Last night was the preview of Legacies: JMW Turner and Contemporary Art Practice at The New Art Gallery Walsall. Turner’s works are exhibited alongside contemporary art works which respond to the artist’s oeuvre. It displays how Turner’s influence has carried on into art practices today.
Highlights include Cornelia Parker’s ghostly gallery of Turner’s canvas liners and tacking edges. The small darkened room is reminiscent of a shrine, the stained canvases questioning the nature of authorship in an eerie manner.
Another interesting work is Dorothy Cross’s Basking Shark (2013), a boat frame covered in shark skin. It takes a minute before realising that the covering was animal skin rather than painted paper! This leads one to consider the power of the gallery to lull the viewers into making false assumptions.
John Smith’s Horizon (Five Pounds a Belgian) (2012) is another engaging piece. This video installation consists of a series of clips of waves washing onto shore. The serene sounds of the waves echo the feelings evoked in one of Turner’s vast sunsets. This piece serves as a quiet sanctuary in a dark room, away from the busier surrounding galleries.
Legacies: JMW Turner and Contemporary Art Practice is open until 14th January 2018.