Sep 26, 2011

PROFILE | Sarah Sze

"Things Fall Apart" 2001 San Fransisco MoMA

I was turned on to Sarah Sze while watching a video of an installation of hers on youtube, and unlike most artist works that inspire, the clip left me with the sharp pain of subordination. Shes a small in the large artist, and by that  I mean her works are usually large but within them are hundreds of micro roles being played out. In “Things fall apart” she takes a small red jeep and separates it into several piece through out the gallery entrance at the San Fransisco MoMA. She then bridges the distance between them using string and long wavy lines to re-establish the piece as a conscious whole and lend it a very whimsical feel.

On each piece of puzzle she creates these micro worlds out of everyday objects including common objects such as sliced up foam and assortments of pipet's. This fits with her general theme of growth in a very cellular and fragile fashion. Tied directly into the idea of temporary ecosystems that can both evolve and fade from a single act. Her work, often inspired by temporary landscapes and takes the transient everyday object and arranges them in a some what compulsive manner. Comparing the grander transient temporary ecosystem earth, to the micro ephemeral landscapes that can evolve at the base of a Icy mountains that reach record temperatures creating a pool of life for only months at a time.
"Tilting Planet" 2006 Malmo Konsthall, Sweden

The installations are always site specific and seem more like a reaction to the alloted space and less about the ease for the viewer. To truly experience Sze's work you have to develop an interest in the minute to discover its intricacies and only then can you step back to appreciate the whole. Often executed through meticulous arrangements of the everyday mundane, and typically giving them a breeding or thriving quality. Shes challenging  the viewer to step closer and closer, but the delicate materials and overall fragility of her work can shy (clumsy) one(s) away.

The tender placement of the objects makes them appear to have been placed  through the almost complete randomness of nature or natural chaos. The objects used are sometimes handmade and tease the viewers assumptions of them by using opposing materials. Such as hammer made of plaster, presenting opposition to the very idea of a hammer.

 In 1991 she graduated from Yale Summa Cum Laude. She then received a MFA in 1997from the School of Visual Art in New York. She was also awarded the MacArthur Fellow better known as the “Genius Grant” in 2003, Along with the Lotos Club Foundation Prize in the Arts that same year. Through the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation she took a residency for a whole year in a Space Program studio. Currently she is a professor in the Columbia University Visual Arts Program.

Sze Mainly displays out of the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York as well as the Victoria Miro Gallery in London. But Sze has traveled and exhibited in many countries all over the world; from Greece and France to Brazil and Japan.

-Tyler Robarge

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