The First Stainless Steel Spinning Cube, Loma Cantabria, Mexico City

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The First Stainless Steel Spinning Cube, Loma Cantabria, Mexico City

Installation Shots from The drawing. The painting. The sculpture.

Very excited to be sharing these photographs of the installation of The drawing. The painting. The sculpture. curated by Mathias Kessler. Now you can fully see the conversation between my work and Aldo Chaparro’s.

The drawing the painting the sculpture installation shot

The drawing the painting the sculpture installation shot

The drawing the painting the sculpture installation shot

Installation Shots from The drawing. The painting. The sculpture.

The opening of The drawing. The painting. The sculpture

After a week of on-site preparation, The drawing. The painting. The sculpture. came together. It was such a pleasure working on this project with Aldo Chaparro. Many thanks to Mathias Kessler for organizing. Here are some photographs from the opening. Cheers!

Alois Kronschlaeger, Mathias Kessler, Aldo Chaparro
Mathias Kessler and Aldo Chaparro.
Johnatan Molina, Florencia Minniti, Alois Kronschlaeger
Johnatan Molina and Florencia Minniti.
Raiza Larios at The drawing. The painting. The sculpture.
Raiza Larios and Friends.
Alois Kronschlaeger and Mathias Kessler
In front of Aldo’s piece.

The opening of The drawing. The painting. The sculpture

Aldo Chaparro

I am so thrilled to be showing with Aldo Chaparro for The drawing. The painting. The sculpture. at his project space in Mexico City. As the press release mentions, my friend Mathias Kessler has known Aldo for many years and was surprised to see such similarities in our work, though we had never met. Mathias invited me to be a part of this two-person show and last week, I arrived in Mexico City with Florencia to meet Aldo for the first time. I cannot tell you how amazing our time here has been. Aldo has been a great host, inviting me to stay at his home and work in his studio. I am extremely grateful for all he has done, and though it has only been a short time, I now consider Aldo a dear friend.

To give you some background, Aldo is originally from Lima, Peru and lives and works in Mexico City. Having worked as not only as an artist but also as a magazine editor and creative director in several areas of pop culture, Aldo combines his art with influences from different disciplines, including music, industrial design, editing, and writing. He manipulates his works to engage in a dialogue with the audience about time, space, experience, and memory. This manipulation and exploration ultimately reveals the true, banal nature of the appeal of pop imagery.

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Aldo Chaparro

The drawing. The painting. The sculpture.

Aldo Chaparro and Alois Kronschlaeger
Curated by Mathias Kessler

Luis Camnitzer’s work “The Photograph”
April 9th, 2013 | Opening: 5 pm
Aldo Chapparo Project Space | Cozumel 81-1 Colonia Roma | 06140 Mexico D.F.

Mathias Kessler is pleased to present The drawing. The painting. The sculpture. featuring Aldo Chaparro and Alois Kronschlaeger in the Aldo Chaparro Project Space in Mexico City opening April 9th, 2013 at 5pm. The artists and curator will be present.

Observing the studio practice over the last 10 years, Kessler found that Chaparro of Mexico City and Kronschlaeger of New York City had a striking similarity of aesthetic output. To him, there was what he would call a Zeitgeist, a seemingly inexplicable connection of time and spirit – one that created a two-tiered body of work without the two artists knowing each other or exchanging ideas as peers would normally do. Their work reflects similar concerns in architecture, minimalism, and the notion of the spacial relationship to the viewer, and now, the artistsʼ work will come together for the first time an exhibition at the Aldo Chaparro Project Space in Condesa, Mexico City.

Kronschlaeger is best known for his site-specific installations and sculptures, which demonstrate a preoccupation with environment and light, as well as an interest in exploring time and space via geometry. Within the past two years, Kronschlaegerʼs work has grown in scale from encompassing the entire horizontal plane of the Cristin Tierney Gallery in New York to spanning the vertical axis of a 4-story abandoned building with in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Biomorphic in shape, his architectural interventions penetrate multiple planes on a monumental scale with the objective to create new architectural vantage points within a constructed environment.

Chaparro has worked as an artist, magazine editor, and creative director in several facets of popular culture – a mix that reflects in his work. While he has similar concerns to those of Kronschlaeger, his work is tied to the world of popular culture with references to conceptual art and minimalism. Chaparro cleverly incorporates pop imagery into his artwork with poignant humor, turning it on its head, exposing the banality, and literally twisting it in color and material.

The title of the exhibition comes from Luis Camnitzerʼs The Photograph., 1981, an artwork that references Chaparro and Kronschlaegerʼs allusions to art history but also the current inquiry in exploring the semiotics of space and time through artistic practice.

The drawing. The painting. The sculpture.
Aldo Chaparro and Alois Kronschlaeger | Curated by Mathias Kessler
April 9th, 2013 | Opening: 5 pm
Aldo Chapparo Project Space | Cozumel 81-1 Colonia Roma | 06140 Mexico D.F.
To schedule an appointment, please call 52114573.
Download press release.

The drawing. The painting. The sculpture.