Earlier this month, I exhibited my work for the first time ever at the Art Lima fair in Peru. The fair was truly an amazing experience, and I was incredibly fortunate to be able to show with my friend, the artist Aldo Chaparro, and gallerist Damián Casado of Galería Casado Santapau. Beyond the great opportunity I had to show my work to a brand new audience, the fair also allowed me to deepen my relationships with old acquaintances, as well as make some new friends.
At Art Lima, I showed a spinning cube, two wall sculptures and several smaller cubes. Once we had arrived in Peru, Florencia and I immediately got to work constructing the cubes in Aldo’s studio. We worked non-stop up until the fair opened, making sure everything was ready.
We tried a few new things with this set of works that turned out really stunning. For example, with a few of the cubes, I chose a color selection inspired by Peruvian textiles (pictured here). At the suggestion of Damián, we also experimented with some new corner installations of the works. Not only did they look fabulous, but they also evoked Malevich’s Black Square as well as the rich historical lineage of art installed in corners (by Dan Flavin, Vladimir Tatlin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Lynda Benglis and many more).
The reception of my art in Lima was genuinely heartfelt and overwhelmingly positive, and I cannot wait to return to Peru. As always, my beautiful wife Florencia Minniti supported me in everything, and her hard work and bright spirit contributed greatly to the success of this trip. A huge thanks also goes to Aldo and Damián for introducing me at Art Lima. Aldo is a wonderful friend, and he not only introduced me to Damián but he also gave me space in his studio to work in while I was in Peru. His studio manager Claudia Salem was also a huge help and a joy to work with. I hope you enjoy the photos of our trip and the fair.
Tonight is the opening reception for my second solo exhibition at Cristin Tierney Gallery, entitled Polychromatic Structures. If I compare the work of my last show with Cristin, Allotropisms, with the work I’m producing now, I’m really pleased to see the different ways my sculptures have explored positive and negative space, color relationships, scale, phenomenology and the representational possibilities posed by the cube over the years.
I have been working on the sculptures in Polychromatic Structures non-stop since returning from Mexico in February with Florencia Minnitti and interns Sandra, Jaime and Young, and I couldn’t be more excited to unveil them to the public for the first time tonight. I hope to see you all at the reception this evening, 9 April, from 6-8pm. The show will also be on view during the gallery’s normal hours through 16 May. Below are a few photos from the past few months, which show the preparations for Polychromatic Structures; please enjoy!
Earlier this year, I finished an incredibly exciting commission that took over six months to complete and pushed my work into totally uncharted territory: I produced my first stainless steel spinning cube. Commissioned by Desarrolladora del Parque in Mexico City, the cube is housed in the lobby of their Loma Cantabria building. Each side of the steel rods is a different color, and the cube features six colors total: red, yellow, blue, green, purple and silver. As the cube spins, the colors gradually shift to create a shimmering optical effect and sensations of expansion and contraction. It is displayed on a diagonal access, which gives the work an added dynamic energy and maximizes the viewer experience of the changes in color.
As this was the first time I had ever worked in stainless steel, there was a lot of research and design that went into the cube’s production. First, I needed a fabricator. Anne-Marie Russell of MOCA Tucson and the Sarasota Museum of Art, with whom I worked on my first major institutional exhibition at MOCA in 2013, recommended Dave Lewis, an artist and fabrication specialist in Brooklyn. With Dave Lewis on board, the next step was designing a screw that could be used in the cube’s assembly. We needed 3,000 very small, special screws in order to fasten the rods together, which were eventually fabricated by US Micro Screw in California.
Dave Lewis produced a primary version of the cube that measured 10 5/8” on each side and was colored silver, blue and yellow. Once he completed this prototype, we were ready to begin on the larger piece. We used 300 stainless steel rods to construct the 2-foot cube. GT Machine & Tool Company in Long Island City drilled holes in each rod using a CNC router machine, so that the rods could be screwed together. Dave Lewis then applied color to each side of each rod in Tom Lendvai’s wood work studio in Bushwick, in what was a laborious and painstaking process.
The motor for the spinning cube and the fork to attach the cube to the motor also needed to be built to exacting specifications. Jarred Metz, in Red Hook, fabricated both of these items with an astounding level of precision and skill. With 3 rotations per minute, the motor’s cycle is perfectly timed for the most visual impact.
Once we had all of the pieces in place, we were ready to assemble the cube. It took Florencia Minnitti, Eduardo Abraham and myself 70 hours to screw the rods together, and the resulting cube weighed 40 pounds. Enrique Macotela, architect and partner at Desarrolladora del Parque, designed a mirrored base for the artwork, and local engineer Javier Torices fabricated the base. I installed the completed cube and the base with Florencia Minnitti in February during the ZONA MACO art fair, and it remains on permanent view at Loma Cantabria.
It was absolutely fabulous to work with Dave Lewis as the fabricator and also with Jarred Metz, who designed several generations of motors in service of this project. A very special thanks also goes to the fantastic Enrique Macotela, Enrique Tellez, Enrique Enciso and Jorge Henriquez of Desarrolladora del Parque both for their continuous support, and for hosting the initial cocktail party with Raiza Larios during which I first proposed the kinetic sculpture. This project was a major accomplishment for me, and it represents an exciting new direction in my practice. Now that the cube has been unveiled, I’m looking forward to continuing to work in steel and metal and to see where else these materials will take me. There were many photos taken over the realization of the cube in order to document the project, and I hope you will enjoy perusing them below.
Last month, I was honored to be able to present my work at ZONA MACO in Mexico City. I have visited this wonderful city many times over the past few years, and consider it to be one of my homes in the world. Joining me in Mexico and supporting my endeavors was my gallery, with Cristin Tierney and Candace Moeller, as well as my wife Florencia Minniti and my good friends Enrique Tellez, Carol and Carlos Césarman, Aldo Chaparro, Paul Amenta from SiTE:LAB and Enrique Macotela and Raiza Larios, who generously lent me her studio to work in.
This trip, and the art I produced during my stay, represented the culmination of a lot of time and hard work. For the booth at ZONA MACO, I created an entirely new series of sculptures that showcase my continuing engagement with color relationships and interest in art as a phenomenological experience. Given the strong influence that modern Latin American art has had on my practice, it was a treat to be able to present my work in the rich artistic and historical environment of Mexico City. At the fair, I was also very pleased to be able to show my sculptures alongside the drawings and painting of the amazing Chilean artist Jorge Tacla. I hope you enjoy the photos of the booth!
I’ve recently begun working on a new series of wall grid structures in the studio. They represent an exciting development in my work and a deepening of my understanding of my main materials, basswood and ink. I’m continuing to engage with color relations, spatial perception and the architectural structure of the cube, but with these new structures I’m now also exploring how I can project my sculptures into 3D space by co-opting the wall: a place largely reserved for flat works.
I am very pleased to be presenting these new wall grid structures at ZONA MACO in Mexico City next week, where I will be showing with Cristin Tierney Gallery in Booth E-212. I will also be attending the fair, so join me in Mexico to see them in person, and please feel free to take some photos! We will be using the hashtags #cubosdecolores #cubosycuadernos and #interioryexterior at ZONA MACO, and we invite you to tag your photos on social media at the fair.
This winter I’m pleased to announce the publication of my much-anticipated monograph, which encompasses everything from my early works to my site-specific installations and exhibitions with Cristin Tierney Gallery. This monograph really shows the breadth and progression of my work, spanning not only several years but also a great variety of scale in my practice, from individual cubes to monumental mountain ranges. In addition, it documents many of the people and institutions I’ve been fortunate enough to work with, such as Florencia Minniti, the Bruce Museum, SiTE:LAB, MOCA Tucson, Florian Altenburg, Paul Amenta, Mathias Kessler and many more. Essays by Joe Fig, Matthias Neumann, Muriel Pérez and Anne-Marie Russell comprise additional features of the monograph, which would not have been possible without the hard work of editor Julie Krienik and designer Brian Sisco, not to mention the generous support of Cristin Tierney. The monograph debuted with much success at UNTITLED Miami in December, and I am excited to be bringing copies with me to Mexico for ZONA MACO next month. Copies are also available through Cristin Tierney Gallery.