Wellington Arch

Exhibitions

A programme of exhibitions curated by Vigo Gallery will be on display at Wellington Arch in 2024.

 

Current Exhibition

Prost* - Henry Krokatsis – 26 April – 2 June 2024

*prost: common, everyday, mundane, but within which lies the divine

Vigo Gallery is delighted to present Prost* in partnership with English Heritage, a solo exhibition by British artist Henry Krokatsis.

Part of the exhibition includes a year-long installation that transforms the interior space of Wellington Arch, creating a functional yet subversive replacement for the existing floor. Although based on the Waterloo Gallery’s intricate border parquet pattern in Wellington’s former residence across the road in Apsley House, in place of fine hardwoods, Krokatsis’ remake uses two tonnes of discarded material. Rejected wooden off-cuts, abandoned wardrobes and broken kitchen units foraged from skips, have been dismantled and painstakingly cut by hand into 4,400 pieces, chamfered and laid individually.

In addition to referencing Carl Andre's minimalist floor works and the schizophrenic architecture of Karl Junker, Krokatsis’ off-kilter creation also consciously resonates with Joseph Boehm’s statue of Wellington (located next to the arch), made from abandoned French cannons, melted down and recast.

Recycling and remaking both material and its history, he legitimises the overlooked, ushering it covertly into the institution, Krokatsis’ installation ‘oscillates between the destitute and the divine’ testing our assumptions about function, value and status.

This marriage of make-do opportunism and highly developed craft skill is central also to the series of seemingly simple films shown alongside the floor. Made in collaboration with elite physical performers including Dana Fouras, ex-principle dancer for the Royal Ballet, Tatyana Ozhiganova, the renowned Moscow State Circus aerialist, and Harris Bell, current rising star of the Royal Ballet, each ‘actor’ wears a pair of socks, embroidered with a pair of words.

On his studio wall Krokatsis keeps an evolving list of words, pairs of corresponding forces like:

-Chaos / Order
-Intuition / Superstition
-Nihilism / Faith
-Truth / Illusion

These are metaphysical forces, hidden determinants that have a powerful influence, whether we are conscious of them or not. The sway of Chaos over Order in your life for example, will have a profound effect on you whether you actively contemplate it or not.

Book tickets

Image courtesy of Vigo Gallery and the artist

Past exhibitions include: 

  • Invincible Summer, by Erin Lawlor. The exhibition depicts snapshots of windows of time in the studio and come to encapsulate that peculiar life-drive that goes hand in hand with the hardest of times.
  • In and Through, by Matthew Burrows. The exhibition included larger scale works by Matthew Burrows, the fruition of his In and Through series which he developed during the COVID pandemic.  

  • Vertical Planes, by artist Jordy Kerwick. Vertical Planes is a playful reaction to history - or alternate histories - of Wellington Arch and some of the characters immortalised by it.
  • Pain Relief, by artist Ibrahim El-Salahi. Work on display was created by the Sudanese Oxford-based artist between 2016-2018 from the comfort of an armchair when he refused to let physical restriction limit his ambition.

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