Critics’ Picks

Set North for Japan 74º 33‚ 2, (2000)

London

Richard Wilson

Gimpel Fils
30 Davies Street
July 11 - April 28

In 1996, Richard Wilson presided over the temporary closure of the Serpentine Gallery in London, taking its impending refurbishment as his cue to drill the building full of holes. Now, Gimpel Fils has asked him to inaugurate its newly renovated space. Wilson is best known for his gutsy approach to the reinterpretation of architectural structures. For the 1987 installation 20:50, he filled a section of the Saatchi Gallery’s cavernous interior with sump oil, creating a highly reflective surface and some extraordinary optical tricks. More low-key, the current show features drawings, models, and photographs attached to a twelve-meter-long rotating steel pipe. These document a commissioned project in which Wilson transposed a full-size metal-frame reconstruction of his terraced house to the middle of the Japanese countryside. The structure maintains the original building’s orientation, and so appears displaced and sunken partially into the ground, as if dropped from a great height.