The high ceilings, Victorian architecture, shiny parquet flooring and pristine white walls of The Holden Gallery in Manchester have always made for an inspiring space – filled with a sense of energy, promise and potential. For Lothar Götz, such a room is a gift.
The German artist is celebrated for his large-scale geometric wall paintings that respond to the interiors and exteriors of buildings. For his upcoming solo exhibition, Pool, he was struck by how the Holden’s vast and echoing gallery is like an empty swimming pool. Responding to the urge to fill it with water, he has instead flooded the room with a bright explosion of colour; using the walls themselves as his blank canvas. Gotz is interested in how a work can be experienced by one’s whole body and, with all furniture and temporary partitions removed from the cavernous space, the mural’s unbroken effect is truly immersive; submerging the viewer in colour.
Pool also responds to the way in which we treat and relate to built space. During a site visit, the artist became fascinated by the opposing efforts to preserve the unique history and character of the space by retaining its grand stone arches and pillars, whilst the neutralising white walls conversely aim to provide a blank canvas for each new exhibition; erasing the traces of all that’s been shown before.
Visitors to Leeds Art Gallery will already be familiar with Götz’ work from his ambitious staircase commission, Xanadu, that links the building’s ground and first floor – similarly filling the space with colour. For those hungry for more, head southwards to Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne where his remarkable commission (largest to date) Dance Diagonal will be on display until 2024.
The exhibition is open Wednesdays to Saturdays, 12pm-4pm.