White Cube

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Walking along Bermonsday Street towards the White Cube gallery, one does not expect to see a structure of this size between brick wall London buildings.

I visited the White Cube on Thursday, 5 October, when three exhibitions were taking place: Damián Ortega: Play Time, Cerith Wyn Evans and Ann Veronica Janssens. I was fascinated by Janssens’ work.

I was even more fascinated however by the architecture of the White Cube itself. It is the perfect example of a white wall gallery, with plenty of space and room for exhibits to be the best possible versions of themselves. I wondered how space affects art. How the role of the container affects the content. White space—or negative space as it is often known—in web and user interface design is the nothingness, the empty space introduced by the designer in order to allow content to breath; in order for the human experiencing the design, to be able to focus on what is absolutely necessary, with the absence of destructive clutter. The same applies to typography: space between letters and lines affects readability.

In such a sterile space, artworks are given all the attention they need. The viewer is not distracted by other pieces of art and, having room to breath, manages to focus and connect with the exhibits in a way various museums fail to provide.

I am of the opinion, however, that in certain spaces—possibly the White Cube being one of them—such a minimalistic environment might go as far as flattering art, arguably giving it greater significance that it deserves. Reflecting on my visit to the White Cube, I realised that while I was walking around going from one exhibition to the other, it was the minimalistic feel to the space itself that made me focus on the exhibits and be amazed, possibly on a much deeper level than I would if I saw the same pieces of art elsewhere.