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Indepth Arts News:

"Edge and Shadow: Nigel Hall Works on Paper, 1975 to 2002"
2002-09-06 until 2002-10-05
Art Space Gallery
London, , UK United Kingdom

Nigel Hall is well known internationally for sculpture of extreme refinement. He is less well known for his drawings and although they are included in major collections worldwide, there has never been an exhibition in the UK devoted to them. Selected from work made over the last twenty-five years or so, this show aims to reveal the evolution of this aspect of his practise.

Hall refers to his drawings as being " not studies for sculpture but related explorations, freed from the laws of physics that a sculptor must obey." and although emphasis shifts with time in their evolution, certain common concerns infuse the work so that they achieve a tremendous homogeneity: elegant formal restraint, geometric clarity, linearity, stillness, spatial interval and an interest in the ways that the mind follows the eye to imagine volume and space suggested by line and edge. They are drawings that tease the eye and intrigue the mind with their linear and volumetric subtleties.

In the early geometric drawings from the mid 70s, charcoal is used layer upon layer to build up a rich density of black with the pure white of the paper piercing through. Through the 80s they develop a sparse linear simplicity and in the 90s hard edged geometric forms, sometimes with blocks of local colour, are combined with loose areas of charcoal dust. Most recently the image is made up of a series of diagonal charcoal lines overlaid, one over the other, until a sufficient density has been built on top of the illusionary space afforded by the paper.

Also included is a selection of his rarely seen informal landscape drawings which Hall makes constantly wherever he goes. Recently these landscapes have focused on Switzerland where he spends time each year walking in the mountains, and although they stand for very different things to the abstract drawings, they do offer an insight into his endless curiosity with the world as he experiences and records it. They are part of the creative research that informs the main work.

Born in Bristol in 1943, Nigel Hall trained at the West of England College, Bristol (1960-64), the Royal College of Art (1964-67) and a Harkness Fellowship to study in the USA (1964-67). His work has been widely exhibited both in this country and abroad and he has drawings in the permanent collections of the Tate Gallery, Arts Council of Great Britain, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York together with museums in Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Denmark and Scotland.

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