Blain Southern: Damien Hirst & Felix Gonzalez-Torres 'Candy' (until 30th November 2013)
Despite the successful contrast between the white gallery walls at Blain Southern, W1, and the collection's bright, busy pieces, the curation of 'Candy' is confusing. Hirst's pieces have been staggered beautifully; there is much debate and controversy around his work as a whole (which consequently makes him a successful contemporary artist) but personally I found depth in his 'Visual Candy' pieces, which I will eventually elaborate on. However although I appreciate that the nature of Gonzalez-Torres' work is not intended to be curated in a traditional manner, it does not seem to adhere to the flow of either the gallery or the exhibition.
So it is the latter artist's work that I shall address first. Upon entering the gallery, the viewer does not notice one piece of work before the other, which is largely due to the consistent bright colours throughout. In fact, as Gonzalez-Torres was a minimalist installation artist and sculptor, whose work was intended to be potent in a way other than visual, this makes the installation more intriguing and requires multiple viewings to try to comprehend it. (Each one of his installations within 'Candy' is named 'Untitled', so please bear with me)
His first installation, pictured below, is a 'heap' of candied sweets, which are replaced at each exhibition. Personally it reminded me of Christmas; but of course, the packaging and bright colours all present the superficiality of the season, a constant facade that we are all too willing to submit to. Feigning happiness is an overriding theme in the exhibition, as will become more apparent in some of Hirst's pieces. The messy heap in which the sweets are presented highlights further the force and ludicrous demands of the West to have all we want, yet what we find instead is an excess, lacking what we really need.