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One of the Most Radical Conceptual Sculptors in Britain - Roelof Louw at Richard Saltoun Gallery

  • Roelof Louw exhibition
May 15, 2016

Richard Saltoun Gallery starts with a series of great exhibitions examining the rich history of conceptual art in the United Kingdom. The Gallery is organizing a Roelof Louw exhibition – the first show in a series of four which are presenting and focusing on the history of conceptual art in Britain. We already wrote about the series of exhibitions at Richard Saltoun Gallery dedicated to the British conceptual art. The time has come for the premier exhibition in this series, with works by the well-known sculptor Roelof Louw. The show is titled Some Dimensions of my Lunch: Conceptual Art in Britain, Part 1: Roelof Louw. The title of the exhibition series: Some Dimensions of my Lunch pays homage to an unknown work by Ed Herring.

Roelof Louw exhibition
Roelof Louw – Soul City, 1967

The Art of Roelof Louw

Roelof Louw was born in South Africa, in 1936, but moved to Britain where he studied sculpture at St Martins in 1961. In the very beginning of his career, Louw became involved in conceptual art movement, participating in the key European exhibitions that defined Conceptual Art: Op Losse Schroeven, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and When Attitudes Become Form, Kunsthalle Bern, Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld and ICA London (all of them held in 1969). He was among the few artists from England who participated in these important exhibitions. But, if we had to mention one of many radically conceptual sculptures Louw made, it would be Roelof Louw’s Soul City (Pyramid of Oranges) from 1969. This piece is comprised of 6,000 oranges arranged in the shape of a pyramid that depletes as visitors help themselves to the fruit. This piece still raises controversies, but it’s still popular. Recently, it was named, by the press, as one of the “10 most perplexing works of the twentieth century”. And, actually, the majority of sculptures Louw created were either site-specific or audience-specific; many of them contain the interactive element allowing the public to become the integral part of both art creation and art piece. Today, Louw lives and works in Cape Town.

Roelof Louw exhibition
Roelof Louw – Rope Piece, 1967

Some Dimensions of my Lunch

Roelof Louw was included in the first anthology to document conceptual art made between 1966 and 1972 – Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972, by Lucy Lippard. The Roelof Louw exhibition at Richard Saltoun Gallery is titled Some Dimensions of my Lunch: Conceptual Art in Britain, Part 1: Roelof Louw. As we already mentioned, the title pays tribute to an unknown work by Ed Herring. The visitors of the show will have an opportunity to see Louw’s two contributions to the seminal conceptual exhibition of 1969, When Attitudes Become Form: Park Lane, which was exhibited at the Kunsthalle, Bern, and Rope Piece, which was installed for the first time since it was exhibited at the ICA, London, in 1969.

Roelof Louw exhibition
Roelof Louw and his sculpture (image via dailymail.co.uk)

Roelof Louw exhibition at Richard Saltoun Gallery

If you are an art lover, you must visit the Roelof Louw exhibition at Richard Saltoun Gallery. And, of course, additional three exhibition examining the history of conceptual art in Britain – exhibition of Marie Yates, Victor Burgin and John Latham from June 23 until July 22;, group show with a special focus on Tony Morgan that will be held from July 28 through August 26; exhibition of Ed Herring, John Hilliard and Keith Arnatt in September. But, let’s start with Roelof Louw. The exhibition Some Dimensions of my Lunch: Conceptual Art in Britain, Part 1: Roelof Louw will be on view from May 19 until June 16, 2016 at Richard Saltoun Gallery in London. The private view is scheduled for May 19, 6-8pm.

Featured Image: Roelof Louw – Rope Piece, detail, 1967. Images courtesy of Richard Saltoun Gallery, unless otherwise indicated.