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!
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.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the ability to leave 30º standing after the Untitled tent was broken down created an unanticipated shift in the way that I viewed the work. Its original intention was to be a site-specific installation within the confines of an art fair, with each gallery occupying a certain amount of designated space. I wanted to explore what would happen if I could impose this site-specific piece, breaking planes and axes, in a not-so-traditional art fair setting. I was extremely pleased with how the work turned out in that context, but having the chance to see the work in direct sunlight and moonlight gave me new insight into the work I created. It somehow altered the scale and empirical value of the work. I also believe it is a testament to the mission of SiTE:LAB and I am grateful to have had this opportunity.
Thanks to Untitled, we were able to leave 30º standing after the tent was being broken down. Although I didn’t imagine it from the outset, this was an important aspect for me in the range and depth of this project. It’s almost as if there were two projects encompassing 30º – the first being the installation within the context of the art fair, and the second being within the context of the skeleton of the tent. One can see from the following images that this change in environment radically changed the feeling of the piece. It was an important discovery for me in my work and something that I am always questioning and challenging with my site-specific installations.
Featured in SiTE:LAB’s booth at the Untitled Art Fair in Miami Beach, 30º emerged from the sand, extended through the floor and reached above the walls of the booth. With the help of the students from Kendall College of Art and Design, the painted wood structure, secured with wire cables, measured 25 x 15 x 15 feet in total.
With the help of Paul Amenta, his class at Kendall College of Art and Design and SiTE:LAB, we were able to prepare the wooden 1.25 x 1.25’s before heading down to Miami. The students, Lydia Boda, Erin Dumond, Jacob Hanson, Jacob Kapusta and Nathan McCallum, cut, planed, sanded and painted the pieces at SiTE:LAB’s temporary headquarters at 54 Jefferson – the former public museum where I created Habitat in 2012 – in Grand Rapids. (You’ll see Mark Dean Veca’s artwork on the floor beneath them.)
Paul Amenta and Tom Clinton of SiTE:LAB invited me to be their featured artist for the Untitled Art Fair in Miami 2013. Untitled is located in a tent directly on the beach, so my idea – much like Spire – was to cut a hole in the floor and have my site-specific installation emerge from the sand below. The images of the scale model showcase the monochromatic color scheme that I envisioned for 30º. The title of the work comes from the angle of piece, which aligns perfectly with the angle of the tent.
Although I won’t be returning to Grand Rapids to exhibit with SiTE:LAB this September, I have been invited to partake in a new project this fall called 54Jeff.
SiTE:LAB’s founders Paul Amenta and Tom Clinton have to put together a design competition to find a new purpose for the former Grand Rapids Public Museum located at 54 Jefferson. (This is the building where I exhibited within the Mammal Hall last year, creating 27 architectural interventions within the habitat dioramas.) Since 1994, the Museum has been closed to the public and now the challenge is to find a new way for the building to serve the public. 54Jeff wants to know what innovative ways this can be done.
I am honored to be a juror for this competition along with Reed Kroloff, Eva Franch i Gilabert, and Steven Zacks. Looking forward to being a part of this exciting new venture!
Once again, my talented friend Marc Lins traveled to Grand Rapids with me to photograph my latest project. For those of you who weren’t able to make it out SiTE:LAB, I present a sampling of photographs from Habitat. Cheers!