Published in Espace Magazine #111, Autumn 2015
Gagosian Gallery, London
14 April – 30 May 2015
Presenting visitors with a portal into a fantastical world where the uncanny rubs shoulders with the familiar, Robert Therrien’s oversized objects displayed at the Gagosian Gallery in London from 14 April to 30 May 2015 speak of childhood curiosity. The colossal sculptures are a bid, if you will, to preserve the fleeting days of innocence through the ribbons of whimsical narrative that run through the exhibition. The exaggerated dimensions of the everyday housewares depicted punctuate the rigid white cube, as the space transforms and transcends into the absurd. Hence, it is difficult to walk through the gallery and not feel transported back to a simpler time. Akin to the artist’s earlier works, the oeuvres exhibited dissolve the boundaries that exist between dreams and childhood memories; Therrien depicts humdrum objects that each viewer is sure to have encountered in their past, objects that we can only revisit through a hypnagogic exploration. Thus, his installations simultaneously evoke the wide-eyed idealism and trepidation of youth. It is this guileless awe that beckons within us the sensation of being little again. I find myself unwittingly reminiscing about Lewis Carroll and his Alice, who when faced with the little door she was too big to fit through drank the shrinking potion. Much like Alice in Wonderland, visitors fall down the rabbit hole when confronted with the inevitable perception shift that occurs upon encountering Therrien’s rounded artworks.