Periodic table

Wilson, K. 2007. Periodic table. Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London.

TitlePeriodic table
CreatorsWilson, K.

A commissioned centrepiece sculpture for The Wellcome Trust’s new museum in Euston. Wilson’s sculpture (4m x 9m x 9m) is installed in mid-air in their central atrium area, in a lightwell connecting the ground floor galleries with those on the first floor. Periodic Table is a sculptural installation commissioned by the Wellcome Trust. Housed within each of the galvanised steel

cubes are ‘elements’ of Wilson’s practice – small studio works that together comprise a form of retrospective. Overall, the

installation playfully subverts systems of measurement and control. In purely sculptural terms the piece tests the limits of what

an object can be asked to represent – from the level of the individual units to that of the piece overall.

Different organisational logics are at play in this work: some parts have relationships with the chemical elements they represent,

others formally echo their neighbours vertically or horizontally. Some parts refer to former works by Wilson, or echo studio

activity. This spiralling out of hermeneutic possibilities is itself an echo of the twisted form of the work overall. There is a

neatness here in the placing of the lanthanide and actinide series where they are found - which is the starting conceit for this

three dimensional model - rather than in their more usual location (in appendix form).

The piece is fabricated in the language of the farmyard, an agrarian structure to house what is an essentially urban conceit. An

earlier version of Periodic Table premiered as part of the Milton Keynes Gallery exhibition. In the context of The Wellcome

Collection, a multi-million pound new museum in the heart of London, it simultaneously manifests and ridicules the urge to

collect and to categorise. Periodic Table, Wilson’s first permanently sited work, is a central work to greet visitors, wrapping

around the museum’s main spiral staircase. It was funded by a £70,000 commission from the Wellcome Trust.

Year21 Jun 2007
Publication dates
Completed21 Jun 2007
Output mediaSculpture

Related outputs

Wilson, K. 2010. Ziggurat. Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery 23 Oct 2010 - 09 Jan 2011

Wilson, K. 2010. Things.

The gallery socks
Wilson, K. 2007. The gallery socks.

Forest of steles
Wilson, K. 2007. Forest of steles. ICA, London 23 May - 27 Jun 2007

Over under
Sabin, A., West, F. and Wilson, K. 2007. Over under.

Wilson, K. 2005. Galvanised.

The object sculpture
Wilson, K., Rehberger, T. and Tuerlinckx, J. 2002. The object sculpture.

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