Fabienne Verdier paints with unconventionally large tools. She creates her own brushes, made from substances like sheep hair, duck down, or horse hair, sometimes reaching 6 feet long and over 150 pounds. The brushes are suspended with rope, and then handled physically, or with the help of a pair of bicycle handlebars. Trained under a Chinese painting tradition, Verdier frequently uses black to create her paintings, but will often transgress this tradition by using bright, earthy colors. Preparing ascetically before each piece and practicing the art of spontaneous expression form the basis of her work.
You may have already seen Luke Lucas’ typography work, but weren’t aware of it; he’s created designs for companies like Target, Nestlé, The New York Times, and Barnes & Noble. He’s also done work for exhibitions and creates his own fonts. Some of the more humorous and elaborate text designs are reminiscent of Wayne White’s word paintings. Of his work, Lucas writes, “I love that the same word, passage or even letter can be treated in bunch of different ways and embody entirely different meanings… That and through subtleties like a slight shift in line weight, the elongation of a tail or the arc you use, a letter can go from contemporary to traditional or happy to sad in a single stroke…”
Anna Ter Haar is interested in forms that drip and suggest malleability. Whether she applies this idea to furniture or fashion accessories, the effect is similar: the viewer becomes immediately aware of the impermanence of the objects that she transforms, while at the same time aware that the ultimate practicality of the objects is not entirely lost. She primarily uses paint, wax, and glass, substances that become their most malleable when heat is applied. Her work also captures moments in time; her glass and chair sculptures seem to be caught mid-movement and mid-transformation.
Yuko Takada Keller creates detailed and intricate sculptures out of paper. Since 1996, she has been using small triangular pieces to create her designs, which she says “symbolizes something like a molecule.” Her work is inspired by dreams she’s had, and her delicate, cascading designs resonate with ethereality. She claims her work has also evolved over time since she’s realized the connection between the thin delicacy of the paper and skin membranes. From her website,
“Tracing paper has a transparency and an untransparency.
I’m interested in how tracing paper is like a skin membrane.
The skin membrane lies between dream and reality.
The skin membrane lies between consciousness and behavior.
The skin membrane is there when life is born.
The skin membrane is part of a human being.
I want to represent the space that people are aware of
The skin membrane is unconsciousness.”
Tom Bendtsen’s first book sculptures appeared in 1997. After initially creating basic structures, his work evolved with the idea of using the books’ colors to create a pixelated image effect. Bendtsen even fills the gaps in his structures with objects or scenes that ask the viewer to consider ideas of history, narrative, and creativity. The laterality of the structures and how this mirrors our absorption of contrasts and oppositions inherent in written narrative are also at play. His largest structure is composed of 16,000 books. String is used to create the forms of the sculptures, and then those forms are filled with books.
Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe’s Black Acid Co-op is a large scale installation of contrasting rooms and objects. The space is accessed through a large hole in the wall in the gallery space, requiring viewers of the work to physically climb through the entrance in order to experience it. While some space is sparse and empty, with evidence of abandonment and decay, others resemble a meth lab, a foreign shop, and a space of retreat. All spaces recontextualize the idea of installation space as a place of continual decay and renewal, calling upon viewers to directly engage with the various spaces. Deitch Projects commissioned this particular piece that was available for viewing in 2009.