The White Cube has dedicated its North Galleries to the work of three international artists - Daniel Turner, Julia Dault, and Raphael Hefti - who explore the moment of transformation using slick modern materials such as vinyl and glass.
Room 1 contains Daniel Turner's oily black 'wall based works', which are like the futuristic waves of Zaha Hadid's designs. The influence of Turner's hometown - the dockyards of Portsmouth, Virginia - is clear in his choice of materials: bitumen emulsion, vinyl and wood. The paintings appear very fluid, which is due to the fact that the bitumen used is kept in a liquid form between sheets of vinyl. The small rectangular pieces, however, appear swallowed by the vastness of the White Cube's high ceilinged room. I question why Daniel Turner didn't decide to show off the unusual technique of his paintings on a greater scale in the huge gallery: it would have been fascinating to get a bit more lost in his in flux paintings.
Room 2 displays a combination of works by all three artists, including Raphael Hefti's museum glass unit, which leans against the gallery wall. The museum glass has gone through a transformation from having no reflections to emitting the colourful reflections of a petrol spill. You may have recently seen similar works at his solo show at the Camden Arts Centre earlier this year.
Julia Dault's painting Jordache can be viewed in the mirror of Hefti's glass, which is an interesting curatorial choice, as the painting containing fans of pastel green and pinks complements the glass's coloured reflections. Dault's paintings are the most traditional pieces, made by scraping away layers of paint with tools such as a plaster comb. Again there is a sense of playful transformation as the colours are revealed. Interestingly, like Daniel Turner, Hault uses vinyl as the surface of her paintings.
The walls dividing room 2 and 3 are marked by Turner's charcoal-like scuff marks, a couple of feet above the gallery floor. The marks appear light, almost like the marks you get on house interiors from smoking. There is a sense that the marks have crept around and they may just disappear.
Room Three includes Dault's sculptures, which are made from rolled up sheet plastics such as Plexiglas tied with boxing wraps and string. She uses metallic colours reminiscent of Jeff Koon's sculptures. Untitled 22 is made of sheets of black, gold and cream which are tied up in a bundle leaning against the gallery wall. There is something particularly intriguing in the way they are tied up by black cords - it's as if they could very easily 'ping' open. There is a sense of potential and time in the work; it could all change. Each work is embellished with the start and finish time - Untitled 22 took five hours.
The cathedral-like height of Room 9x9x9 is dedicated to Raphael Hefti's photogram and his steel sculptures, which have been deformed by heat over a period of five years. The photogram of the Lycopodium plant really is spectacular. Created by the light from the burning spores of the plant, the photogram captures a moment of multiple transformations.
You can understand why the curators have grouped these artists together, as there is a real continuity throughout the gallery rooms of testing and playing with materials and trying to present something of this tangible moment of change. Some of the small paintings of Daniel Turner and Julia Dault, however, do appear a bit lost on the White Cube's huge wall. Raphael Hefti seems to be the only artist who has really taken advantage of the gallery's size.
Overall, the exhibition presents colourfully rich transformations with a very finished and visually pleasing aesthetic. It is a good opportunity to see contemporary international artists such as Daniel Turner who is exhibiting in the UK for the first time. And if you missed Raphael Hefti's show at the Camden Arts Centre this January, it's definitely worth a visit.