Dream No Small Dreams at the Ronchini Gallery
Three New York artists, Adrien Broom, Thomas Doyle and Patrick Jacobs, give London an interesting perspective on the world and alternative realities at the Ronchini Gallery. Despite the name, the smaller details are at the heart of this exhibition.
Adrien Broom’s Frames of Mind series of constructed photographs focus on the natural, emphasising trees and forests. However, there are elements that undercut this recognisable landscape, and add hints of the otherworldly in very interesting ways.
Patrick Jacobs’ work appears through portholes set into the walls: tiny, ultra-realistic sculptures that you’d be forgiven for mistaking for extremely hi-res photos are seen through fish-eye lenses. Grasslands and rivers stretch out into the distance, giving a sense of scale to the three scenes that belies their miniature reality. Looking through the lenses there is an odd impression of looking down a rabbit hole and staring into another world.
Thomas Doyle’s models are set in large glass domes like inverted test tubes or huge snow globes. They are intricately detailed scenes of destruction revolving around the traditional American house. These houses waver precariously on the edges of cliffs or fall into great sinkholes, while small human figures look on. As with the Like the other artists, the natural world seems to be a central theme, yet here there are people climbing ladders that rise into the sky from nowhere, while a succession of houses plummet towards the ground. It’s an odd and vaguely disconcerting continuation of the idea of alternative reality.
This isn’t a show to forget in a hurry. There’s a very strong sense that there is a series of dots that could be connected somehow, which would cause everything on display to suddenly make perfect sense. The exhibition has an intriguing undercurrent of the real mixing with the unreal. It’s not overstated, but it’s not trying too hard to be subtle and pseudo-metaphorical either. By doing this it mercifully avoids falling into the bottomless pit of pretentiousness.
Dream No Small Dreams is at the Ronchini Gallery, from 6th September until 5th October 2013, for further information visit here.