John Baldessari - Ear Sofa: Nose Sconces with Flowers (in Stage Setting)
Spruth Magers, London, UK, 2009
In collaboration with John Baldessari and the acclaimed production designer Naomi Shohan, Angles between Curves designed and developed a large 5 x 6 metre hand-stencilled textile screen for the exhibition.
The installation centres on an ear-shaped sofa, on which a model sits, posed and poised, flanked on either side by a pair of nose-shaped, wall-mounted sconces. A large decorative semi-circular arch frames the sofa. The hand-stencilled sheet of sheer stretched silk shrouds the gallery's glass frontage acting as a 'lens' through which the audience, situated outside the gallery, look. The palette, proportions, and geometrical forms deployed in the construction of the tableau are redolent of an Art Deco aesthetic, which further contributes to a sense of grand theatricality.
Opening on the eve of his eagerly anticipated retrospective at Tate Modern, Ear Sofa; Nose Sconces with Flowers (In Stage Setting) is the first ever tableau vivant created by acclaimed American artist John Baldessari, a living installation which epitomises the wry with, visual ingenuity and conceptual vigour which has defined the artist's practice for almost five decades.