Liverpool Biennial: Claude Parent at Tate Liverpool

28th October 2014 at 14:56


On 21/10/14 some fellow students and I spent the day at the Liverpool Biennial Exhibition:A Needle Walks into a Haystack. Our first stop was at Tate Liverpool to view the wonderful architecture of Claude Parent. However before this viewing we had time to explore the Tate a little further. We encountered the DLA Piper Series: Constillations (“Specially selected from the Tate collection, DLA Piper Series: Constellations encourages the exploration of connections between major contemporary works of outstanding quality and significance by arranging them in five ‘constellations’. Presenting more than sixty works from the national collection, the display offers an imaginative way of viewing and understanding artworks through how they relate to each other rather than chronological sequence.” -Tate Liverpool.)


Work that inspired me was that of Henri Mattise ‘The Inattentive Reader‘ 1919, Auguste Renoir ‘Peaches and Almonds’ 1901 and William Ratcliffe ‘Attic Room’ 1918. I think that these three artists demonstrate to use of very different styles of painting, all of which appeal to me and will continue to inspire me during my degree.

After a brief hour we ventured downstairs and entered the exhibition of Claude Parent’s architectural installation ‘La colline de l’art’. We were given a short introduction by one of the museum curators, she told us, “This space is an example of how the artist responds to our habits and habitats by incorporating geometric, organic and unstable shapes into the architecture. Parent transforms bunkers into slopes and builds walls at various angles in order to destabilize our relationship with the environment, throwing us off balance. Parent wants us to reconnect with our surrounds in a new way.”

Indeed there were sharp angles everywhere I looked, be it the floor, the ceiling, the walls, the pillars and the ascending stairs. Just by standing in the space I could appreciate what Parent had achieved: To make us reconnect with our surroundings in an alternative way. Instead of walking with ease around a gallery space, I now had to climb up ramps, slide down walls and appreciate artwork on different physical levels. This was now an interactive space that displayed artwork: I was not only admiring the work on the walls (It became a task to locate all of them) but I was admiring and constantly thinking about the beautiful architecture on which they were displayed, they viewing of artwork became an enjoyable and pleasing experience.

Aimee Desmond, Fine Art student. 

Photograph: Stephanie Strain, Tate Liverpool's Assistant Curator, gave the Live at Lica staff and supporters an insight into the Claude Parent exhibition.