This work, created specifically for the ArtsWestchester gallery in White Plains NY, is a reaction to the central monumentality of the grand room: the amount of empty, unused space, once a classic style for bank buildings; the ornate nature of the architecture- including the arched multi paned windows both exterior and interior; the gilded ceiling grid with acanthus, tongue and dart molding; the added hanging light fixtures; the mural; and the complex railing that lines the second floor balcony.
The incredible amount of visual noise in the space, especially for a gallery exhibiting artwork, compelled me to explore subtle ways to interfere with this din. Specifically, I want viewers to become aware of the largest (and perhaps least consciously noticed) part of the room, the tremendous volume of space within its confines.
The planks cantilever into and activate the vacant internal space, creating a focal point and bringing the eye up into the usually unnoticed void. A minimal sculptural element, as in Donald Judd's sculpture, planks create a geometric line. A single plank evokes narratives such as a diving board, or walking the plank. Using the specific relation to architecture, multiple planks become both a drawing in space; a grid commonly seen in contemporary art; and an additional architectural element. The grid becomes a platform; a separate floor level; and a construction site of dark floor joists, interrupting the central space and creating a permeable plane. Imagining one's view from the jutting plank, from below looking up, and from various angles, emphasizes scale, height, and a tenuous sense of balance.
The wire sculptures reference and contrast both the monumental architecture and the hard geometry of the planks. The lacy delicateness of the thin wire requires close looking on the part of the viewer within the noisy space. The viewer may encounter the piece slowly, at first perhaps not seeing it at all, then seeing the rigid dark grid of the planks, then noticing the delicate wire structures and exploring them as architectural elements slightly askew. There is tension between the scale of the forms seeming at once both models of fanciful architecture and their own fantastic buildings, to be imagined at any scale. The wire structures create their own kind of narrative. Standing as fragile domiciles, they create an imaginative playful story, evoking fairy tales, dollhouses, a place of safety and shelter teetering on the edge of a plank out over a vast space.
This work attempts to modify our perception of an already altered and repurposed space, by changing our mode and position of looking and adding another level of awareness to our moment-by-moment experience.