The Apple Tree, a large-scale, interactive installation by Barnaby Barford, will be at Expo Chicago September 19 to 22, 2019 via David Gill Gallery (2-4 King St., London). The exhibit includes work on paper, ceramics, time lapse film and architectural sculpture. Expo Chicago (September 19-22, 2019) is the city's only modern and contemporary fine art fair.
"Expo Chicago seems like the right context for Barnaby Barford’s installation, The Apple Tree, because the history of the apple is bound up in the history of America, especially pioneer folklore. Settlers planted orchards to claim land and domesticate the frontier, usually from seeds brought up the Ohio river by ‘barefoot wanderer’ Johnny Appleseed," says Sophie Hastings, Director of Content at David Gill Gallery. "These apples were used to make cider because trees grown from the pip produce mostly sour fruit; not until Prohibition was the apple rebranded as sweet and edible with the ‘Apple a Day’ campaign."
Hastings adds that the ubiquity of the apple in art history and literature has made it a transitional object and that Barford has created a new crop, 80 ceramic apples made specifically for Expo Chicago. The Apple tree measures 10 feet by 10 feet and has a trunk of gnarled steel and a canopy of plastic branches. The apples, bone china, activate the installation as the picker, the audience, reenacts the Biblical "fall of mankind." Each apple is unique in form and has a word, a message, emblazoned with a variety of words; truth, glory, individuality, equality, populism, greatness, immigrants, dreams, celebrity, diversity, discovery, lies etc.
This installation was created specifically for Expo Chicago.
"Barford’s latest body of work, More More More, which includes The Apple Tree and other pieces on the Chicago Expo booth, takes the apple as inspiration and explores our incessant need for more, its effect on the planet and in terms of our collective happiness. Hadid's examination of the interface between architecture, landscape and geology, challenging geometric norms and developing a fluid, expressionist vernacular, complements these ideas. In both these oeuvres, our responses to, and relationship with, the natural world are central," says Hastings. "Libeskind is also concerned with making connections, between creative disciplines and between humanity and the universe. A childhood musical prodigy, Libeskind says he changed his instrument from accordion to architecture and describes his profession as ‘the mother of the arts – poetry, geometry, the stars, history, dance'."
Libeskind's piece is being shown for the first time outside the U.K.
Hastings is enthusiastic about the gallery taking part in the Chicago fair.
"Chicago has a fantastic history as an art town, with top flight museums and seriously good art schools producing some of the most interesting contemporary artists working today. There is also a vibrant grassroots art scene which is the sign of a cultured city," says Hastings. "Showing at Chicago Expo gives us access to all this, and is the perfect context for meeting new people, starting conversations and developing relationships."
Find out more about the artists and gallery at davidgillgallery.com.