Work of the month

Kim Lim

Source I
1988
Marble with stone base
82 × 45.1 × 33.7 cm /
2ft 8 1/4 × 1ft 5 3/4 × 1ft 1 1/4 ins
(including base)
Price on application

Our chosen work of the month is Source I by Kim Lim, which has been selected from our current exhibition of her sculpture and prints.

Source I is a classic example of Kim Lim's carvings, which typically explore her preoccupation with nature. Shallow incised lines ripple across the surface of the marble and Portland stone she has used, creating a gentle texture from the repetition of their rhythm and interval. Her intervention is relatively minimal, so that the stone looks as if its surface has actually been worn away by the elements over the passage of time. Rather than observed reality, it is the fundamental essence of things which Kim Lim was aiming to convey, and looking at her work today, one still feels their intrinsic, almost spiritual properties.

Kim Lim (1936-97) grew up in Singapore and at the age of 18 moved to London to study at Saint Martin's School of Art (1954-6) where she pursued an interest in wood-carving; she then moved to the Slade School of Art, where she concentrated on printmaking, graduating in 1960. She married the sculptor and painter William Turnbull, also in 1960, and settled in London permanently. Lim travelled widely, often on her way to or from Singapore, and these trips informed much of her subsequent stone sculptures, which are remarkable for their formal beauty, their grace and their stylistic simplicity.

Kim Lim exhibited at Roche Court in 1993, one of the first artists to do so when the New Art Centre moved from London. She had solo exhibitions at Tate; the National Museum of Art, Singapore; Modern Art, Oxford; the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield and Camden Arts Centre, London, and her work has been included in group shows and major museum collections around the world.

The exhibition Kim Lim: Carvings continues at Roche Court until 25 May 2014, which Richard Cork recently described in the Financial Times as a 'quiet revelation of a show' which 'makes clear Lim's ability to ally minimal forms with a vision of elemental forces, yielded a powerful body of work'.