Friday, June 09, 2006

ArchiSculpture (exhibition)

We've had Anthony Caro's Sculpitecture...

ArchiSculpture: Dialogues between Architecture and Sculpture between the 18th Century to the Present Day

Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg
Hollerplatz 1
38440 Wolfsburg, Germany
phone: +49-5361-2669-0
fax: +49-5361-2669-66

The reciprocal relationship between sculpture and architecture is one of the most exciting artistic phenomena of the 20th century. From its inception in the 19th century, modern sculpture has continually absorbed important new influences from architectural history, such as Aristide Maillol from Classicism or, later, the Constructivists from Gothic. Installation art in the 1970s even transformed sculpture into walk-in architecture, giving the viewer an entirely new perception of their own body. Conversely, in the 1920s architects began to base their building designs on sculptural forms. Current architecture has developed such markedly sculptural qualities that it sometimes appears to continue the history of sculpture.

ArchiSculpture, curated by Markus BrĂ¼derlin, the new director of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, explores this process of mutual inspiration in striking spatial displays. Original pieces of art by outstanding sculptors are juxtaposed with models of world architecture. The exhibition includes examples of both disciplines from the past 200 years and brings together the work of around 120 artists. The exhibition has been generously supported by Volkswagen Bank.

On the occasion of the exhibition ArchiSculpture: Dialogues between Architecture and Sculpture from the 18th Century to the Present Day the sculpture Jinhua Structure II - Vertical by the famous Suisse architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre De Meuron was erected near the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg on 23 May 2006. The sculpture with a height of nine meters and a weight of 12 tons is an example of a work crossing the border between architecture and sculpture. It embodies the change of an architectural design process by digital tools and was especially designed for this exhibition project.

From Arthur Lubow in The New York Times Magazine May 21, 2006:

The one Herzog & de Meuron project that has been completed in China is the small concrete pavilion in Jinhua's architecture park. It was designed with the aid of a computer, which generated a gnarled solid out of patterns similar to the openings in brick walls that had been created for Jinhua's new district. The architects liked the pavilion so much that they developed a vertical wooden version for a museum exhibition in Basel: manufactured with a robot saw under the control of a computer program, "Jinhua Structure II — Vertical" was the first Herzog & de Meuron project to be digitally made from conception to execution. For the park in Jinhua, the building technique was worlds apart. To permit the local workers to fabricate the forms for casting the concrete, the Basel office prepared section drawings, sliced every 10 centimeters on the vertical and horizontal axes, and faxed them to Jinhua. The dusky rose concrete of the finished structure has rough edges, and some of the openings are not where the drawings specified. It doesn't matter. The pavilion has a powerful and original presence. And, unlike its Basel cousin, which is sternly marked "Keep Off!" in two languages, "Jinhua Structure I" can be clambered over freely.

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I am exploring a hybrid form of art and design practice through the use of computer-based design and fabrication tools. I am interested in experimental objects and spaces that are dynamic and responsive and seek to challenge perceptions, expectations and established behavior.

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