Past Exhibitions

Since the 1960s, Willats has been considered among the most important practitioners of international conceptual art in England. His focus is on investigating urban conditions through communication processes, network formations and structures. In his work he looks at the personal living space and the values of the respective individual; how we perceive our surroundings, define them and shape them for ourselves. However, this is not only about the relationship between social groups and individuals, but also about the relationship to the semiotic systems, which affect us daily in the form of architectural structures, objects, and sounds, which shape our personal and social experience.

 

In the exhibition the works are integrated into an endless wall-drawing across the whole of the gallery space, consisting of continuous swarm-like, grouped, identical arrows pointing in different directions. The works on paper are drawings in colored pencil and photo collages. For these, Willats photographed the inhabitants of high-rise buildings and their belongings that surround them in their private sphere including telephone, television, supplies and other personal possessions. Objects that the people like and need and which belong to their habitat, objects which at some point were considered modern and with which people felt kept them in touch with modern life. While in some works Willats represents the relationships between people and objects as found, in others the artist creates new relations as in the series Buildings and Vases. The vases in these works are as monumental as the skyscrapers with which they are juxtaposed. On a structural level, it could be said that buildings are themselves vessels which can absorb something while externally retaining a concrete form. Thus, because of its structure, the tower block with its reduced and modernist façade, for Willats serves as an object of study in his work; an object with a simple, sleek exterior, but with a highly complex, cellular interior, where people live and create their own individual worlds. In other works from the Conceptual Tower series, Willats uses intense colors to highlight geometrically abstracted objects and buildings, which he connects to each other with delicate arrows. They represent another variant of the artist’s diagrammatic systems that depict or invent transformations, relationships and communication models. As part of this group of works the four-part work Life in Various Forms with its straight-forward title appears as a collaged manifesto by the artist.

 

For the exhibition Willats has created a video entitled ENDLESS. In it the artist refers to the ideas and concepts of the cyberneticist and philosopher Heinz von Förster and his concept of a “cybernetics of a second order”.

 

Although Willats’ aesthetically austere and at the same time delightfully colorful artistic language and his quasi-scientific, graphic formats are well-known, they simultaneously leave all questions open, since ultimately they are artistic creations in their own right. Thus, Willats’ work and his committed practice remain closer to real life than other contemporary productions.

Conceptual Tower No. 40, 2006
poster paint, pencil on paper
73 x 136 cm | 28 3/4 x 53 1/2 in
Conceptual Tower No. 41, 2008
poster paint, pencil on paper
86 x 141 x 3.6 cm | 33 3/4 x 55 1/2 x 1 1/2 in
Conceptual Tower No. 42, 2008
pencil,poster paint, photographic prints, photographic dye on paper
99.5 x 150 x 4 cm | 39 1/4 x 59 x 1 1/2 in
Strange Attractor No. 13, 2012
gouache, pencil, photographic prints, photographic dye on paper
103 x 141.3 x 5 cm | 40 1/2 x 55 2/3 x 2 in
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Strange Attractor No. 16, 2013
pencil, gouache on paper
90 x 138.5 x 5 cm | 35 1/2 x 54 1/2 x 2 in
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Strange Attractor No. 23, 2013
photographic prints, acrylic, photographic dye, pencil on paper
97 x 146 x 5 cm | 38 1/4 x 57 1/2 x 2 in
The World of Objects and the World of People, 2013
photographic prints, photographic dye, acrylic, Letraset text on card
82.5 x 113 x 2.6 cm | 32 1/2 x 44 1/2 x 1 in
In Two Minds, 2010
3 panels, photographic prints, photographic dye, acrylic, ink, Letraset text on card
Each 274.3 x 195.6 x 6.6 cm | 108 x 77 x 2 2/3 in
In Transition Series No. 1, 2017
photographic prints, photographic dye, acrylic, pencil on paper
78.5 x 144 x 5 cm | 31 x 56 2/3 x 2 in
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In Transition Series No. 2, 2017
photographic prints, photographic dye, acrylic, pencil on paper
86 x 134 x 5 cm | 33 3/4 x 52 3/4 x 2 in
Inquire
Confrontations No. 4, 1982
pencil, photographic prints, ink on paper
104.5 x 147 x 5 cm | 41 1/4 x 57 3/4 x 2 in
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Life in Various Forms, 1994
4 panels, photographic prints, photographic dye, acrylic, Letraset text on card
Each 87 x 60 x 1.2 cm | 34 1/4 x 23 2/3 x 1/2 in
Conceptual Tower No. 45, 2011
photographic prints, gouache, pencil, photographic dye on paper
97 x 134.5 x 5 cm | 38 1/4 x 53 x 2 in
Inquire
VDU Transformation Series No. 11, 1993
poster paint, pencil, Letraset on paper
107 x 107 x 4 cm | 42 x 42 x 1 1/2 in
Conscious, Unconscious Continuous Discontinuous, 2013
3 panels, photographic prints, photographic dye, acrylic, ink, Letraset text on card
Each 82.5 x 104 x 2.6 cm | 32 1/2 x 41 x 1 in
Tower Block Drawing No. 4, 1983
photographic prints, ink, pencil, crayon on paper
82 x 132 x 4 cm | 32 1/4 x 52 x 1 1/2 in
Tower Block Drawing No. 2, 1983
photographic prints, ink, pencil, crayon on paper
89 x 129 x 4.4 cm | 35 x 50 3/4 x 1 3/4 in
Hanging Around in Someone Else´s Dream, 1977
photographic prints, gouache, ink, Letraset text on paper
79 x 104 cm | 31 x 41 in
Buildings and Vases Still Life No. 4, 2017
digital print and pencil
53.5 x 90.5 x 2.5 cm | 21 x 35 2/3 x 1 in
Inquire
Moving Around, 1999
four panels, photographic prints, Letraset text, photographic dye on card
Panel One: 31.5 x 106 x 1.2 cm | 12.4 x 41.73 x 0.47 in
Panel Two and Three: 68 x 31.5 x 1.2 cm | 26.77 x 12.4 x 0.47 in
Panel Four: 60 x 58 cm x 1.2 cm | 23.62 x 22.83 x 0.47 in
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Variations Between Four, 2010
video
3:30 min.
Edition 1/3
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ENDLESS, 2017
video
6:50 min.
Edition 1/2
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Still Life With Two Vases With Diagrams, 2011
video
3:40 min.
Edition 2/3
Inquire
  • Artist Profile
  • Works in Exhibition
  • Since the 1960s, Willats has been considered among the most important practitioners of international conceptual art in England. His focus is on investigating urban conditions through communication processes, network formations and structures. In his work he looks at the personal living space and the values of the respective individual; how we perceive our surroundings, define them and shape them for ourselves. However, this is not only about the relationship between social groups and individuals, but also about the relationship to the semiotic systems, which affect us daily in the form of architectural structures, objects, and sounds, which shape our personal and social experience.

     

    In the exhibition the works are integrated into an endless wall-drawing across the whole of the gallery space, consisting of continuous swarm-like, grouped, identical arrows pointing in different directions. The works on paper are drawings in colored pencil and photo collages. For these, Willats photographed the inhabitants of high-rise buildings and their belongings that surround them in their private sphere including telephone, television, supplies and other personal possessions. Objects that the people like and need and which belong to their habitat, objects which at some point were considered modern and with which people felt kept them in touch with modern life. While in some works Willats represents the relationships between people and objects as found, in others the artist creates new relations as in the series Buildings and Vases. The vases in these works are as monumental as the skyscrapers with which they are juxtaposed. On a structural level, it could be said that buildings are themselves vessels which can absorb something while externally retaining a concrete form. Thus, because of its structure, the tower block with its reduced and modernist façade, for Willats serves as an object of study in his work; an object with a simple, sleek exterior, but with a highly complex, cellular interior, where people live and create their own individual worlds. In other works from the Conceptual Tower series, Willats uses intense colors to highlight geometrically abstracted objects and buildings, which he connects to each other with delicate arrows. They represent another variant of the artist’s diagrammatic systems that depict or invent transformations, relationships and communication models. As part of this group of works the four-part work Life in Various Forms with its straight-forward title appears as a collaged manifesto by the artist.

     

    For the exhibition Willats has created a video entitled ENDLESS. In it the artist refers to the ideas and concepts of the cyberneticist and philosopher Heinz von Förster and his concept of a “cybernetics of a second order”.

     

    Although Willats’ aesthetically austere and at the same time delightfully colorful artistic language and his quasi-scientific, graphic formats are well-known, they simultaneously leave all questions open, since ultimately they are artistic creations in their own right. Thus, Willats’ work and his committed practice remain closer to real life than other contemporary productions.

    Works in Exhibition

    Conceptual Tower No. 40, 2006
    poster paint, pencil on paper
    73 x 136 cm | 28 3/4 x 53 1/2 in
    Conceptual Tower No. 41, 2008
    poster paint, pencil on paper
    86 x 141 x 3.6 cm | 33 3/4 x 55 1/2 x 1 1/2 in
    Conceptual Tower No. 42, 2008
    pencil,poster paint, photographic prints, photographic dye on paper
    99.5 x 150 x 4 cm | 39 1/4 x 59 x 1 1/2 in
    Strange Attractor No. 13, 2012
    gouache, pencil, photographic prints, photographic dye on paper
    103 x 141.3 x 5 cm | 40 1/2 x 55 2/3 x 2 in
    Inquire
    Strange Attractor No. 16, 2013
    pencil, gouache on paper
    90 x 138.5 x 5 cm | 35 1/2 x 54 1/2 x 2 in
    Inquire
    Strange Attractor No. 23, 2013
    photographic prints, acrylic, photographic dye, pencil on paper
    97 x 146 x 5 cm | 38 1/4 x 57 1/2 x 2 in
    The World of Objects and the World of People, 2013
    photographic prints, photographic dye, acrylic, Letraset text on card
    82.5 x 113 x 2.6 cm | 32 1/2 x 44 1/2 x 1 in
    In Two Minds, 2010
    3 panels, photographic prints, photographic dye, acrylic, ink, Letraset text on card
    Each 274.3 x 195.6 x 6.6 cm | 108 x 77 x 2 2/3 in
    In Transition Series No. 1, 2017
    photographic prints, photographic dye, acrylic, pencil on paper
    78.5 x 144 x 5 cm | 31 x 56 2/3 x 2 in
    Inquire
    In Transition Series No. 2, 2017
    photographic prints, photographic dye, acrylic, pencil on paper
    86 x 134 x 5 cm | 33 3/4 x 52 3/4 x 2 in
    Inquire
    Confrontations No. 4, 1982
    pencil, photographic prints, ink on paper
    104.5 x 147 x 5 cm | 41 1/4 x 57 3/4 x 2 in
    Inquire
    Life in Various Forms, 1994
    4 panels, photographic prints, photographic dye, acrylic, Letraset text on card
    Each 87 x 60 x 1.2 cm | 34 1/4 x 23 2/3 x 1/2 in
    Conceptual Tower No. 45, 2011
    photographic prints, gouache, pencil, photographic dye on paper
    97 x 134.5 x 5 cm | 38 1/4 x 53 x 2 in
    Inquire
    VDU Transformation Series No. 11, 1993
    poster paint, pencil, Letraset on paper
    107 x 107 x 4 cm | 42 x 42 x 1 1/2 in
    Conscious, Unconscious Continuous Discontinuous, 2013
    3 panels, photographic prints, photographic dye, acrylic, ink, Letraset text on card
    Each 82.5 x 104 x 2.6 cm | 32 1/2 x 41 x 1 in
    Tower Block Drawing No. 4, 1983
    photographic prints, ink, pencil, crayon on paper
    82 x 132 x 4 cm | 32 1/4 x 52 x 1 1/2 in
    Tower Block Drawing No. 2, 1983
    photographic prints, ink, pencil, crayon on paper
    89 x 129 x 4.4 cm | 35 x 50 3/4 x 1 3/4 in
    Hanging Around in Someone Else´s Dream, 1977
    photographic prints, gouache, ink, Letraset text on paper
    79 x 104 cm | 31 x 41 in
    Buildings and Vases Still Life No. 4, 2017
    digital print and pencil
    53.5 x 90.5 x 2.5 cm | 21 x 35 2/3 x 1 in
    Inquire
    Moving Around, 1999
    four panels, photographic prints, Letraset text, photographic dye on card
    Panel One: 31.5 x 106 x 1.2 cm | 12.4 x 41.73 x 0.47 in
    Panel Two and Three: 68 x 31.5 x 1.2 cm | 26.77 x 12.4 x 0.47 in
    Panel Four: 60 x 58 cm x 1.2 cm | 23.62 x 22.83 x 0.47 in
    Inquire
    Variations Between Four, 2010
    video
    3:30 min.
    Edition 1/3
    Inquire
    ENDLESS, 2017
    video
    6:50 min.
    Edition 1/2
    Inquire
    Still Life With Two Vases With Diagrams, 2011
    video
    3:40 min.
    Edition 2/3
    Inquire

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