New Dimensions - Wall Sculpture
When we talk or write about art, one of the first steps is to categorize the work by its form - is it a sculpture, a painting, a photograph? This initial analysis helps to associate the particular object with a specific category as well as the unique vocabulary set used when speaking or writing about this type of work. We don’t see an object exactly for what it is upon first glance, but for other things that it reminds us of. This same type of categorization happens when meeting new people, visiting new places, or trying to figure out a new concept - often occurring instantaneously, unintentionally and maybe even subconsciously.
So how to describe Picasso’s Still Life With Guitar?
Pablo Picasso. Still life with Guitar. Variant state. Paris, assembled before November 15, 1913. Paperboard, paper, string, and painted wire installed with cut cardboard box. Image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Maybe sculpture? The conventional definition of the artform is usually as a three dimensional object made by one of the traditional methods of intentional carving, casting or other modes of shaping. The dimensions of a sculpture carry an inherently different mode of perception from two dimensional art forms - every angle around its circumference is a new way of looking at the object, an experiential phenomenon which personalizes each individual experience of the artwork. However, artists do not always set out to create objects within this conventional definition. Picasso’s groundbreakingStill life with Guitardefies many aspects of a traditional “sculptural” piece. It is an an object of art that is part sculpture and part assemblage using the two dimensional material of paper. The work is hung on display - a delicate construction that plays with light, shadow and depth to create the illusion of solidity, depth and dimensionality.
Contemporary artists have both the historical precedence and artistic freedom to push the boundaries of what defines a particular artform. Wall sculpture is one such direction which falls somewhere in the middle between solid sculpture and the line drawing of Sol LeWitt, combining aspects of line drawing and sculpture, yet remaining unique to each particular artist’s practice. Like Picasso’s guitar, Waisler’s Steel Virginia Woolf plays with our perception of material by using the traditionally industrial stainless steel to construct a sculptural line work that feels as though it has no weight at all. America Martin’s To The North, The South, The East and The West also plays with a similar concept of line, light, and negative space. However, rather than leaving the idea of the surface open-ended, Martin defines the borders of her composition, effectively boxing in the visual elements and echoing the look of a drawing on paper.
Matt Devine’s piece stands apart in its definitive solidity. Echoes of a line drawing are almost imperceptible in the piece, as Devine creates a woven, organic network of aluminum strips, imbuing a sense of dimension and weight through tight folds and gently sloped curves.
Represented at JoAnne Artman Gallery: 511 A West 22nd St. New York NY 10011 || 326 North Coast Hwy. Laguna Beach, CA 92651