Kronschlaeger, Kiesler, and the Endless

“All ends meet in the ‘Endless’ as they meet in life. Life’s rhythms are cyclical. All ends of living meet during twenty-four hours, during a week, a lifetime. They touch one another with the kiss of time. They shake hands, stay, say goodbye, return through the same or other doors, come and go through multi-links, secretive or obvious, or through the whims of memory.”

–Frederick Kiesler

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Alois Kronschlaeger, Untitled (Basin and Range), 2013.
Photo by Marc Lins.
kiesler2
Frederick Kiesler, Endless House, 1950-60.

Alois Kronschlaeger’s studio, and home, is also the place where we meet to speak about objects and process. The space where our conversations take place is warmly lit and longer than it is wide. A wooden table extends the length of the room and recedes into the back wall, where one of his wall sculptures (a Polychromatic Structure) hangs; I find myself straining my neck to look up at it intermittently during our conversations. The discovery that I kept looking at it as if it were going to change is an organic response to the artist’s work, in which the viewer transcends the role of the spectator to become an active participant. I become convinced that my position vis-á-vis the object does not simply impact my view of it, but actually has a transformational effect on the object itself, and I long to see the work again in search for this feeling that I have presence—and influence—on something that is outside of myself.

“What do you see here?” asks Alois, holding up a small model of what will be a large-scale, site-specific private commission. Vertical rods, at first glance parallel but in actuality slightly skewed, extend from a solid wooden base. I immediately think of Jesus Rafael Soto’s Penetrables, aptly named to evoke the way they invite the viewer to enter the sculpture, to physically inhabit it. What the artist is trying to get me to see, though, is not so much the possibility of the spectator’s insertion into the space but rather her ability to intimately interact with it from the outside. Each side of each rod is painted a different color, and when she walks around the work the faintly angled lines produce something like a moiré effect—an optical illusion whereby two or more patterns of lines are superimposed, creating a semblance of movement.

The position of the spectator changes relative to the first row of lines, which in turn also changes relative to the second row, and so on, in such a way that the visual impression of the work is dependent entirely on the viewer’s vantage point. What is unique about these objects is that they lay dormant in an empty room, but they come to life only in presence of the spectator or participant. The aesthetic and conceptual drive from which they operate is precisely this summoning of the viewer—a longing for his or her undivided attention. Something happens when you are surrounded by Kronschlaeger’s sculptures that’s similar to the effect of switching off the lights and watching otherwise still forms become animated under the veil of darkness. You become the center of gravity, toggling with the potential movement latent within each work as the shifts and displacements of your body pull the strings.

Alois cites the work of Austrian artist and architect Frederick Kiesler as an inspiration for his own constructions. Sometimes the evocations are very apparent. Kiesler’s Raumstadt (City in Space), a hovering support structure built for the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in 1925, recalls the stacked and slanted grids that rose out of the ground for Kronschlaeger’s 2013 work 30° at Untitled in Miami. And Endless House, Kiesler’s famous design for a home that was never built, is dominated by the same swooping curvilinear forms that defined his Basin and Range in Tucson, Arizona. Still, the strongest point of convergence between the artists lies in their urge to introduce a human element into their work: while producing structures that are definitively architectural in their separation from the body, they are profoundly concerned with the viewer and his or her pure physical presence. Kiesler incorporates the human form by emulating it and adapting the material to its shape; Kronschlaeger does so by devising a system where the work and the viewer are mutually stimulated by nature of being in a shared space, a communicative relationship that echoes Kiesler’s provocative assertion: “…all ends of living meet.”

 

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Kronschlaeger, Kiesler, and the Endless

Now Available: The Alois Kronschlaeger Monograph

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.

Grid Structure #1, 2014 basswood, paint, ink, aluminum mesh 216 x 72 x 72 in. (549 x 182 x 182 cm) site-specific installation, Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut May–August 2014 Photo Marc Lins
Grid Structure #1, 2014
basswood, paint, ink, aluminum mesh
216 x 72 x 72 in. (549 x 182 x 182 cm)
site-specific installation, Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut
May–August 2014
Photo Marc Lins
basin-range-04
Untitled (Basin and Range), 2013
wood, aluminum mesh, paint
dimensions variable
site-specific installation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson, Arizona
October 2013 – March 2014
Photo Marc Lins
T B 7 (view 1), 2014 basswood, ink 24 x 24 x 24 in. (60.96 x 60.96 x 60.96 cm) Collection of the Artist Photo Paul Mutino
T B 7, 2014
basswood, ink
24 x 24 x 24 in. (60.96 x 60.96 x 60.96 cm)
Collection of the Artist
Photo Paul Mutino
Now Available: The Alois Kronschlaeger Monograph

Towers at EXPO Chicago

In addition to Grid Structure #1 at EXPO Chicago, I installed a site-specific piece in Cristin Tierney Gallery’s booth. I placed two separate works entitled Tower B/W and Tower Color perpendicular to each other on a small pedestal at the corner of the booth. The works – both 8 feet tall – played off the booth’s existing and nonexistent architecture, creating their own infrastructure. From below, the pieces worked nicely against the backdrop of the exhibition hall’s ceiling. I also enjoyed how the works interacted with the artworks hung on the walls. I found that it was an interesting dialogue between my work and Richard Galpin’s, with whom I will be showing at UNTITLED Miami this December.

Alois Kronschlaeger Tower EXPO Chicago Alois Kronschlaeger Tower EXPO ChicagoCristin Tierney Alois Kronschlaeger

Towers at EXPO Chicago

Grid Structure #1, Configuration #2 at EXPO Chicago

I very much enjoyed my time in Chicago at EXPO Chicago, working on a new configuration of Grid Structure #1. Over the course of two days, I reconstructed this formerly unique, site-specific piece to fit into a new space. With that, new architectural and spatial considerations were taken into account and a new configuration was created. It was great to see the work against a new backdrop and from farther vantage points than those at the Bruce Museum.

Alois Kronschlaeger Grid StructureAlois Kronschlaeger Grid StructureAlois Kronschlaeger

 

Grid Structure #1, Configuration #2 at EXPO Chicago

Shifting Perspectives of Grid Structure #1, Configuration #2

The new environment at EXPO Chicago has lent itself to new perspectives and new vantage points for Grid Structure #1. As I mentioned in my previous post, there were additional considerations that I had to work with in this space but working through those has allowed for a rich and diverse experience of the work. Here is a selection of my favorite angles from Configuration #2.

Alois Kronschlaeger Grid Structure #1 Configuration 2Alois Kronschlaeger Grid Structure #1 Configuration 2 Alois Kronschlaeger Grid Structure #1 Configuration 2

Shifting Perspectives of Grid Structure #1, Configuration #2

Inspiration in Chicago

Florencia and I arrived in Chicago with a 16-foot truck filled with the cubes from Grid Structure #1. We drove them all the way from the Bruce Museum to install as a special project at EXPO Chicago. This being my first time in Chicago, I was feeling inspired by the robust architecture and the view of Lake Michigan from Navy Pier.

Alois Kronschlaeger Florencia Minniti

Alois Kronschlaeger Florencia Minniti

Alois Kronschlaeger Florencia Minniti

 

 

 

Inspiration in Chicago

The New York Times: A Dialogue Between Hemispheres

I am absolutely thrilled to share the latest news about Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing at the Bruce Museum. Along with the other artists in the exhibition, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jane L. Levere of The New York Times to discuss my site-specific installation, Grid Structure #1. I invite you to read the piece here. Cheers!

Alois Kronschlaeger Bruce Museum

The New York Times: A Dialogue Between Hemispheres