Through traditional art practices, western culture often encourages us to stay on one steady path and not to stray from accepted practice. The artists Yasmin Alt, Sebastian Biskup and Kai Franz’s varying practices all include ‘hacks’ of sorts; from Alt’s repurposing of timber from flooring to abstract sculptures, to Biskup’s digital breakdown of art historical pieces and their color grouping on self-modified software and ending with Franz’s unnatural figures created by the reconfiguration of a 3D printer, each artist dared to stray from the path of “traditional practice” and to challenge the idea of traditional structures. Each artist dares to ask the question; Do things really have to exist just as they are?
Think of, if you will, a traditional triptych from the renaissance; held together by hinges, artists were able to create a new narrative by physically linking together three very different works. For ROCKELMANN&, this concept extends beyond just the physical and finds new shape in the theoretical. In Triptych’s case this means that the reconfiguration of artistic construction, the shifting of traditional practices into new media work and redefining the very idea of artistic structures . For the three artists, shifting practices have meant that they’ve had to bend the rules to acquire their visions and in doing so have created new ways to repurpose older techniques to create new dialogues with art history, in the fields of art theory, and even architecture.
In Alt’s case her sculpture’s graphic shapes give rise to sculptural form albeit in a way that repurposes not just the materials but also typical structural methods, Biskup’s work contrasts from defined shapes with his focus on color and the calculation of color fields that lead to the creation of grand color wheels and as for Franz, algorithmic sequences that have been computed and and borrowed from 3D printing techniques in order to instruct the artist into crafting semi-unauthored shapes and objects, thus completely bending the rules of traditional sculpture and fusing them together with a Dadaesque approach to technology.
Alt will show a series of small wall objects. Resembling architectural models, the small sculptures are comprised of a variety of found materials from around the globe. Made of solid wood, structures are cut out, different kinds of wood stacked on top of each other to produce something that could be read as either a house or an abstract form. Referring to medieval intarsia and relief works, Yasmin Alts approaches the historically playful and figurative imagery in a more abstract and geometrical way. Adding different varnishes as well as spray paint but also traditional chemical tainting techniques, Yasmin Alts relief works resemble little treasure boxes, but with the treasures being the globally obtained wood itself.
Biskup’s presented works represent the paintings of three classic masters; Picasso, Van Gogh and Paramiganino. His work is often distinguished by his highly non-traditional approach to formal fine art practices. The working process involves the restaging of well recognized source material and in doing so helps to modify traditional methods in portrait painting. Using contemporary methods in the form of software such as Photoshop, he takes into account the various parts that make up the context of a work, such as the clothing, the eyes, props, among many others. By breaking down multiple elements of each classic painting he is able to reconstruct the piece into something completely new and contemporary by assigning each a ratio on his color wheels.
Franz will present a series of sculptures made from sand and polyurethane. These grid-like shapes draw inspiration from machine generated structural compositions that serve as functional pieces in everyday life. Specifically the artist has drawn his heaviest influence from rafts, a type of structural support used mainly in 3D printing to separate the object being printed from the plate. This very idea of a “shadow object” serves as a type of interface between the production and machine. Instead of programing a computer to produce the work for him, the artist has taken it upon himself to become a human 3D printer: he acts as a liaison between man and machine and in doing so has added a subversive element to the conventions of digital fabrication, a living/breathing element that is often overlooked. The artist uses this method to further question the relationships of automated/manual labor, control/chance, logic/will and task/play.
We cordially invite you to join us for the opening of this exciting group show, with a reception taking place on September 08th at 7pm. We also further extend our welcome for viewers to attend a new performance by artist Elana Katz on October 13th. Katz has composed a new presentation exclusively for ROCKELMANN& titled YOU IN VIEW, which deals with mirrors as a material. The piece will contemplate the mirror as a tool of shielding protection, a subject/ object of the narcissistic gaze, as well as a device used to deform and render a state of invisibility. Katz’s action and resulting installation extends and calls into question conventional western perception and use of the mirror as an object of accurate representation.