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.