Posts tagged with "Oscar Tuazon":

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Luhring Augustine's sculpture survey celebrates a half-century of the form

Spread across Luhring Augustine’s Chelsea and Bushwick locations, Sculpture explores its namesake form with work from 17 artists—living and dead—made over the past six decades. Given that sculpture already shares a fuzzy boundary with other spatial practices, the exhibition unsurprisingly features a number of artists working explicitly with architecture and the built environment. Perhaps the most well-known artist who deals with architecture and one of the biggest living names in the exhibition is British artist and Turner Prize winner Rachel Whiteread, famous (or infamous, depending who you ask) for her three-story sculpture, House (1993). Whiteread has two pieces on display in Sculpture. In Bushwick, there is the ghostly cast plaster and polystyrene work Untitled (Double) (1998). The long, monumental prism is simultaneously unitary—a single long form—and an identical pair, defined by deep symmetrical grooves. A visual paradox, it uncannily uncouples precisely through its coupling. Untitled (Double) continues Whiteread’s use of casting and molds to trouble the binaries of absence and presence and constructed and negative space, exploring the entanglement of memory and built worlds. In Chelsea, Whiteread’s Untitled (Amber Floor) (1993) is on display. The rubber slab is nearly eight feet long, invading the viewer’s space while its small fold crawls up the wall, calling attention to the gallery’s form as a whole. It forces one to notice the unnoticed—the very floor they are standing upon. Complementing Whiteread’s work in Bushwick is a sculpture by Los Angeles-based Oscar Tuazon, who the gallery will be presenting in a solo show at its Chelsea location beginning April 28th. Though primarily self-identifying as a sculptor, Tuazon occupies a space between artist, architect, and activist. He creates sculptural work, installations, and public sites that are constantly in flux, their maintenance and use thus becoming part of their artistic production. Tuazon’s contribution, Condenser (Venta Contracta) (2015), is a tilted pyramid of concrete and fiberglass tubes that reconfigure the familiar, if often hidden, forms of urban infrastructure. Like Whiteread, German artist Reinhard Mucha explores the intersection of memory and the built world, often simultaneously recalling personal and political meanings.The diptych Untitled (“Pearl Paint” New York West Side Highway 1977) (1998) (displayed in Chelsea) and the two-part “ensemble” of works Before the Wall Came Down (2008) and Lennep (2009) (on view in Bushwick) are bricolages of found materials, enamel, oil paint, readymade objects such as stools and rulers, and images which memorialize the artist’s own collaborative urban interventions. The work in Sculpture takes many scales and styles. Some are decidedly smaller, such as the mononymous artist Zarina’s wall-mounted sculpture Memory of Bangkok (1980–2011) which exhibits an architectural interest rendered with a printmaker’s sensibility. Glenn Ligon takes language itself as his material, while some artists like Cady Noland and Tunga rely on everyday objects—construction barriers, oversized lamps, vases, beer cans—in their work. The show has nearly too many artists to mention, as Simone Leigh, Janine Antoni, Tom Friedman, Roger Hiorns, Steve Wolfe, Phillip King, Jeremy Moon, Martin Kippenberger, Pipilotti Rist, and Christopher Wool are all also featured in the two-gallery, two-burrough exhibition. Not only expansive in its roster, Sculpture displays work produced over a wide swath of time (Phillip King’s Ripple was originally produced in 1963 and Jeremy Moon’s Untitled is from 1964 while Simone Leigh’s Opuwo is from this year). Despite (or, perhaps, precisely because of) the range in dates of the objects’ creations, Sculpture makes no attempt at organizing a clear trajectory or historical narrative. However, many of the artists are represented by Luhring Augustine or have shown with the gallery before, suggesting that the exhibition is a self-portrait of the gallery of sorts. In this way, we perhaps can see Sculpture as a look at the gallery’s history rather than at the history of a form. Even still, with its wide-reaching constellation of work, Sculpture highlights the plurality of materials, means, and motivations behind sculptural practice of the past six decades. Sculpture Luhring Augustine 531 West 24th Street, New York, NY and 25 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY On view in Chealsea until April 14 and in Bushwick until May 5
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L.A. artist Oscar Tuazon will recreate Steve Baer's Zome House at Art Basel

The international annual art fair Art Basel originally started in Switzerland in 1970 and since then has branched out to Miami Beach in 2002 and Hong Kong in 2013. But Art Basel is not just about artists working in the fine arts of painting, drawing, and sculpture. This June, Art Basel in Switzerland will feature a decidedly architectural work by the Seattle-born, and currently Los Angeles-based artist, Oscar Tuazon. Tuazon's piece, Zome Alloy, on view June 13-19 in the Art Basel Messeplatz, is modeled after the 1972 Zome House designed and built by the southwest inventor Steve Baer. In the 1970s, Baer created residences—often aluminum-skinned using car tops he and his wife bought from junkyards for 2 cents—heated through passive solar energy. The zomes are different from geodesic domes, in that they use a stretched polyhedron system. "[W]hen I was about 18 I started to read the writings of Lewis Mumford and I could see that we didn't have to have this 'either-or' choice. We could have the best of both...we could have a science and technology that could be understood and controlled by the individual instead of the other way around. I found the idea very exciting and I've been trying to crack the crap in science for 15 or 16 years now. I don't claim to have gotten anywhere but I'm trying," Baer told the magazine Mother Earth News back in 1973 in a long-form interview also with his wife Holly. "I'm most interested now in taking small developing individual pieces of equipment and hardware that really work and that really make economic sense. And even this is not an easy thing to do, it's just not easy." Tuazon is a sculptor who works in the overlapping space between installation, sculpture, and architecture. He studied architecture and urbanism in college and has worked with Vito Acconci. His pieces often explore the connections between public space and architecture through raw and industrial materials. “I hope that the effect of my work is mostly physical. That’s what I like—walking through something, having an experience of the weight of things, or an experience of balance," says Tuazon. "That kind of really basic physical thing makes the work interesting; it makes it disarming and strange." Visitors to Tuazon's Zome Alloy at Art Basel this June will find an update to the Baer house, built using robotically-manufactured structural panels made in Switzerland, rather than by hand. Tuazon will use a 3D mapping of Baer's Zome House to direct the fabrication. Tuazon is also organizing and hosting a series of talks on alternative building techniques and energy from inside the zome, dubbed the "Alloy Conference," based on the eponymous Baer-led original 1969 program. On a separate note, for those in the L.A. area, Tuazon's work is on display at the Hammer Museum, affiliated with UCLA, through May 15.