REVIEW: Metal, Ink and Dye: Late Works from Captiva Island, BASTIAN Gallery

Having been set to open at the gallery earlier this month, the gallery have transformed it into an online experience.

(c)Luke Andrew Walker.

With galleries and museums still currently closed under current restrictions, the art world has been forced to have a rethink as to how to make art accessible for people. In order to do so, BASTIAN gallery have now made its latest exhibition available to view via its website , exploring a selection of works by Robert Rauschenberg.

Specifically, the main focus on this compact and concise display is a selection of the works from his Glut series (1986-89 and 1991-94) and innovative dye-transfer works from the Anagram (A Pun) (1997- 2000) and Short Stories (2000-2002) series.

Having moved to the island of Captiva in 1968, Rauschenberg’s work as see here have a particular thoughtfulness about them as well as making a pointed message about America’s obsession with extravagance – highlighted through each of his Glut sculptures.

(c)Luke Andrew Walker

In this online exhibition, the gallery does its best to really try and capture the power of each of the pieces of work on display. However, due to the limited scale of the display it can be difficult for a newcomer to his work to really appreciate it in the same way that we might have done had we seen it in person or even in a more extensive exhibition.

The video that the gallery has recorded alongside it gives a little more insight into the idea behind the display which is great, but it would have been lovely to hear more details about each of the pieces from the narrator rather than having to read the information.

However, what we do take away from this exhibition is the way each piece feels really grounded in reality, with each piece having been carefully selected to fit in with the idea behind the exhibition. It really offers a tantalising hint of what this exhibition could be if it had additional works and context attached to it.

For those who are extremely familiar with Rauschenberg’s work, it is certainly worth viewing. Those who are interested but unfamiliar with the artist may need to do some research first. It should be noted that given the current circumstances, it really is admirable that the gallery has put together a range of ways to explore the exhibition at considerably short notice.

By Emma Clarendon

Metal, Ink & Dye: Late Works from Captiva Island can be viewed through the BASTIAN gallery’s website , with a narrated video available to view here.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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