From Andrew Frost…
Just what is it about the concept of the sublime that has made such a forceful comeback in recent years? A concept mostly forgotten in art for most of the 20th century, it made a brief reappearance as in abstract painting where it resided for several decades – and continues to linger – before reasserting itself in the spectacular effects of contemporary disaster movies. Now, in the opening decades of the 21st century, a concept with a history that is dated to 1AD the sublime is again the stuff of contemporary art. Maybe it has something to do with the end of the world, the one we imagine, and the one that greets us when the average temperature heads north of another 5 degrees – who can say?
Meanwhile, artists such as Lisa Sammut are investigating a contemporary sublime in her beautiful, handmade installations using clockwork mechanisms, overhead projectors and video works to find the magic in the landscape, in mountains and in stellar fields. Sammut, with only a couple of shows to her credit, has already developed a distinctive look for her work and, while the subject of her art may be familiar, it reminds us why the sublime remains a powerful idea: the universe is a big and lonely place.
Until September 7
Archive Space, Newtown.
Pic: Lisa Sammut, Untitled, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Archive Space.