In Virtual Vitro

Angela Bulloch
January 24 – March 1, 2014

From left to right:

 

Medium Music Listening Station: RYB, 2014 (detail)
Two Yellow Felt Curtains with curved adjustable height rails. Red Record Player, Blue Metal table and record mounts, exhibited with Angela Bulloch's record label ABCDLP

Several brightly colored LPs released by the artist's record label ABCDLP are placed next to a red vinyl record player turntable. Two heavy yellow felt curtains hang from a curvilinear metal railing, creating a semi-private enclosure, and also function as acoustic insulation, at the same time intensifying the sound inside. 

 

Thing Two on Pixel Box Red, 2014
Corian Pixel Box with red lamps, irregular rhombus form 2, grey MDF, control box

The artist programmed the Pixel Box to cycle through the standard color spectrum but since its blue and green bulbs have been replaced with red ones, all it can produce are varying shades of red. The rhombic shape on its top derives from the artist's engagement with convex polyhedra.

 

Happy Sack Denim Re-edition, 1994-2012
Denim sack, filled with styrofoam, felt

Happy Sack is a large "bean bag"—a massive sack made of thick fabric, in this case denim, filled with styrofoam pellets. It is a sculptural object but can also be used as a seat. Displayed on an iPad, a video with an avatar gives a short introduction to the exhibition. 

 

Navy Single Wall Hanging 007, 2014
Dark blue felt, with paper print and large irregular rhombus rivet

The wall hanging includes a print fastened on a panel of felt, held together by a rhombic wooden rivet from which it is also hung. The rivet has a central opening through which the wall is visible. The print shows a tiled pattern, tapering off to the left. 


Single Printed Navy Wall Hanging 006, 2014
Printed dark blue felt with grey and clay printed colours, large regular hexagon rivet

The grey- and clay- colored tiled motif, based on classical mosaic patterns, is silk-screened directly onto the dark blue felt. This creates the impression that the felt completes the tiled pattern, further challenging the viewer's perception of the spatial relations between figure and ground.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

From left to right:

 

Thing One on Pixel Box Blue, 2014

Corian DMX module (Pixel Box), blue lamps, grey MDF, control box 

The artist programmed the Pixel Box to cycle through the standard color spectrum but since its red and green bulbs have been replaced with blue ones, all it can produce are varying shades of blue. The rhombic shape on its top derives from the artist's engagement with convex polyhedra.

 

Hercules Wall Hanging 008, 2014 (though the doorway)

Two printed grey felt panels with 6 rivets and 6 hanging pegs, LED lights, 3 oiled grey MDF sculptures 

Three polyhedron sculptures are placed on the parts of the grey felt spread across the floor. Small fragments of a classical mosaic pattern are printed onto the felt at several places. The upper side of the right felt panel includes softly glowing LED lights that show the constellation Hercules. 

 

Navy Single Wall Hanging 007, 2014 

Dark blue felt, with paper print and large irregular rhombus rivet

The wall hanging includes a print fastened on a panel of felt, held together by a rhombic wooden rivet from which it is also hung. The rivet has a central opening through which the wall is visible. The print shows a tiled pattern, tapering off to the left. 

 

Single Printed Navy Wall Hanging 006, 2014

Printed dark blue felt with grey and clay printed colours, large regular hexagon rivet

The grey- and clay- colored tiled motif, based on classical mosaic patterns, is silk-screened directly onto the dark blue felt. This creates the impression that the felt completes the tiled pattern, further challenging the viewer's perception of the spatial relations between figure and ground.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Happy Sack Denim Re-edition, 1994-2012 (left)

Denim sack, filled with styrofoam, felt

Happy Sack is a large "bean bag"—a massive sack made of thick fabric, in this case denim, filled with styrofoam pellets. It is a sculptural object but can also be used as a seat. Displayed on an iPad, a video with an avatar gives a short introduction to the exhibition.

 

Elliptical Song Drawing Machine, 2014 (back)

Drawing machine with Red Lipstick pen and MP3 player

The work is an automated machine that draws on the wall. It executes elliptical lines creating rounded shapes (somewhat reminiscent of human doodling); like earlier drawing machines by the artist this one reacts to a particular impulse. The machine's movements are generated via an integrated internal microphone that plays three MP3 compositions released by the artist’s music label ABCDLP.

 

Medium Music Listening Station: RYB, 2014 (right)
Two yellow felt curtains with curved adjustable height rails; red record player, blue metal table and record mounts, exhibited with record issues by Angela Bulloch’s record label ABCDLP

Several brightly colored LPs released by the artist's record label ABCDLP are placed next to a red vinyl record player turntable. Two heavy yellow felt curtains hang from a curvilinear metal railing, creating a semi-private enclosure, and also function as acoustic insulation, at the same time intensifying the sound inside. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Medium Music Listening Station: RYB, 2014 (left)

Two yellow felt curtains with curved adjustable height rails; red record player, blue metal table and record mounts, exhibited with record issues by Angela Bulloch’s record label ABCDLP

Several brightly colored LPs released by the artist's record label ABCDLP are placed next to a red vinyl record player turntable. Two heavy yellow felt curtains hang from a curvilinear metal railing, creating a semi-private enclosure, and also function as acoustic insulation, at the same time intensifying the sound inside. 

 

Thing Two on Pixel Box Red, 2014 (right)
Corian Pixel Box with red lamps, irregular rhombus form 2, grey MDF, control box

The artist programmed the Pixel Box to cycle through the standard color spectrum but since its blue and green bulbs have been replaced with red ones, all it can produce are varying shades of red. The rhombic shape on its top derives from the artist's engagement with convex polyhedra.

 

Bronze Wall Hanging 012 with Print 011, 2014 (back, detail)

Bronze mirror with 2 wood rivets and archival inkjet print with wood wall fixing, installed in a corner

This two-part work places a bronze mirror, hung from rhombic wooden rivets that harmonize with its color, across a corner from a print with a tiled motif. On the left side the blue, grey and yellow pattern appears to taper off, leaving a narrow vertical band of white visible and suggesting that the pattern may have a beginning (or end). This effect is greatly magnified by being mirrored.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Elliptical Song Drawing Machine, 2014

Drawing machine with Red Lipstick pen and MP3 player

The work is an automated machine that draws on the wall. It executes elliptical lines creating rounded shapes (somewhat reminiscent of human doodling); like earlier drawing machines by the artist this one reacts to a particular impulse. The machine's movements are generated via an integrated internal microphone that plays three MP3 compositions released by the artist’s music label ABCDLP.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Elliptical Song Drawing Machine, 2014 (detail)

Drawing machine with Red Lipstick pen and MP3 player

The work is an automated machine that draws on the wall. It executes elliptical lines creating rounded shapes (somewhat reminiscent of human doodling); like earlier drawing machines by the artist this one reacts to a particular impulse. The machine's movements are generated via an integrated internal microphone that plays three MP3 compositions released by the artist’s music label ABCDLP.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Happy Sack Denim Re-edition1994-2012

Denim sack, filled with styrofoam, felt

Happy Sack is a large "bean bag"—a massive sack made of thick fabric, in this case denim, filled with styrofoam pellets. It is a sculptural object but can also be used as a seat. Displayed on an iPad, a video with an avatar gives a short introduction to the exhibition.

 

Navy Single Wall Hanging 007, 2014 (back, wall)
Dark blue felt, with paper print and large irregular rhombus rivet

The wall hanging includes a print fastened on a panel of felt, held together by a rhombic wooden rivet from which it is also hung. The rivet has a central opening through which the wall is visible. The print shows a tiled pattern, tapering off to the left. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

From left to right:

 

Hercules Wall Hanging 008, 2014
Two printed grey felt panels with 6 rivets and 6 hanging pegs, LED lights, 3 oiled grey MDF sculptures

 

Stack of Five MDF Painted Sculpture 003, 2014
Stack of five irregular rhombus, grey MDF, partially painted clay & beryl blue

 

Single Printed Grey Wall Hanging 004, 2014
Printed grey felt with dark blue and clay printed colours, large regular hexagonal rivet

 

Single Printed Grey Wall Hanging 005, 2014
Printed grey felt with dark blue and pale green printed colours, large regular hexagon rivet

 

Stack of Six Seagrass Sculpture 005, 2014
Stack of six regular rhombus in seagrass green Corian
 

Stack of Five MDF Painted Sculpture 004, 2014

Stack of five irregular rhombus, grey MDF, partially painted dark blue & pale green

 

Grey Pair Wall Hanging 001, 2014 (partly hidden)
Two grey felt panels, each with paper print, left with large irregular rhombus rivet, right with medium irregular hexagon rivet

 

Rhombi Kind with Clay Head 006, 2014 (mostly hidden)
Single 30 cm irregular clay Corian form on regular grey oiled MDF forms

 

Rhombi Kind with Beryl Head 007, 2014
Single 30 cm irregular beryl Corian form on top of 30 cm regular untreated grey MDF forms

 

The wall hanging Hercules refers back to the artist's investigation of Minimalism but also includes a night sky, three modular sculptures, and fragments of the classical mosaic pattern that is another recurring iconographic motif.
The wall hangings are hung from rhombic or hexagonal wooden rivets. There are two variations of the felt hangings: some pieces include a print of a tiled motif. On other pieces, a fragment of the tiled motif has been printed directly. 
The roughly life-sized, totem-like sculptures, assembled from a varying number of distorted rhombic shapes, may seem to stubbornly take on personalities. Some are monochromatic, others multi-colored but all refuse to be easily grasped.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

From left to right:

 

Stack of Five MDF Painted Sculpture 003, 2014
Stack of five irregular rhombus, grey MDF, partially painted clay & beryl blue

 

Single Printed Grey Wall Hanging 004, 2014 (partly hidden)
Printed grey felt with dark blue and clay printed colours, large regular hexagonal rivet

 

Single Printed Grey Wall Hanging 005, 2014
Printed grey felt with dark blue and pale green printed colours, large regular hexagon rivet

 

Stack of Six Seagrass Sculpture 005, 2014
Stack of six regular rhombus in seagrass green Corian

 

Stack of Five MDF Painted Sculpture 004, 2014

Stack of five irregular rhombus, grey MDF, partially painted dark blue & pale green

 

Grey Pair Wall Hanging 001, 2014 (partly hidden)
Two grey felt panels, each with paper print, left with large irregular rhombus rivet, right with medium irregular hexagon rivet

 

Rhombi Kind with Clay Head 006, 2014

Single 30 cm irregular clay Corian form on regular grey oiled MDF forms 

 

Rhombi Kind with Beryl Head 007, 2014
Single 30 cm irregular beryl Corian form on top of 30 cm regular untreated grey MDF forms 
 
Hercules Wall Hanging 008, 2014 (detail, front)
Two printed grey felt panels with 6 rivets and 6 hanging pegs, LED lights, 3 oiled grey MDF sculptures
 

The wall hanging Hercules refers back to the artist's investigation of Minimalism but also includes a night sky, three modular sculptures, and fragments of the classical mosaic pattern that is another recurring iconographic motif.
The wall hangings are hung from rhombic or hexagonal wooden rivets. There are two variations of the felt hangings: some pieces include a print of a tiled motif. On other pieces, a fragment of the tiled motif has been printed directly. 
The roughly life-sized, totem-like sculptures, assembled from a varying number of distorted rhombic shapes, may seem to stubbornly take on personalities. Some are monochromatic, others multi-colored but all refuse to be easily grasped.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Grey Pair Wall Hanging 002, 2014 (wall, left)

Two grey felt panels, each with print; left with large irregular rhombus rivet, right with medium irregular hexagon rivet

 

Stack of Five MDF Painted Sculpture 003, 2014 (front, detail)

Stack of five irregular rhombus, grey MDF, partially painted clay & beryl blue

 

Hercules Wall Hanging 008, 2014 (center, detail)
Two printed grey felt panels with 6 rivets and 6 hanging pegs, LED lights, 3 oiled grey MDF sculptures

 

Stack of Five Hand Oiled MDF Sculpture 001, 2014 (back)

Stack of five regular rhombus hand-oiled with Rose 31, grey MDF 

 

Gang of Four Wall Hanging 016, 2014 (wall, right)

Four panels of beige felt, each with a print and with a rhombus rivet

 

The wall hanging Hercules refers back to the artist's investigation of Minimalism but also includes a night sky, three modular sculptures, and fragments of the classical mosaic pattern that is another recurring iconographic motif.
The wall hangings are hung from rhombic or hexagonal wooden rivets. There are two variations of the felt hangings: some pieces include a print of a tiled motif. On other pieces, a fragment of the tiled motif has been printed directly.
The roughly life-sized, totem-like sculptures, assembled from a varying number of distorted rhombic shapes, may seem to stubbornly take on personalities. Some are monochromatic, others multi-colored but all refuse to be easily grasped.

 

Thing One on Pixel Box Blue, 2014 (through the doorway)

Corian DMX module (Pixel Box), blue lamps, grey MDF, control box 

The artist programmed the Pixel Box to cycle through the standard color spectrum but since its red and green bulbs have been replaced with blue ones, all it can produce are varying shades of blue. The rhombic shape on its top derives from Bulloch's engagement with convex polyhedra.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Single Printed Grey Wall Hanging 004, 2014 (wall, left)

Printed grey felt with dark blue and clay printed colours, large regular hexagonal rivet

Single Printed Grey Wall Hanging 005, 2014 (wall, second from left)

Printed grey felt with dark blue and pale green printed colours, large regular hexagon rivet

Grey Pair Wall Hanging 002, 2014 (wall, right)

Two grey felt panels, each with print; left with large irregular rhombus rivet, right with medium irregular hexagon rivet

The wall hangings are hung from rhombic or hexagonal wooden rivets. There are two variations of the felt hangings: some pieces include a print of a tiled motif. On other pieces, a fragment of the tiled motif has been printed directly. 

 

Stack of Five MDF Painted Sculpture 003, 2014 (floor, left)
Stack of five irregular rhombus, grey MDF, partially painted clay & beryl blue

Stack of Six Seagrass Sculpture 005, 2014 (floor center)
Stack of six regular rhombus in seagrass green Corian

Stack of Five MDF Painted Sculpture 004, 2014 (floor, second from right)

Stack of five irregular rhombus, grey MDF, partially painted dark blue & pale green

Rhombi Kind with Clay Head 006, 2014 (floor, right)

Single 30 cm irregular clay Corian form on regular grey oiled MDF forms

The roughly life-sized, totem-like sculptures, assembled from a varying number of distorted rhombic shapes, may seem to stubbornly take on personalities. Some are monochromatic, others multi-colored but all refuse to be easily grasped.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

In Virtual Vitro

Angela Bulloch
January 24 – March 1, 2014
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Esther Schipper is pleased to announce the opening of Angela Bulloch's eleventh exhibition with the gallery.

 

Entitled In Virtual Vitro, the exhibition includes new contributions to key series in the artist's oeuvre, among them a Music Listening Station playing records issued by her record label ABCDLP, a Drawing Machine, and two Happy Sacks. Displayed on an iPad, a video with an avatar gives a short introduction to the exhibition. Encountering Bulloch's work has always been an activity, an ongoing experience. This diachronic element is literally built into most of the pieces in the show's first room: watching the machine draw or the Pixel Box change, listening to the music she selected. To encourage the visitors to remain she offers the double-edged comfort of giant denim Happy Sacks: while they are indeed comfortable, they are also almost impossible to exit gracefully. Both visitor and object are asked to exert themselves.

 

Two new hybrid Pixel Boxes, Thing One on Pixel Box Blue and Thing Two on Pixel Box Red in effect act as transition into Bulloch's most recent body of work. These pieces combine lit boxes that display a sequence of monochrome color modulations with a charcoal-grey object in the shape of an irregular rhombus. While the light sequences requires the viewer to watch for actual variances of the box's illumination, Bulloch's engagement with convex polyhedra, so-called Platonic forms, provokes a different kind of sustained attention from the spectator, namely, attempting to find an underlying logic to the shape. This may be because, confronted with these unfamiliar forms, our spatial imagination goes haywire: the planes and angles appear to change, even as we are trying to understand their relationships and the volume they create.

 

Human preoccupation with these geometric shapes has a long history: for Plato polyhedra represented ideal, preexisting building blocks of the world and for the 17th century mathematician Johannes Kepler scientific evidence of the divine in a harmonic plan. But their combination of simplicity and complexity also has long fascinated architects and artists. Using contemporary computer software to change the polyhedra, Bulloch's alterations imbue the elongated and distorted versions with a subjective quality. This effect becomes even more apparent in the second room of the gallery. Here the roughly life-sized, totem-like pieces, assembled from a varying number of distorted rhombic shapes, may seem to stubbornly take on personalities. Some are monochromatic, others multi-colored but all refuse to be easily grasped. The viewer enters a room apparently peopled with their presence.

 

The introduction of these new shapes makes manifest a trajectory of Bulloch's preoccupation with the history of shapes and human interaction with them, of which Minimalism was just one articulation. The felt wall hangings literally conflate the artist's past and present themes. Hercules, for example, refers back to her investigation of Minimalism but also includes a night sky, three modular sculptures, and fragments of the classical mosaic pattern that is another iconographic motif recurring in the recent work. Other wall hangings, like Gang of Four Wall Hanging 016, appear to double as background for prints of these patterns, both found and digitally distorted.

 

To some extent, Bulloch's work has always acknowledged what contemporary philosophy recently has begun to call the object's "essence": in this context, the term is not meant to refer to classical notions of ideal or absolute form. Instead it poses the object's radical autonomy from human observation and thought, arguing that objects have a hidden core unavailable to us. As "human objects," (a term with which this discourse wishes to emphasize the equivalence of all objects) we must content with the frustration of other objects' unknowability. Bulloch plays on this tension between explanation and the kernel of alterity that always remains: the light sequence of the Pixel Boxes or the movements of the Drawing Machines are programmed but their parameters often obscured by also including arbitrary elements. Her work promises a certain amount of understanding yet at the same time deliberately and openly forestalls the viewer's effort to seek it—inviting us to look again.

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