Composite Order presents a series of new sculptures by British artist Neil Ayling (b.1983), exploring the interiors of Venetian churches and basilica, specifically St. Giorgio Maggiore on the Palladio Island.
Ayling encountered a number of these classical buildings on a recent trip to the Venice Biennale and became fascinated by a particular architectural feature dating from the Renaissance period called Composite Order, that describes a combination of particular decorative styles used to embellish the uppermost section of a column.
For his large-scale sculptures, that are up to nine feet high, Ayling used the photographs he made of the architectural details as a starting point, reconfiguring them by cutting and folding the printed image along the lines and angles of the building, creating structural forms that splay out in every angle creating irregular shapes entirely at odds with the logics of classical composition. Some of the sculptures are covered in fragments of the photographic images, applied using wet plaster, similar to the tradition of frescoes and trompe l'oeil common to Venetian churches.
The exhibition also includes a site-specific installation made in response to the gallery's architecture. Installed at ceiling height, the piece twists its way throughout the two gallery buildings, drawing the viewers' eye upwards and echoing the effect of entering the cavernous interiors of the churches in Venice.
Notes for Editors:
• Neil Ayling was born in Ascot, Berkshire in 1983 and currently lives and works in London. Ayling graduated from Winchester School of Art, Sculpture, and then went on to the Royal College of Art and graduated in 2010 (MA Fine Art Sculpture). Ayling was awarded the Stanley Picker Trust Annual Prize 2009. His permanent public commission, Vert, opened in Kings Cross, London, in 2013. His work has been exhibited at shows including Summer Mixer Exhibition, Joshua Liner Gallery, New York (2013); Objectify, High House Gallery, Clanfield, Oxford (2013); 'Dior Take over' for
Christian Dior, Harrods London (2013); ART13 Art Fair (2013), EB&Flow/BERLONI, Olympia, London (2013); Works on Paper Group Show, EB&Flow Gallery, London (2012); The Thing is the Thing, Group Exhibition, ASC Gallery, London (2011); Flection, Solo Exhibition, EB&Flow, London (2011).
• Composite Order describes the architectural feature at the uppermost part of a column that combines carved vertical lines on the trunk of the column, carved Ionic volutes and acanthus leaves of the Corinthian Order at the centre of the pillar. It is one of the five Classical Orders of architecture.