2 June–31 August, 2020
Piccadilly Circus
Underground Station

We stand urgently together with Black Lives Matter. In support of the movement, 50% of proceeds from the sale of all works in the exhibition will be donated to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and Black Minds Matter UK. MPJI protects the human rights of Black transgender people. Black Minds Matter connects Black individuals and families with professional mental health services across the UK. We ask you, if you are able, to donate to organisations dedicated to ending the racism and violence that Black people and people of colour face every day. A list of initiatives to donate to is available here.

Soft Opening is pleased to present a new exhibition of works by Anne Libby.

Libby’s work considers the power structures that surround us on a granular and macro level—the latter via her use of plays of light that subtly destabilise their mass. Dilated Sky, the artist’s first solo exhibition at Soft Opening, continues her observations of the exteriors of glass-curtain buildings. Here, the shells of these commonplace yet formidable urban structures are seen opened out by light refracted from the sky and bouncing from building to building to create moments of unintended, organic exchange between them. In the three sculptures on view, each constructed from soft polyester and reflective Scotchliteô material, brittle surfaces are translated into quilts that capture the shifts in light on the competing glass panes of these buildings as they are viewed from the street. This dichotomy between light and mass is amplified by Soft Opening’s subterranean glassed-in atrium space, itself situated below Piccadilly Circus, one of London’s major hubs of commerce that is also home to some of the city’s most arresting and immersive neon and video displays.

“Dilation” is commonly associated with a swelling of the pupil, and while the towering stature of her subjects creates an oculus-like, contained experience of the sky, the glass windows that sheathe them—which Libby uses as references—similarly expand its optical reach in unpredictable ways. Captured light activates these sculptures, shifting their register as the viewer moves around them and giving them a mesmerising biomorphic cast.

—Cat Kron

Anne Libby (b. 1987, Los Angeles, California) received her B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island in 2009 and completed her M.F.A. from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York in 2017. Recent solo exhibitions include: Anne Libby: Form Constant, Ribordy Thetaz, Geneva, Switzerland (2019); The Golden Door, Magenta Plains, New York, NY (2018); Anne Libby, The Downer, Berlin, Germany (2018); Earthflash, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2018); Anne Libby, Zak’s Project Space, Brooklyn, NY (2017); Marrow into Moxie, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2015); Lillies Lamellae, Metropolitan Structures, Baltimore, MD (2015); Les Annelés, Violet’s Cafe, Brooklyn, NY (2015). Her work has been included in group exhibitions across New York, California, Florida and Europe. She lives and works in New York.


Exhibition pamphlet