To Market to Market

Julian Wild

A solo exhibition of outdoor sculptures, related maquettes and drawings in Bishops Square, Spitalfields, London, E1.

courtesy of Julian Wild

On the occasion of Julian Wild’s solo exhibition in Bishop’s Square, Spitalfields, he will be exhibiting a number of large outdoor steel sculptures, some of which are painted. These are accompanied by a display of smaller works– mostly maquettes and prototypes for larger works – in a variety of materials including wood, plastic and copper. Wild’s sculptures embody a particular and subtle language, one that often recalls the lightness of a pencil drawing, the gesture of a confident but carefree hand. The sculpture, although usually composed of heavy steel, can seem weightless: more like a sketch in space than a solid object that is constrained by gravity and material density. Fittingly, Wild refers to the sculptures’ existence as ‘indeterminate drawings’ or ‘doodles in three-dimensions’, the viewer can continue the line in their imagination – an infinite number of ‘endings’ are possible for works such as Doodle Form and Salvia.

The title of the exhibition To Market, To Market is taken from an eighteenth-century nursery rhyme of the same name, where the short verse describes market activity. Bishop’s Square was once part of the neighbouring Spitalfield’s Market, and was thus a city location where fresh produce from the countryside was traded. Wild’s sculptures relate to this environment as they are frequently informed by natural structures (such as seed pods and shoots), and yet have an element of the urban in their angularity and use of industrial materials. Wild is interested in how countryside and city co-exist: the regeneration of a historical point of collision between these two worlds, and the migration of people between them.

In To Market, To Market, Wild presents his audience with a captivating and vibrant group of work, the selection of which gives the viewer insight into the process and evolution of individual pieces, as well as an impression of the connections between works that might not initially seem to embody the same formal or conceptual concerns. Wild’s sculpture is in dialogue with balance and tension, some works, such as Totemand Spring Greens looking like they could collapse at any minute. Tension is manifested in other ways too, such as the juxtaposition between materials and meaning. The works embody an energy that comes from within, that is strangely complementary with the particular, and somewhat disconcerting, effortlessness of the pieces. Wild is an artist-magician, creating situations that would not otherwise exist, such as suspended agriculture tools in mid-explosion, a knotted steel tube, or i-beams on the verge of toppling over.

© Alma Zevi, 2012.