Projects, Bermondsey. It is the first time such a large number of his work has been seen in the UK.
“My feeling is that these magazines bring to the fore a certain acuity
we unlearn in life, or at least certain things that have been obscured by our daily routine, almost like one of those ‘penny-drop’ recognitions that suddenly reappear from ones own unconscious memory. The job of the artist is to dig out of our memory the things society prevents us from still seeing, unearthing those memories buried in daily life. That’s the moment when art can transform routine into beauty.”
I encourage you to take a trip to Bermondsey. The photos featured in this post do not do the exhibition justice. You will be utterly surprised by the experience of picking up and holding these works of art in your hands.
I am longing for one of these whimsical magazines to become a conversation piece in my home! Maybe you can guess which one of the 23 I have my eye on when you go…