This exhibition marked Glasgow based James McLardy’s first solo show in the North of England. ‘White Teeth in the Planetarium’ showcased new work supported by Creative Scotland and Hope Scott Trust.
Drawing influence from either side of the Modernist movement, ‘White Teeth in the Planetarium’ presented a series of dystopian sculptures made from pigmented wax, fiberglass, clear acrylic, paint and plastic laminate. Monumental forms and fragmented arrangements are dressed up in fake-façades, forging unstable material relationships. Ziggurats, ellipses and fluting dissect more purposeful lines. Art Deco meets Brutalism – Liverpool’s Queensway and Kingsway ventilation buildings in conversation.
A large folded screen divided the gallery, its thick waxy surface embossed with an Art Deco motif resembling a grandiose doorway or portal. Behind this sat a black shiny megalithic slab with a deep bowl containing a puddle of liquid. Upon this a fleshy lump of wax is sandwiched between the two sides of a clear acrylic shell form. Symbolism is embraced and abstracted here as with other works throughout the show.
Whether through detailed, opulently finished or more immediate processes, McLardy’s sculptures represent an artist intent on questioning notions of aesthetical and materialist authenticity through quizzical and sometimes comic means.