Iconoclasts at Saatchi Gallery London Review

by Vera • 06 Oct 2017

The Saatchi London art exhibition attempted to bring art out of the mainstream with the Iconoclasts theme, but reviews prove it may have missed the mark.

The latest art exhibition in London entitled "Iconoclasts: Art Out of the Mainstream" highlights a term often used by art historians to describe the destruction of art. Iconoclasts, by definition, destroy traditional beliefs, institutions, or art. An example of this act occurred when modern consumerism drove the recent destruction of the Newport Chartist Mural. In light of this, we would expect to see some sort of artistic destruction or defiance that embraces iconoclasts at the Saatchi Art Gallery.

Iconoclasts: Art Out of the Mainstream features works by 13 artists, including these seven pieces by Los Angeles-based artist Mathew Chambers.

The exhibition showcased the collections of twelve unique artists in a variety of forms, from sculptures and busts to paintings and tapestries, all representing modern art and contemporary issues. The eclectic style was meant to come together under the unifying theme of iconoclasts. We can appreciate the symbolism demonstrated in each piece on display, but perhaps the theme missed the mark. Unfortunately, truly embracing the embodiment of destroying symbolic artwork or revolutionizing the art world may be too big of a challenge. We expected an attack or destruction of our current views in society or art in general. This exhibit displayed something a bit different.

Since iconoclasts in the art involve the destruction of images and religious symbols, this theme can hardly be considered iconoclastic. Upon review, these pieces of art fall in line with typical modernist renderings that have been produced for decades. While the artwork portrays emotional imagery, it does not embody the tearing down or breaking of art, religious or otherwise.

The gallery did provide some interesting concepts that suggested an iconoclast theme. For example, Josh Faught created works from torn pieces of tapestry ingeniously woven with symbolic materials to tell a story about struggles in modern society. Other unique art forms pushed the boundaries of the art world a bit, but nothing so overtly dramatic that it could be classified as iconoclastic. We found Thomas Mailaender's art of sun burning photographic negatives into the model's skin intriguing and perhaps a bit cruel. The photos reflect certain disrespect among society as a whole for our fellow human beings.

For those viewing these interesting pieces, we could point out that the art represents the idea of iconoclasts but it does not create them. A variety of artistic techniques employed in the gallery provided us with unique insight into the minds of modern artists. If we were to observe the artwork without any notion of a theme, perhaps we would gain a sense of urgency concerning the current state of affairs in this world. We are interested to see the concept of iconoclasts being applied more dramatically toward the reinvention of society. Join us out on Instagram for our latest art and fashion photos.







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