Exhibitions2022In Search of Ariadne

In Search of Ariadne

5 Oct 22 - 5 Feb 23

The Heong Gallery, Cambridge

In Search of Ariadne coincided with the permanent installation of Turk's Ariadne Wrapped outside Cambridge Rail Station. The exhibition, at the Heong Gallery, unravels the cultural meme of the reclining figure in art.

The form of the sculpture is familiar from centuries of depictions of reclining forms from Michelangelo to Henry Moore. Turk uses this familiarity to subvert the viewers expectations. His Ariadne is under cover, forever hidden. Wrapped and secured with ropes, she seems to be in transit; between places; on her way.

Like Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s wrapped objects and buildings, Turk’s wrapped sculpture brings form and volume into sharp focus by obscuring detail and specifics. In the vein of Man Ray’s surrealist masterpiece, The Enigma of Isidore Ducasse, Turk’s Ariadne also transforms a well-known form to one that is mysterious and unknowable.

The exhibition at The Heong Gallery explores the metaphysical, art historical, and social underpinnings of Ariadne Wrapped, giving visitors the tools to unwrap and unpack the form, context, and narratives wrapped up in the sculpture.

‘The reclining figure is now a chrysalis transforming into something else’ - Gavin Turk