artists who influence my studio research and artwork
Bombing Babylon, 2001, Ink and acrylic on canvas, 60 × 84 inches
"Mehretu’s paintings and drawings refer to elements of mapping and architecture, achieving a calligraphic complexity that resembles turbulent atmospheres and dense social networks. Architectural renderings and aerial views of urban grids enter the work as fragments, losing their real-world specificity and challenging narrow geographic and cultural readings. The paintings’ wax-like surfaces—built up over weeks and months in thin translucent layers—have a luminous warmth and spatial depth. Their formal qualities of light and space are made all the more complex by Mehretu’s delicate depictions of fire, explosions, and perspectives in both two and three dimensions. Her works engage the history of nonobjective art—from Constructivism to Futurism—posing contemporary questions about the relationship between utopian impulses and abstraction." https://art21.org/artist/julie-mehretu/
Elephantenhaus, 2003, Pencil and colourpencil on paper, 240 x 290 cm
"Much like medieval ‘memory palaces’ – imagined architectural structures, designed to aid in memorising texts – Schatz’s drawings attempt to impose the logical structure of actual space on the messy stuff of human thought. Like the partiality of memory, architectural drawings show an ideally unpopulated vision of the world; their ruled perfection is a kind of expunging of human unpredictability. Schatz’s drawings accept this, overlaying spatial information in complex layers, rendering the imagined space of utopian modernism uninhabitable and distant. Silke Schatz’s sculptures and drawings reflect her interest in architecture as both public and private space. A large portion of work in this collection revolves around an investigative description of her home town of Celle, Germany. Borrowing her aesthetics from Neues Bauen architect Otto Haesler, who was working in Celle in the 1930s, these works combine the bold colours and futuristic design of that period, as well as their associations with civic progress and optimism. In pieces such as Mothership, Schatz’s concentric orb is suspended as a mobile, its varying layers suggesting a balanced microcosm or engineering model. Finished on the exterior with the buoyant shades of 20th century idealism, the calculated façade conceals layers of images and text belying its authoritarian construction.
Drawing parallels between the social function of architecture and its impact on the individuals engaged with it, pieces such as Wurzelkind feature structural design as backdrop to Schatz’s own family biography. Her grandfather was an SS officer charged with war crimes; he committed suicide in the 1960s, leaving many questions unanswered. This piece features effigies of her grandparents, posed in front of a mural of Thears Gardenhouse, the officers’ barracks where they lived in 1942. The lamp was taken from this building, no longer in use. Schatz’s installation is both homage and spectacle: a haunting stage play confronting horror, reconciliation, and discomfort of identity.
Schatz’s drawings merge this inbetweeness of imposed structure and intimate negotiation. Based on Haesler’s own sketches, Elephantenhaus and Celle, Siedlung Georgsgarten appear as both architectural blueprint and ephemeral fantasy. Altering the original subjects to reflect her own sense of invention, Schatz’s drawings illustrate concrete space as a malleable construct, both directing and being informed by the viewer’s own memories and experiences." https://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/silke_schatz_articles.htm
"Using the mediums of sculpture, painting, and installation, Mika Tajima’s work is about control, performance, and freedom. She analyzes the evolving and amorphous zones that intersect productivity and leisure, examining how human behavior and emotional experiences have been transformed within the long sweep of capitalist development. Concerned not with the conditions but with the conditioning of modern human life, Tajima’s research-based practice explores the technologies and ideologies that cultivate the subtle molding of human behavior through aesthetic conditioning. In her Art d'Ameublement series, the reverse spray enameled acrylic objects are transparent shells that contain blooming paint mists made solid on its interior surface. Mist contained in the transparent acrylic shell. Each piece in this ambient painting series is subtitled by a geographic location—Medillin, Kuala Lumpur, Osaka, Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes—drawing on the psychogeographic associations produced by the affective names of industrial colors and paints. Art d'Ameublement refers to Erik Satie's Furniture Music (Musique d’ameublement)—a series of infinitely repetitive compositions meant to be background music for different occasions (aural decor). Spray paint is where solid substance meets air. Her Negative Entropy works make use of a Jacquard loom, considered by many historians to be a proto-computer due to its programmability using digital information on punch cards to generate weavings. The Negative Entropy textiles depict image information derived by Tajima from two sources: one, from loom facilities and other manufacturing plants; two, “lights-out” facilities, data centers where limited human oversight is required. In these textile works, Tajima is connecting two moments in the history of digital technology, demonstrating the malleability of coded information as it traverses from sound to image to exquisite fabric. Tajima is currently working on a commission for the Dezaifu Tenmangu Shrine in Fukuoka, Japan set to be completed in 2020. Her first solo exhibition with Kayne Griffin Corcoran will take place November 2019." https://www.kaynegriffincorcoran.com/artists/mika-tajima/bio
Cellar Door, installations, curated by Marc-Olivier Wahler Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 14 February – 27 April 2008
"Loris Gréaud is a conceptual artist whose practice develops through long term projects, always engaging in erasing the boundaries we trace between fiction and reality. His works and exhibitions can be seen as the punctual and necessary materializations of his projects and involve all kinds of mediums such as sculpture, painting, installation, video or performance. His approach tends to offer new modalities of appearance for artworks, as well as new ways of exhibiting and distributing art. A candy with no taste, a fiction without images, a solo without guitar, a movie screen that goes blank as you get close to it. Loris Gréaud‘s work is a captivating voyage in a world of reversed perceptions, where it’s possible to hear a color, see a sound, realize a score as an architecture and an architecture as music. This eclectic and prolific artist engages with all kinds of media while maintaining a linear and coherent aesthetic trajectory. The multimedia project Cellar-Door, a fiction having the artist’s own studio as its main character, and consisting of a performance, a series of installations, a concert and a musical score, has been shown at the Palais de Tokio in 2008. Since then his productions have followed increasingly striking and extraordinary directions." https://www.maxhetzler-publications.com/publications/loris-greaud-ladi-rogeurs-sir-loudrage-still-life
Zeittraum X, 2013, wood, metal, paint, 380 x 1000 x 47 cm, Almine Rech Gallery, Brussels
Memory wall, 2008, powder coated steel, 550 x 1200 x 44 cm, Einbruchstellen, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin
"Central to Strunz’s practice is the grasp and reflection of temporal, historical and spatial resonances, what she has termed ‘aftermath’, which echoes between the past and the present. Strunz uses materials and objects gathered from forgotten locations, and sometimes with obsolete or outmoded function. Employing various techniques, such as collage and mimesis, Strunz’s installations and sculptures act as trauma or memory; disrupting our linear perception of time." https://www.artspace.com/artist/katja_strunz
galaxies forming along filaments, like droplets along the strands of a spider’s web, 2009, elastic ropes, venice art biennale
"Having studied as an architect, Tomas Saraceno incorporates physics, engineering, and aeronautics into his interactive and evolving artistic structures. Using arachnology, or the study of spiders, to create structures that suggest alternative ways of living, he employs tridimensional webs to better understand how unique building blocks create distinct forms. Saraceno places spiders in cubic frames and leaves them to spin webs, rotating the cubes at various intervals to introduce elements of freedom; the process results in disoriented yet structurally stable webs. Translating the complex geometries culled from his spider studies into habitable structures, Saraceno has built spaces that merge art, architecture, and science, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Cloud City structure and Aerocene at the 2015 United Nations climate change talks in Paris. The word “network” has become a ubiquitous designation for technical infrastructures, social relations, geopolitics, mafias, and, of course, our new life online. [footnote Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social. An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).] But networks, in the way they are usually drawn, have the great visual defect of being “anemic” and “anorexic,” in the words of philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, who has devised a philosophy of spheres and envelopes.[footnote Peter Sloterdijk, Sphären III – Schäume (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2004) [partial translation: Peter Sloterdijk, Terror from the Air, trans. Amy Patton & Steve Corcoran (Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2009)]]; see also Peter Sloterdijk, “Foreword to the Theory of Spheres,” in Cosmograms, ed. Melik Ohanian and Jean-Christophe Royoux (New York and Berlin: Lukas and Sternberg, 2005) 223–241, see →.] Unlike networks, spheres are not anemic, not just points and links, but complex ecosystems in which forms of life define their “immunity” by devising protective walls and inventing elaborate systems of air conditioning. Inside those artificial spheres of existence, through a process Sloterdijk calls “anthropotechnics,” humans are born and raised. The two concepts of networks and spheres are clearly in contradistinction to one another: while networks are good at describing long-distance and unexpected connections starting from local points, spheres are useful for describing local, fragile, and complex “atmospheric conditions”—another of Sloterdijk’s terms. Networks are good at stressing edges and movements; spheres at highlighting envelopes and wombs.
Of course, both notions are indispensable for registering the originality of what is called “globalization,” an empty term that is unable to define from which localities, and through which connections, the “global” is assumed to act. Most people who enjoy speaking of the “global world” live in narrow, provincial confines with few connections to other equally provincial abodes in far away places. Academia is one case. So is Wall Street. One thing is certain: the globalized world has no “globe” inside which it could reside. As for Gaia, the goddess of the Earth, we seem to have great difficulty housing her inside our global view, and even more difficulty housing ourselves inside her complex cybernetic feedbacks. It is the globe that is most absent in the era of globalization. Bad luck: when we had a globe during the classical age of discoveries and empire, there was no globalization; and now that we have to absorb truly global problems…" https://www.artsy.net/artist/tomas-saraceno