Oranges are the only fruit
Looking for an object to fill me with inspiration I walk around (and around) a local covered market and follow the scent of oranges and bright posters to a local museum to see how an object can be used as Art.
‘I’m having Art for lunch’ says a visitor as another orange is taken from the top of a pyramid. The removal of the orange feels organic as it fits perfectly inside the palm. The negative space of the shape assembled by Roelof Louw is growing as each visitor physically digests the sculpture. Viewers of the work approach the mammoth pyramid that originally has 6,000 oranges with equal measures of awe and excitement. With the room smelling acidic from the fruit that is slowly decomposing, the viewers around me embrace the concept of deconstructing the work with bold glee.
Louw previously exhibited a show entitled ‘Location’ at Modern Art Oxford in 1969 and was attracted by the space of the large upper gallery. His work is often defined by the location it interacts with; in the ‘Holland Park’ photographs planks of wood are piled upon dead leaves to find the boundary of where nature ends. His work endures in uniformity as it is made anew somewhere else exactly according to Louw’s original instructions.
Louw’s early sculptures prove seminal because they are made of cheap material and are not placed on a plinth. Copies of the brochure that accompanied his ‘Location’ exhibition are on show along with his own letters and images of his temporary installations. The hand-written communications that lead up to his 1969 show reveal touching honesty. Louw is open about his telephone being disconnected due to lack of funds but offers to purchase the photographic negatives taken of his work. Full recognition of his talents as a conceptual Artist followed and evidence of his importance lies in this gallery.
The black and white photographs of London’s ‘Park Lane’ (1968) are full of detail and strong composition. After closer inspection cast-iron wedges are found to be placed along the street, breaking up perfect symmetry and pointing out the areas made by man. Louw accentuates the barriers between materials that have been newly added, such as pavement to the road.
Depicting the uniformity of the classical architecture of London points out something that is established and ripe to be changed. The experiment to place the cast-iron wedges can be repeated but the space has changed. This highlights a duality in the work which although meticulously reproduced, demonstrates how a moment can never be regained and how the passage of time is unstoppable.
Eventually there will be just one solo orange remaining in the pyramid standing proud in the centre of the room and no doubt this too will be somebody else’s Art to be digested for lunch. A theme of the work appears to be that everything must go. Taking my orange, from ‘Pyramid (Soul City)’ 1967, and holding it in my hand I am consoled by the fact that we are what we eat.
Investigate the work of Roelof Louw at Modern Art Oxford until 6 April
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60 thoughts on “Oranges are the only fruit”
Great post and thanks for the link-back 🙂 by the way how do you get the list of links at the end of your post? Is it a case of writing them all out or is there an easier way?
You can copy and paste the exact list from the Daily Post list. That works!
I find visitors are eclectic in picking a post to try next so I like to have good selection. Variety is the spice of life!
I’m so enjoying your posts from over the pond! Weather back here is hideous!!!!
Ah ha! And paste it straight into your blog post when writing it or into that ping back bar at the bottom? Yes I usually feel guilty for not having any links on the writing challenges but always figured I would want to read them first but just don’t have the time to get through them before I publish my post. Perhaps I’ll just add a selection and at least others can peruse them and I’ll be able to revisit them at my leisure 🙂
selection sounds good! I will come and have a browse. Looking forward to it 😉
Ps we’ve had 3 “snow storms”, a mini tornado and sun in the past month… I got a sun tan a few days ago… Crazy
Modern Art Oxford – How did the orange taste?
Quite bitter but juicy sweet! Love oranges. Remind me of playing netball. We got them half way through the game.
Thanks for popping by 😉
I have so much respect for food artists, there’s always infinite possibilities to everything 🙂
This made me think a lot!! You are so right here I hadn’t thought of how Art with Food often is limitless and can be as big or as small as you want!
On another tangent the record breaking world’s biggest victoria sponge baking springs to mind. Thanks for comment 😉
mmmmmmm sponge cake….cravings.! lol
I love sponge cake. Not quite as healthy as a juicy orange though!!! 😉
Eh, Gotta indulge once in a while 😛
Ah true! 😉
Great post but aren’t those mandarins?
They were huge!! They started my journey at the covered market. They tempted me on to all things orange and then oranges and then via the posters to the art show.
Well spotted!!!! ;-D
Really interesting post. I’m not familiar with Louw’s work. You created a nice learning moment for me today! I just looked him up and saw many of the things you described. Thanks for the lovely review of his work. Hope you have a wonderful day!
He was a new artist to me. He is in his 80s now so it was interesting to look back at the work from his early years. I love it when a piece of modern art keeps its ‘modernness!’
Hope you are having a brilliant week! 😉
I love that, too. You’re lucky to be so close to good museums. I live 50 minutes outside of Washington DC and am lucky to be able to get there easily by taking a short car trip to the Metro and parking there. All of the galleries are my favorite destination.
I am having a brilliant, but crazy busy, week! Hope you are, too–minus the crazy busy!
Enjoy!! Crazy busy sounds lots of fun! Ah lucky you! Washington DC has blissful architecture. I only know this from watching West Wing on TV! 😉 Have a great week.
If you ever make it there, let me know. We’ll look around the museums together! I’ve yet to cross the big blue Atlantic to make it to Europe. My husband lived in Germany for 8 years while in the Army and did lots of traveling around. England is his favorite place. He vows to get me there one day!
You have a great week, too! 🙂
I hope you come to England one day! I bet Germany was terrific. Amazing landscapes I imagine. Enjoy DC for me! 🙂
I sure will 🙂
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I had art on my mind today and I came home to this lovely, critical post on art. Thanks for sharing, I could really use some Vitamin C right now.
Thank you. The room smelt so fruity I’m sure we were all getting a dose just by visiting! Weathers been so grey here nothing like a big handful of fruit to lift up the spirits 😉
I checked out Louw’s art after your positive appraisal. What a great concept, an art that is interactive and enjoyed at the same time by admirers. Thanks for sharing this tasty modern art!
Thanks so much! I have been having a great time on your site enjoying your posts of Architecture and learning a lot about Bernini. Brilliant to enjoy his classical sculpture through your superb photographs.
Thank you! My photos are not enough to capture his brilliancy. I didn’t know blogging would help me to learn more about other art forms in a fun way, so thanks for doing that.
Great story! Thanks for the pingback! Hope to have more great challeneges to write about!
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Great post, Lita! I wasn’t familiar with Louw and thanks to your great description of his exhibit got to meet a great artist. I so love the way you write! 😉
Thank you so much!
Hope you’re having a great week.
Great post Lita 🙂 I always learn from it.
I enjoyed the chance for me to learn more about a contemporary Artist I was unfamiliar with. I like Louw’s humour! Thanks so much for reading. I’m enjoying my visits to your site. I like your style!
ciao! in the moment…in the now!!!! i so like oranges 🙂
😉 love this enlightened comment ‘in the moment’ Love it!! Going to stay ‘in the now’ 😉 happy Friday.
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What a fun post. I think I’ll go have an orange.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I very much enjoyed your “orange as art” post and…yes…it made me want an orange too ;o)
Then my work is done! Have a great weekend.
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Thank you so much! Your posts are brightening up my day. Brilliant humour. Look forward to reading more on your blog ;-D
I really enjoyed your object post!: a bit of whimsy and insight 🙂
Thank you kindly! Enjoying your post-Olympics post. A good read. Hope you are having a splendid weekend.
Terrific post…and thanks so much for including the links.
Always a pleasure. Thank you for those kind words. Enjoying your posts.
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oranges are really beautiful fruits 🙂
Aren’t they? So uplifting. Stacked in a pyramid like I saw in the gallery made their colour stand out vividly.
Thanks for comment. I enjoy reading your posts and visiting your super blog.
I clicked on this blog link with a totally different preconception of what it would be about, as I am almost finished reading Jeannette Winterson’s first novel, “Oranges are not the only Fruit.” Funny coincidence. And the post was nothing like the book, but both are well worth reading!
Yes. You are right of course! The gallery was so full of oranges all I could think about was the Jeanette Winterson title! Such an amazing book and in some ways made the orange an icon. Thank you for the comment!
Enjoyed this post and enjoying your blog- I have nominated you for the Liebster Award (http://justbeverity.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/the-liebster-award-ive-been-nominated/) – happy blogging!
So very kind of you! I enjoy your posts and love your style. I may take a small while to get to respond to the award. I have to declare that I have been awarded this previously so will understand if you wish to re nominate.
No problem at all – it takes some time to post everything – but once I started I had to finish! Thanks for all your kind comments about the blog!
Enjoying your work immensely! Terrific blog.