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New White Cube opens in London
Mary Corse, Inside the White Cube: Mary Corse, White Cube Bermondsey, London, 12 October - 19 November 2011 © the artist. Photo: Ben Westoby. Courtesy White Cube.
LONDON.- White Cube announces the opening of a third major space in London. The building, located on Bermondsey Street in south London, will open to the public during Frieze on 12 October 2011. This will be the largest of the gallery’s three London sites, providing more than 5440 m 2 (58,000 sq ft) of interior space on a site of 1.7 acres (74,300 sq ft). The building dates from the 1970s and was primarily used as a warehouse before the current refurbishment.

White Cube Bermondsey has been designed by Casper Mueller Kneer Architects who are based in London and Berlin. The building has been altered to include three principal exhibition spaces, substantial warehousing, private viewing rooms, an auditorium and a bookshop. The ‘South Galleries’ will provide the principal display area for White Cube’s expanding programme of significant exhibitions. Three smaller galleries, collectively known as the ‘North Galleries’, will feature an innovative new programme of exhibitions. In addition, at the centre of the building, there is a gallery of 81 m 2 entitled ‘9 × 9 × 9 ’. An auditorium will allow White Cube to present an education programme, artists’ films and lectures.

The inaugural exhibition will be ‘Structure & Absence’, a group show that uses Chinese scholars’ rocks as an organising device to take a fresh look at contemporary abstraction. It includes work by Andreas Gursky, Wade Guyton, Damien Hirst, Sergej Jensen, Brice Marden, Gabriel Orozco, Sterling Ruby, Robert Ryman and Jeff Wall, amongst others.

To coincide with the significant expansion of the gallery’s activities, White Cube will introduce a new programme of exhibitions, ‘Inside the White Cube’, profiling work by artists who have not previously shown at the gallery. The series provides a platform for exploring new developments in international contemporary art, across a range of practices and media. The programme begins with Marieta Chirulescu, Mary Corse and Kitty Kraus.

Jay Jopling said: “The opening of White Cube Bermondsey is an affirmation of the ongoing strength of London as a creative hub and the next chapter in White Cube’s history. I’m immensely excited by the opportunities it will give us to expand the range and ambition of all aspects of our programme, not least the chance to make even more quality exhibitions with world-class artists.”

Structure & Absence
‘Structure & Absence’ is a group exhibition that features the Chinese scholar’s rock as an organising device or motif. A selection of scholars’ rocks will be installed in the galleries as unfamiliar objects, disrupting how we usually look at contemporary art. The rocks have a deep but ambiguous history in Chinese culture, acting as objects of both trade and contemplation. Although they are non-figurative objects, their suggestive forms also encourage the viewer to find likenesses of familiar things. Equally, the rocks demand close observation of their surface, structure and material. ‘Structure & Absence’ will invite the viewer to bring this blend of imagination and observation to contemporary art.

The exhibition will be divided into three galleries, each featuring works with a particular visual quality.

In the opening gallery, surfaces and surface textures dominate, and the work is characterised by organic forms and colours. The second room features brighter, more saturated colours, forceful horizontal lines, with paintings and photographs by artists exploring geometric abstraction and the legacy of the Modernist grid. In the third gallery, shadows move in, structures break down and colours are either absent or muted: any dream of order becomes a potential ruin, weakened by entropy and erosion. The three galleries of ‘Structure & Absence’ thus form a composition, with a rise, climax and fall, reminiscent of a typical dramatic or musical arrangement.

‘Structure & Absence’ features work by Andreas Gursky, Wade Guyton, Eberhard Havekost, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Sergej Jensen, Jacob Kassay, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, Gabriel Orozco, Eileen Quinlan, Sterling Ruby, Robert Ryman, Erin Shirreff, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Jeff Wall.

A fully illustrated catalogue, with texts by the art historian Dario Gamboni, Jerry Saltz and Craig Burnett, will be published to accompany the exhibition. ‘Structure & Absence’ is curated by Craig Burnett, Associate Director, White Cube.

White Cube | London | Casper Mueller Kneer Architects |


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