You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation
Plato


POPart must surely be about balloons. After all the gallery is filled with thousands of the airy spheres, conjuring up suggestions of celebration, buoyant fun and comic potential. The four works in POPart certainly reflect these whimsical balloon origins. At the same time the artists take advantage of the unique qualities of the medium; a colourful, feather-light vessel of air that is able to move through space of its own accord, stack, change form, carry other objects and is capable of endless repetition & iteration.

But there is more. POPart invites you to think beyond the object & the medium and journey into an exploration of ideas and constructs. How do you interpret the measure of air in a space, is the inventive imagination sparked by the prospect of destruction, how is the shifting role of artist and audience revealed, how do these works relate to the history of art, how do we perceive truth ?

Four works, four artists invite you to think, feel and play. William Lamson, Karina Smigla-Bobinski, Ceal Floyer and Martin Creed are catalysts, rigorously setting in motion expressive, humorous and sometimes ironic propositions that may transform how you interact with contemporary art.

Martin Creed

Work No. 202: Half the air in a given space
In the late 90’s Martin Creed created the first of his iconic balloon installations. Work No. 202: Half the air in a given space is a room containing thousands of black balloons: a very specific shade of black, meticulously calculated and precisely inflated to contain half the air in the room (the feasibility of this idea quickly reveals itself as absurd). Creed once remarked on the comfort of repetition: this installation involves 5000 repetitions. His rigorous interest in expressive feeling and how we experience the body in space is also evident here. Work No 202 invites us to pass through and into the medium, become immersed and even lost in a repetition of black spheres; feel the work around us. Creed’s deceptively minimalist works have changed how we understand art.
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Creed
Credits
Work No. 202: Half the air in a given space

1998

Installation: Room with Glass Wall and doors, Black Balloons

1998

Courtesy Laing and Kathleen Brown
Biography
English sculptor, installation artist and conceptual artist. He studied in London at the Slade School of Fine Art, graduating in 1990. He won the Turner Prize in 2001. His work plays on definitions of art, using techniques reminiscent of those employed by Marcel Duchamp in his presentation of objects and ideas. It is the placement of the objects, rather than their intrinsic qualities, that often qualifies their meaning. In 1994 Creed formed a band called Owada, which he used as a parallel forum to his visual art practice. One of his best-known visual works, Work #200–202 (exh. New York, Gavin Brown's Enterprise, 1998), known as Half the Air in a Given Space, consists of a gallery half-filled with balloons, creating a visceral experience for the visitor. Creed also employs slogans in the form of neon signs, for example the phrase ‘the whole world + the work = the whole world', was emblazoned on the façade of Tate Britain in 2000. Creed lives and works in London. His work is found in collections and exhibitions worldwide. He has had major solo exhibitions at the Hayward, London Cleveland Art Museum, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Ikon Gallery, Tate Modern, Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Kunstalle Bern, Tate Britain, Venice Biennale, Singapore Biennale among others.

Ceal Floyer

Highlight
A single blue balloon lies on the floor next to a column. Ceal Floyer is celebrated for her deft and rigorous reconfigurations of familiar objects. On closer inspection the cartoon highlight plus the comic wordplay of the title allows us a revelation. Reminiscent of Duchamp’s readymades, Highlight is born from a long history of conceptual art that focuses on irony, wordplay and elevating the everyday object.
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Highlight
Credits
Highlight, 2006 CEAL FLOYER Blue Balloon, Gobo, Slide Projector, Column, Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York
Biography
Born in 1968, British filmmaker, installation artist and conceptual artist of Pakistani birth, lives and works in Berlin. She completed a BFA at GoldsmithsCollege, London, between 1991 and 1994. She is known for her work in a variety of mediums that share a wry approach to language and the semiotics of the everyday. Her work challenges and surprises assumptions both about art and the domestic objects that surround us. Her work is found in the collections of Tate, Museum of Modern Art, NY, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She has shown worldwide including Tate, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Kunstverein Kohln, Museuion, Italy, Kunstmuseum, Bonn, Venice Biennale, Documenta 13, Whitechapel Art Gallery.

William Lamson

Actions
Actions is a series of 33 rough-cut video sketches that catalogue different ways to destroy balloons. The vulnerable existence of the inflated balloon is painstakingly neutralized again and again by way of his home-built contraptions, weapons or set-ups. Lamson’s comic attempts to eradicate each balloon is captivating and reveals the apparently overactive workings of an inventive mind.
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Manual
Credits
Actions, 2008

Single Channel Video + Sound

24:17

Courtesy The Artist
Biography
William Lamson is a Brooklyn based artist who works in video, photography, sculpture and performance. Using simple materials his work addresses the universality of human struggle and how we create meaning through adversity. His work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and a number of private collections. Since graduating from the Bard MFA program in 2006, his work has been shown at The Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum, P.S.1 MOMA, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, among others. Recently, he recently completed two site specific installations for Storm King Art Center.

Karina Smigla-Bobinski

ADA
ADA (analogue interactive installation) is a huge charcoal-studded balloon that hovers in a small room. ADA interacts with us and creates symbiotic wall drawings like some unpredictable, hybrid plant-machine, or maybe the result of a biotech experiment. She is not programmed; she has a will of her own, is often unpredictable and displays a high degree of autonomy. Make the first move and ADA will draw you into her world, shifting the boundaries of how you define and experience the artist-audience-work assemblage.
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Credits
ADA

2003

Polyethylene Balloon, Helium, O2, Charcoal, Glue, Lights

Courtesy The Artist
Biography
Born in Poland, Karina Smigla-Bobinski lives and in Munich and Berlin. She studied painting and visual communication at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland and Munich, Germany. She works as an intermedia artist with analogue and digital media. She produces and collaborates on projects ranging from interactive and mixed reality art in form of installations, objects, in-situ&online-art-projects, art interventions and multimedia physical theatre performances, to digital and traditional painting, analogue interactive installations or kinetic sculptures. She is also a lecturer in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Augsburg (Germany). Her work has been shown in 32 countries on 5 continents.