Ben Butler (previously) is fascinated by the complex structures that emerge from simple and delicate processes. This phenomena can be found in the elaborate systems produced by ant colonies to human cities, small quotidian actions accumulating into overpowering structures. Unbounded, Butler’s installation on display at Rice University Gallery in Houston, Texas, uses this same idea by assembling over 10,000 pieces of poplar wood into a matrix-like structure. This massive arrangement coalesces into an unexpectedly mesmerizing array of grids that stretch to fill the gallery space.
Butler approached this installation, as he commonly does within his practice, without initial sketches or ideas of what he would like the structure to look like. He played with the materials, discovering configurations on the spot. Although the grids within Unbounded were pre-made in his studio, the way they were configured and connected horizontally was all in response to the space. This way of acting in the present ensured that the structure’s outcome would be organic, and not purely responding to a preconceived shape.
Poplar wood was chosen for the installation because of its malleability and abundance, which gave Butler the ability to fiddle with a material that seemed endless. This idea of endlessness also tied into the title he chose for the piece. Butler wanted the piece to have no defined boundary or vantage point, but encourage the audience to walk around and within the structure, discovering it from all angles.
Butler received an MFA in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003. He currently lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee and Quogue, New York and has an upcoming exhibition of his sculptures and drawings at The University of Mississippi Museum, Oxford opening in September 2015.
Unbounded will remain on display at Rice University Art Gallery in Houston, Texas until August 28, 2015. (via designboom)
Over the last year, Belgian painter and sculpturor Stefaan De Croock aka Strook (previously) began working with repurposed wood panels, doors, and furniture to construct giant faces on the side of buildings. The recycled wood surfaces are cut into precise geometric shapes and pieced together like a tangram puzzle, leaving the original paint and textures untouched. His most recent piece, Elsewhere, was a collaboration with his 69-year-old dad for Mechelen Muurt. You can see more of Strook’s paintings, sculptures, and other artworks on his website. (via Colossal Submissions)
Brazil-based artist duo Janaina Mello and Daniel Landini of Mello + Landini create tree-like installations with untwisted ropes fastened to the walls of galleries. Titled Ciclotramas, the artworks have gone through 17 different iterations since 2010, each involving some form of ropes that seem to branch through the air and splay onto surfaces like fractals or a network of neurons. The artists say they are interested in creating metaphors surrounding organic structures composed of both interrelated and independent parts, as well as the passage of time, and the “choreography of intertwining lines.” You can follow more of their work here. (via Artsy, My Modern Met)
As part of an exhibition last December at the Maison Des Jonglages (House of Juggling) in La Courneuve, France, magician and juggler Antoine Terrieux created this series of kinetic artworks using different arrangements of hair dryers. The dryers were positioned in such a way as to create an updraft for a paper airplane to fly around, a spinning vortex of water vapor, and other unexpected configurations. Terrieux also incorporates hair dryers into his performances. (via La boite verte)
It’s only been a week since we featured Daniel Rozin's new fur mirror, and lucky for us there’s also a second mirror artwork currently on view at bitforms. The Penguins Mirror is an interactive mirror constructed with 450 stuffed penguins atop rotating motors. If you think the idea sounds ludicrous, it is. Ludicrously amazing. As with many of his other kinetic mirrors, Rozin makes use of the black and white color tones found on the stuffed animals to generate moving silhouettes in response to movements captured by video cameras. You can see the Penguins Mirror through the end of the month as part of Rozin’s Descent with Modification exhibition at bitforms gallery in New York.
Iranian artist Shirin Abedinirad explores issues of gender, sexuality and human compassion through her site-specific installations, performances, and conceptual fashion designs. Seen here are two recent public works, Evocation (Iran, 2013) and Heaven on Earth (Italy, 2014) that utilize mirrors in both an urban and rural desert setting to reflect the sky above, perhaps mimicking the color or form of water. Abedinirad studied under Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami and now splits her time between Tehran and Florence. You can see more of her work on her website and on Tumblr. (via Cross Connect)
SLOSH SAMPLES #1 2014 flubber, pva glue, acrylic, oil paint, resin plastics, polymer balls, polymer clay, pigment, water, varnish, 100ml serum vials, all photos by docQment
Louise Zhang's Slosh Samples look like floating paintings, three-dimensional depictions of 2D abstract work. The bottles contain brightly colored fluids that separate and congeal, containing everything from polymer clay to flubber. At first one is delighted by the bubblegum colors that fill the vessels, yet after a quick inspection the grotesque nature of what lurks inside is easily revealed.
Both Zhang’s sculptures and paintings happily represent blob-like forms and revolting textures. The work seems excited to repel its audience after it has seduced them with its saturated neon hues, a palette that could be described as cute or playful. Zhang’s website compares her playful works to childhood cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants or Ren and Stimpy—television shows that invite our minds to interact with slime, slop, and snot.
Zhang is a Sydney-based artist currently working on her MFA at UNSW Art & Design and partaking in a residency with Throwdown Press. The artist’s first solo exhibition Plomp was held at Artereal Gallery in 2014. Zhang has described her work as “evocative of confectionery—the gooey, the sticky, and the sensation of sweets melting,” which brings to mind the sweet and sugary installations of Pip & Pop. (via Zannaka)
SLOSH SAMPLES #2 2014 flubber, pva glue, acrylic, oil paint, resin plastics, polymer balls, polymer clay, pigment, water, varnish, 100ml serum vials
SLOSH SAMPLES #2 (details) 2014