PULSE Art Fair’s signature PROJECTS program is committed to the presentation and promotion of audience-engaging large-scale sculptures, installations and performances.
PROJECTS | New York 2015
Scudder Towers Down, 2008
Video with sound on three stacked vintage monitors
57 x 36 x 19 inches
Courtesy of the artist and LMAKprojects, NY
Public housing and its diverse socio-historical manifestations is the subject of my recent work. It was the backdrop of my childhood, living seven stories up in the Linden House projects of East New York. I remember those stairs as a test of courage, a passage to get through as quickly as possible before something bad could happen. It was a daily reminder of a simple truth — architecture matters, the core premise of my work over the last ten years.
I begin with research, sifting through archival footage, contemporary news accounts, and local mythologies to uncover stories of life in similar places. I talk to the people who live there, traveling to meet them in neighborhoods outside the economic and cultural centers of New York, Chicago, London, Paris and Berlin.
Modernist ideology permeates these developments, self-contained capsules set apart from the surrounding communities by design. Untitled (Stage) is a detail from le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse (Radiant City) in Marseilles, conceived as a utopian housing complex but recognized as the prototype of public housing to come. Residents enjoy access to groceries, recreational facilities, medical and child care without so much as leaving the building.
Subsequent iterations reveal flaws in the principles behind these theoretically efficient human containers. Just because you can accommodate large numbers of people in such fashion doesn’t mean you should. **The Parisian Ville de Nanterre projects echo the same problems as Chicago’s Ida B. Wells housing development: joblessness, poverty, drug addiction, crime.
My latest series uses black and white imagery to reduce visual “clutter” and isolate architecture as a skeleton beneath the dysfunction. The Chambers series depicts quarters in urban zoos, environments contrived to celebrate the lives they constrain. The Reconstruction series dissolves exalted figures into humble places, pairing popular and historical found images to register present day reverberations of African American history from 1865 and after.
I present these subjects to reframe a problem, to move from a discourse of victimization to one of design intent. The accumulation of images offers the promise of insight—a way to make visible underlying patterns of thought that give rise to failed communities—and proposes new possibilities for rising populations transitioning from rural environments into megacities worldwide.
The Cloud, 2013
Hypoallergenic polyester fiber, speakers, microprocessors, LED lights
24 x 14 x 13 inches (dimensions variable)
Courtesy the designer and the SVA Galleries Booth C15
Developed while he was a student in MFA Products of Design at the School of Visual Arts (SVA), Richard Clarkson’s The Cloud is an interactive lamp that challenges conventional notions of what a lighting fixture can be. Using motion detectors and color-changing lights, the Cloud detects a user’s presence to mimic a thundercloud in both appearance and behavior. The Cloud also features a powerful speaker system from which the user can stream music via any Bluetooth compatible device.
Advances in physical computing and interaction design hardware over recent years have given rise to a new breed of smart objects. The Arduino prototyping platform has enabled designers to go inside the ‘black box’ of electronic devices. Meanwhile, inexpensive and easy-to-program microprocessors allow designers to better understand the nature of electronics, and thus aid in the creation of new and meaningful interactions.
The Cloud partakes in new kind of design, sometimes described as maker culture, whereby ideas and process are shared for others to use and expand upon. The Cloud’s code is available to the public to use and improve at no cost, helping to provide the blueprints for the next generation of smart objects.
School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for more than six decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprised of more than 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and 35,000 alumni in 100 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For information about the College’s 32 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, visit sva.edu.
Charly and Margaux, popularly known as Chargaux are a Brooklyn based art collective. As a string duo who both compose and perform original works they have altered the reputation of classical instruments and the people who play them. Utilizing elements of visual art and creative fashion, they continue to pioneer a new breed of musicianship. Chargaux will perform during the Young Collectors Cocktails, Thursday, March 5, 6pm-8pm (by invitation only).
Tea Party Dress, 2015
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Catinca Tabacaru gallery, New York, NY
Jasmin Charles recognizes each of her works as emotion expressed by color, rhythm, and simple geometry. Using synaesthesia, each work is uniquely defined with human qualities that communicate sound through silence. The layers are complex like any human is, and the technique is as patient as the creation of life.
Resin, found objects, paint
4 1/2 x 5 x 4 1/2 feet
Courtesy of the artist and Sienna Patti Gallery, Lenox, MA
Lauren Fensterstock’s newest body of work centers on her interest in caves, spanning a sweeping array of human history from the Prehistoric to the metaphoric. Fensterstock has been widely recognized for merging incongrouous historical influences as the trademark of her cut paper pieces. This newest body of work brings together the intricate shellwork of ornamental 18th century garden grottos with the organic geological accretion of natural caves. Wrought in her signature dark hue, these new mixed media assemblages take the form of ornamental stalactites and stalagmites enveloped in a thick surface of grey rubber. In turns, they evoke an aristocratic past, a primordial mystery, and an uncertain prediction for the future.
The Garden of Emoji Delights, 2014
Archival c-print mounted on plexi with semi-gloss front lamination
84 x 156 inches
Courtesy of the artist and TRANSFER, Brooklyn, NY
In ‘The Garden of Emoji Delights’, Gannis contextualizes Emoji within the iconographic lineage of the works of Hieronymus Bosch, re-inscribing his triptych by using the newsecular, pop vocabulary of signs and digital symbols. These symbols are as pervasive now as religious symbology was in the 15th and 16th centuries. According to Carla Gannis, Emoji add a new flatness to the iconography of the past, emptying it of controversy and replacing it with something akin to Murakami’s Superflat aesthetic questioning the “sins” of our contemporary consumer culture.
Wooden Houses, 2013
Oak, polymer, 12 Volt LED lights
79.125 x 78.875 x 4.125 inches
Courtesy of the artist and C24 Gallery, New York, NY, Booth A13
THERE ARE WOODEN HOUSES ON LAND IN FARAWAY PLACES
THAT DON’T COST MUCH MONEY AND STRINGS OF LIGHT
THAT MAKE PATHS TO THEM GENTLY
AND DO NOT TURN OFF THE STARS
Robert Montgomery’s signature light piece follows a tradition of conceptual text art, to which artists such as Jenny Holzer and Lawrence Weiner also subscribe. Although often linked with his London predecessors of the YBA generation, Montgomery stands out by drawing from examples of public interventionist strategies and brings a poetic voice to the lineage of text art. The often pacifying nature of his poetry suggests a steady faith that humanity can heal the ecological and emotional trauma of our times through collective awareness and effort, with a lyricism that recalls poets like Philip Larkin and Sylvia Plath.
Essential to Montgomery’s Wooden Houses On Land, which is made of environmentally friendly LED solar powered lights and materials, is the manner in which light and form converge with language. His direct yet tender approach engages the viewer in an experience that is enhanced by the communal quality of work.
“I have a fantasy about a really big, simple wooden house on the land. I think about that the whole time kind of his really simple, humble yet sublime, silent, hilltop retreat….I think I’m the kind of person who likes to be in cities and think about country sides.” –Robert Montgomery
Attic 3, 2014
Oil on canvas
60 x 40 inches
Courtesy of the artist and 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, New York, NY
Danny Rolph’s recent paintings possess a dissonant quality accentuated through vivid color and gestures that have a clearer association with forces such as motion, velocity and acceleration. The painted marks loop and fragment across the picture plane, building a psychological, transgressive pleasure that pushes and pulls the viewer across the surface. New elements of “Americana” embodied in the ruby lips of Dragster6 and the artist’s blow heater in JV3 are used as a way of breaking down the “fourth wall” between the artist and viewer and offer a nod to the influence of Jasper Johns and Johannes Vermeer upon his practice.
Aaron T Stephan
28 Columns, 2014
8 x 14 x 14 feet
Courtesy of the artist and Sienna Patti Gallery, Lenox, MA
Aaron T Stephan’s 28 Columns consists of an organized stack of classical Greek columns. These simple columns carry the accumulated weight of over 3000 years of history from the Parthenon to faux Greek villas in middle-class suburbs across America. The overall form itself, reminiscent of Richard Serra’s Torqued Elipses, is a graceful accumulation of its parts. The result is a kind of contextualized minimalist sculpture that – instead of claiming complete autonomy – embraces the historical complexities of material and form.
Rachel Mica Weiss
Metallized Vault-way, 2015
Courtesy of the artist and Uprise Art
Rachel Mica Wiess is an installation artist and sculptor whose practice is rooted in the craft of weaving. She creates site-specific architectural interventions as well as sculptures that combine textile languages with cast forms and wood constructions.
In Metallized Vault-way, Weiss has used tencel and metallic embroidery thread to create double archways for the PULSE NY lobby. The resulting ceiling and wall panels, pulled taught and seemingly woven into place, were create by hand-stringing tens of thousands of yards of thread back and forth.
The thread panels, which simultaneously fan open and close hut on both sides of the lobby, provide fair-goers with an opening and closing ritual. Made of X’s and angles that interrupt the right-angled geometry of the building, the installation recalls and reimagines the arcs and buttresses of Gothic rib-vault ceilings, transforming the Metropolitan Pavilion into luxurious environment. And, as one moves past, the thread appear to vibrate and shit, creating an experience that is both pleasurable and disconcerting.
Glass, corian, LEDs, electronics, software
39.4 x 39.4 x 3.1 inches
Courtesy of the artist and TRANSFER, Brooklyn, NY
Pixel is an interactive light installation activated by human touch. Everywhere, pixels radiate from behind glass—they are tiny, formless objects existing at a remove from our bodies; just beyond our grasp. Pixels are the ambassadors to the digital world, representing all that we have wrought there through carefully choreographed fluctuations: pulses of current that result in changes of color which in aggregate form graphics and with time produce the illusion of motion. Ubiquitous and invisible, pixels show us everything.