Tom Ellis in the Front State Room
The Middle: Tom Ellis
at the Wallace Collection
Until 27th November 2016
London-based contemporary artist Tom Ellis has just installed a new work in Hertford House, home of the Wallace Collection. Entitled The Middle, the work comprises both paintings and furniture. The paintings are a series of sliding panels, featuring Ellis’s recurring versions of a Teniers the Younger painting of a shoemaker, which can be moved along runners into different positions. The furniture element is made up of ‘furniture-hybrids’ which can be flipped and transformed from tables into chairs and vice versa.
Installed in both the Exhibition Galleries and the silk and gilt opulence of the Wallace Collection’s Front State Room, Ellis’s work asks questions about the differing ways works of art are displayed in domestic and public spaces and also looks at the hands-on nature of the work of both the artist and the craftsman. With a clear fondness for things that are open-ended and unresolved, Ellis also seems to be thinking about how an artist knows when an artwork is finished. And what ‘finished’ means to an artist.
Occupying the Wallace very firmly and happily as a guest and not a resident artist, Tom Ellis has created a work that responds sensitively to his elegant host and its venerable art collection. Like all good guests, Ellis treads gently and does not impose on or make too many demands of his hosts or the Wallace Collection’s visitors. The Middle can be as complex or as simple as you want to make it. Or indeed you could just take the middle course.
The Middle: Tom Ellis at the Wallace Collection is on until 27th November 2016.
Monday – Sunday 10am – 5pm