After Mallarmé

12 Apr-19 Jul 2024

Large Glass
London N1 1DN


Mallarmé has had a great influence on visual art, ranging from text and newspaper collage in Cubism, through Marcel Duchamp and John Cage, to Marcel Broodthaers. Rather than direct influence, these exhibitions will 'read' the work of certain contemporary artists through Mallarmé.

The exhibitions will open with an exploration of the page as a place and the place, including the gallery, as a page, on which and in which the work of art becomes an event and a journey. Could these 'pages' form a book, and what, then, would be the relation between book and world.

Contingency is a state of potential, where things could turn out otherwise. Chance may be the outcome of a procedure, like throwing dice. The work of art becomes an 'operation'. During Mallarmé's speculative book performance, an 'operator' was to place pages at random on the shelves of a lacquer cabinet. Might the art work achieve a condition of necessity without abolishing chance?

'A throw of the dice' moves from shipwreck in a stormy sea to a constellation where the stars in the night sky are reflected by the letters on the page. The reading of the constellation follows catastrophe, the experience of nothingness and the abyss. It asks the question of how we find meaning in the face of disaster, of the past, and to come. As in Mallarmé's book performance, art takes place as the 'entr'acte' between world and cosmos. 

Curated by Michael Newman including works by Toby Christian, Peter Downsbrough, Cerith Wyn Evans, Florian Hecker, Marine Hugonnier, Glenn Ligon, Emma McNally, Hendl Helen Mirra, Susan Morris, John Murphy, Joëlle Tuerlinckx.