It wasn’t until the very last day of the exhibit that I made it over to Bitforms Gallery to check out Israeli-American artist Daniel Rozin’s 3-piece interactive show, Sol. To be honest, I was most interested in a piece that everyone seemed to be writing about, a kinetic sculpture/installation called Cracked Mud (2019), which mimics the cracked surface of a dry river bed, stretched out under a glowing sun-like orb.
According to the exhibit press release, “the effects of climate change are causing lakes to warm faster than the oceans and air, leading to a vast increase of dried riverbeds. Cracked Mud emulates this environment with a large-scale floor installation that takes over most of the gallery space.
A barren landscape illuminated by a glowing sun is suddenly transformed into dynamic, undulating motion by sensors that transmit the observer’s gestures into gradual ripples across the ceramic landscape.
Check Out My Video, Below:
The work performs as both an interactive and generative experience through programmed periods of activity. Although the artwork is intrinsically mechanical, the rippling effect gracefully echoes the fluidity of nature. Rozin’s ceramic fragments marry the handmade qualities of natural materials with the exactitude of kinetic technology.”
It was very fun and cool to watch the “Mud” react to my movements as I walked around the installation, and the gallery was empty while I shot the video so, except for a slight cough off-screen from the gallery docent, it was nice and quiet as well.
While I’m a bit “Late to the Ball, Cinderella” in getting these photos up — as the exhibit closed on April 23rd — I can’t resist sharing the amazing works of artist Tim Hawkinson. I first became aware of Hawkinson last summer, when my friend Evelyn raved about him to me in conversation, and since then he has become one of my favorite contemporary artists — particularly for his inventive and humorous kinetic sculptures. Pace Gallery recently hosted a very fun and eclectic retrospective of Tim Hawkinson’s work called Counterclockwise. For the work pictured above, Bikini (1993, reworked in 2014), Hawkinson wove electrical cords into this familiar object of clothing. Like other sculptures in this series (began in 1991, which also includes socks, shorts and a bra) Bikini maintains the original function of the extension chord; in this case, it powers Signature, the sculpture directly adjacent to it.
Please enjoy my favorite photos from the show!
Signature (1993) translates a sense of Hawkinson’s own being into a machine, giving life to a combination of working parts that continuously pens the artist’s signature onto slips of paper. Signature also records the passage of time, as endorsed sheets pile onto the gallery floor.
Signature, Detail Above and Below
One of my favorite pieces in Counterclockwise is this gigantic Maori Mask, Koruru (2009), created from found objects from his home, such as soda bottles, egg cartons, pill bottles, foil, and vinyl. I love how it looks like some kind of gargantuan, mutant collage of car tail lights.
Recalling bio-morphic forms, or cellular structures, the loops and swirls in Petrie (1999) were created by attaching pens and pencils to a modified drill head. Beginning at the center of the paper, the image developed outwards, with continuous adjustments to the speed of the drill, causing variations in the ink and graphite marks. Hawkinson describes the process as “expanding though accretion, or as in the growth of a crystal.”
Installation View with Laocoon (2004, Foreground)
Orrery, the title referring to a mechanical model of the solar system, or of just the sun, earth, and moon, used to represent their relative positions and motions, is a sculpture which employs the circle as its main motif, and a symbol of time. The spinning wheel remains in constant motion, while a woman at a spinning wheel twists her head all the way around in circles. The rug is made of twelve concentric rings; each ring a photograph of a bicycle tire track made in the sand. Heavy.
World Clock, 2012
What looks like a rusty medicine cabinet housing typical toiletries and personal grooming objects is actually a timepiece called World Clock, which tracks global time zones with innocuous items like rotating pills in a bottle for Paris, or nail clippers for Sydney.
World Clock, Detail Skinned Knee, 2009
Hawkinson’s six-foot tall sculpture of a disembodied skinned knee takes everyday objects and positions them in new contexts, shifting scale to create a morbid close up of bloodied flesh. Characteristic of the artist’s practice of reinventing materials, the frayed denim is rendered using blankets and strands from a mop head, with painted resin used as an analogue for skin.
Skinned Knee, Detail
If this post and photos have piqued your interest, you can learn more about Tim Hawkinson’s career and work at This Link!
All Photos taken at Pace Gallery on West 24th Street as par of the Counterclockwise Exhibit, Which has Now Closed.
This also looks like a huge Roaster Pan, amiright?
Man Ray (1890 – 1976) worked in a wide variety of media, including photography, painting, and sculpture, often blurring the boundaries between these practices. Obstruction, an assemblage of 63 wooden coat hangers, is an example of the type of artwork Dada artist Marcel Duchamp called a Ready-Made, a term that suggests Man Ray’s appropriation and manipulation of pre-existing, common objects. The sculpture playfully mimics a chandelier, but, as the hangers seemingly divide and multiply, Obstruction quickly evolves into a dense tangle of overlapping forms. Cast shadows serve as distorted, immaterial extensions of its physical presence. Man Ray first created Obstruction in 1920, but the present work belongs to an addition of 15 reproductions that he created in 1961 for an important exhibition of kinetic art.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
This mesmerizing kinetic art sculpture by Italian Artist Walter Rossi can be observed from the first floor front window of the Agora Gallery, located at 530 West 25th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Since 2000, Rossi has been working in kinetic art. He animates action toys and other found items by using a magnetic motor. The results are like theatrical presentations; often very funny and profound at the same time. I could watch them fly around all day long!