“One should use common words to say uncommon things”
William Benington Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by British sculptor David Worthington, examining the reciprocal relationship between fine art and industrial design.
The body of work displayed in Experiments in Colour explores, through a developmental series, the history of modern and modernist design, as well as that of what we have come to know as fine art sculpture. The conversation begins with Worthington’s choice of materials: luxurious white marble, synonymous with classical sculpture, interacts with the spray-lacquered colour commonly used in custom car jobs. The sleek, curvaceous sculptures have been gouged into, revealing bright wounds of colour that range from neon green to candy red. The implication is that underneath the simple form and perfect exterior there is something more to consider. Worthington’s forms, reminiscent of the high-end design of audio-visual products as well as the minimalist sculpture of the 1960s, explore how the historical canon of art communicates with modern materials and forms, while also confronting the issue of modern design’s relative struggle to find a place within the realm of fine art, and equally, the role of the sculptor to express this.
By reclaiming from design this familiar visual language, Worthington suggests that the everyday objects with which we surround ourselves can and should be re-assessed as beautiful; the sleek forms of modern design reflected in our home sound systems and desk chairs have been as carefully considered as the pediment of the Parthenon. Thus even the common language of the everyday should be granted consideration as uncommon and remarkable, and sculpture is in a unique position to highlight this. If design is a reflection of what we want and art is a reflection of who we are, then Experiments in Colour turns the mirror back onto these objects with which we surround ourselves.