Best known for her later, abstract sculptures combining traditional materials like wood, stone and bronze, with others such as steel, beeswax, oil and silk, Alison Wilding is considered to be one of Britain’s foremost sculptors.
A new exhibition at the Whitworth brings together a series of works spanning the past 20 years of the Turner Prize nominee’s career, including In a Dark Wood (2012) – a dynamic, almost hologram-like structure made of reclaimed laminated iroko timber and acrylic, which has never previously been publicly shown. A new piece, Reversing (2017), will also feature in the show, and takes the form of a hand-printed Japanese wallpaper that playfully reworks William Morris’ signature, hypnotic Acanthus motif asymmetrically.
At the heart of Wilding’s work is an ongoing interest in seemingly opposition. Contrasting materials, textures and colours, as well as other polarities such as light and dark, revelation and concealment, feature throughout her practice; repeatedly confounding the viewer’s expectations and asking us to reconsider the world around us.
Presented within the aesthetically-sympathetic surroundings of the Whitworth, Wildings’s exhibition looks set to hold all the haptic appeal and visual curiosity that makes her work such a delight to encounter.