Friday, October 23, 2009

Keeping Current

[Paper work #939 (3), Splatter (2009), graphite on paper. Paper work #939 (1), Splatter (2009), graphite on paper.]

Careening onto the walls at Winston Wächter Fine Art, Andreas Kocks’ rippling site-specific installations focus on integrating fine art and architecture. In “Current Events,” his first solo show at Winston Wächter, Koch’s “high velocity installations” of multiple layers of paper—finely cut—appear to peel and ripple in dynamic motion. This German sculptor revels in his favorite medium of heavy watercolor paper. Kocks’ cuts into it and installs multiple layers on the site—transforming the “contained architectural box” into a territorial and surface.

As Kocks redefines existing boundaries, the gallery feels physically activated in its entirety—the walls no longer defining it. Instead, he removes the cube of its innate banality and replaces its conventionality with an immediate cerebral experience. Like a graffiti artist, Kocks has deliberately “tagged” the gallery walls with his paper cuts. At the same time, the sculptor has turned a spotlight on the passive “reaction” of the viewer. However, he leaves an entrée for viewers to move and alter their perspectives.

The magnitude and precision with which Kocks’ cut and carved paper works devour architectural limitations are impressive. They propel “across” surfaces with grace as they shimmer, twist, and curl. Indeed, natural light makes subtle shadows over the lines of each bas relief. In the main installation at Winston Wächter Fine Art—entitled “Splatter”—inky graphite splashes “spill” up the wall and surround viewers in this downright kinetic playfulness and aggression. With Kocks’ work exuding a palpable and coursing energy, it is not too far a stretch to imagine the signaling of a beginning or an end—or a bursting open or a falling apart.

Some of the artist’s smaller scale framed works—carved rather than cut—are also included in this show. Offering a more intimate, reflective experience, these smaller scale works demonstrate Kocks’ subtlety and process.

Andreas Kocks will be featured at a concurrent exhibition in New York at the Museum of Art and Design. Entitled “Slash: Paper Under the Knife,” the show includes approximately 50 international artists. It takes a pulse of the international art world’s renewed interest in paper as a creative medium and a source of artistic inspiration—examining the rich diversity of paper’s use in a variety of art forms. “Slash” is the third exhibition in MAD’s “Materials and Process” series—examining this renaissance of traditional handicraft materials and techniques in contemporary art and design. While including unusual paper treatments such as works that are burned, torn, cut by lasers, and shredded, that is but a jumping-off point. MAD will showcase artists who modify books to transform them into sculpture and others who use cut paper for film and video animation. Curated by MAD’s chief curator David McFadden, the exhibit runs to April 4, 2010.

Born in Oberhausen, Germany, Kocks studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany. His work has been shown in numerous galleries and museums in Europe and in the United States. He received the Pollock-Krasner Grant for 2006/07.

Current Events: Andreas Kocks

Through November 28, 2009

@ Winston Wächter Fine Art

530 West 25th Street, NYC 10001


Slash: Paper Under the Knife

Through April 4, 2010

@ The Museum of Arts & Design

2 Columbus Circle, NYC 10019

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