10, 20, 30 and 40%

Art, Summerhall, Run Ended

There are people who downgrade conceptual art. They believe art must have either Rubens’s delicacy, the realism of Jacques-Louis David, Van Gogh’s wide range of colours or Picasso’s informality of figures and shapes. I would encourage those of such a conviction to see Claude Closky’s exhibition: 10, 20, 30 and 40% to experience how simplicity and clarity can be elegant and inspiring at the same time.

Seeing Claude Closky’s exhibition entails entering Summerhall, a beautiful world where all sort of unexpected things can happen. Summerhall is the best place to get lost in. The main staircase might bring you to the Titanic and lead you to Jane Austen’s ballroom, dinosaurs’ skeletons, documents of all types regarding many subjects, planes and animals hanging from the ceiling, a sinister sculpture dressed up in a Napoleonic uniform or to “the spider’s web” (also known as the library).

It is amongst this organised chaos where you find ideas in the forms of lines and shapes hanging on the walls. The simplicity is outstanding. However, you are immediately attracted to it. This is Closky’s special gift: his democratic “language”. Moreover, the directness and formality of his bicolour images invite looking out through the window and giving consideration to the basic roots that support the complexity of the world we live in, the challenges we confront on a daily basis, the catastrophes occurring in many countries. Visitors might also wonder how those perfectly traced lines can potentially conform the basis of a school or a nuclear bomb and this is the best part of the exhibition: it awakes questions and critical thinking.

In conclusion, despite the lack of delicacy, realism, colours or informality of figures and shapes, 10, 20, 30 and 40% is an intriguing and fascinating exhibition.

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