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John Latham - time base and the universe

John Latham - time base and the universe
John Latham - time base and the universe
Art, throughout history, has provided a vehicle for ideas. British artist John Latham (1921 – 2006), applied this to the biggest subjects of all: what is the Universe? What is God? What is knowledge? Latham aspired that art could form a point of convergence for opposing beliefs within society.

This exhibition, conceived with the artist prior to his death in January 2006, allows visitors to explore major stages within his fifty-year career.

Works featured include a selection of Clusters, each one a compacted, globe-like mass of plaster, book fragments and wire. Suspended from the ceiling, these celestial objects evoke the aftermath of colliding forces. A range of Book Reliefs and Sculptures, including Soft Skoob, 1964, reveal the artist’s use of the spray gun, combined with the inclusion of books, whether burnt, torn, or stacked. Symbolising the bodies of knowledge that emerge from, yet divide society, they appear throughout much of Latham’s work.

Glass was another material favoured by the artist; tangible yet transparent, it embodied Latham’s theory of a ‘non-extended state’, or time at its smallest unit. Latham often combined books and glass to suggest how different belief systems can stem from a single source of enlightenment.

Latham’s theories bridged art, science and theology, and aimed to present a single, unifying explanation of existence. Based upon the idea of ‘Event Structure’, he proposed that time, expressed as a series of ‘least events’, could describe the structure of the world.

Time Base Roller, 1972 forms a centre-piece to the exhibition, and directly illustrates these ideas. Comprising a rotating cylinder, a striped canvas strip unrolls via motor to demonstrate the continuing passage of time. Inscriptions on the back of the roller represent the memory of the past, akin to a musical score.

Both acclaimed and vilified in his lifetime, Latham is one of the few genuine radicals of post-war British art. A selection of the artist’s films, spanning his career, will be shown in the Project Room
sculpture, painting, installation, david thorp, curation, curated, exhibition, PS1, moma
Foster, Stephen
371e9f3d-15f4-44b6-b6c0-75680105d41e
Thorp, David
2c4c8def-b34b-4c5f-8b98-9cc08f044b3d
Foster, Stephen
371e9f3d-15f4-44b6-b6c0-75680105d41e
Thorp, David
2c4c8def-b34b-4c5f-8b98-9cc08f044b3d

Foster, Stephen and Thorp, David (2006) John Latham - time base and the universe.

Record type: Art Design Item

Abstract

Art, throughout history, has provided a vehicle for ideas. British artist John Latham (1921 – 2006), applied this to the biggest subjects of all: what is the Universe? What is God? What is knowledge? Latham aspired that art could form a point of convergence for opposing beliefs within society.

This exhibition, conceived with the artist prior to his death in January 2006, allows visitors to explore major stages within his fifty-year career.

Works featured include a selection of Clusters, each one a compacted, globe-like mass of plaster, book fragments and wire. Suspended from the ceiling, these celestial objects evoke the aftermath of colliding forces. A range of Book Reliefs and Sculptures, including Soft Skoob, 1964, reveal the artist’s use of the spray gun, combined with the inclusion of books, whether burnt, torn, or stacked. Symbolising the bodies of knowledge that emerge from, yet divide society, they appear throughout much of Latham’s work.

Glass was another material favoured by the artist; tangible yet transparent, it embodied Latham’s theory of a ‘non-extended state’, or time at its smallest unit. Latham often combined books and glass to suggest how different belief systems can stem from a single source of enlightenment.

Latham’s theories bridged art, science and theology, and aimed to present a single, unifying explanation of existence. Based upon the idea of ‘Event Structure’, he proposed that time, expressed as a series of ‘least events’, could describe the structure of the world.

Time Base Roller, 1972 forms a centre-piece to the exhibition, and directly illustrates these ideas. Comprising a rotating cylinder, a striped canvas strip unrolls via motor to demonstrate the continuing passage of time. Inscriptions on the back of the roller represent the memory of the past, akin to a musical score.

Both acclaimed and vilified in his lifetime, Latham is one of the few genuine radicals of post-war British art. A selection of the artist’s films, spanning his career, will be shown in the Project Room

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 2006
Additional Information: Curatorial collaboration with David Thorp and PS1, New York. Toured to PS1, New York, USA. Funded by the Henry Moore Foundation
Keywords: sculpture, painting, installation, david thorp, curation, curated, exhibition, PS1, moma

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 160475
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/160475
PURE UUID: 56b19740-b797-4d83-b66c-89f590d00eef

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Jul 2010 08:56
Last modified: 13 Dec 2018 11:02

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