Contemporary Art Society and The Economist Group are pleased to announce a new programme of exhibitions of contemporary art at the Economist Plaza, 25 St. James’s St, London.
The forthcoming year’s programme will consist of six sculptural commissions by international contemporary artists, several of whom are making work for exterior, public spaces for the first time. The Economist Building provides the only public exhibition space in Central London committed to a changing programme of commissioned sculptural works by contemporary artists.
The first exhibition, opening on October 16th 2004, is by Steven Gontarski and will present a singular sculptural piece which forms part of Gontarski’s recent series of Prophet’s, versions of which have been exhibited recently in Karyn Lovegrove Gallery, Los Angeles, Kukje Gallery, Seoul and Grimm/Rosenfeld, Munich.
On top of a 2-metre oak plinth Gontaski will install Prophet Zero III, a fiberglass, cherry-red figure, nude but for a medico della peste, a bird-shaped mask with veil.
As with all of Gontarski’s sculptures, his subjects sit somewhere between the normal and the unnatural. The proportions of Prophet Zero III are not quite right, but at the same not so wildly exaggerated so as to be immediately noticed. Its lower half appears slightly pubescent and unformed, with its toeless feet stuck to the base whilst its shoulders and arms are more defined and matured. Its arm, together with a veil, shrouds its face; despite its bright colour the figure evokes a sense of silent and modest mourning. Just as the form straddles the real and the unreal, the work evokes both myth and current social observation to create a monument to art history as well as to contemporary culture.