Magazine article Artforum International

Ian Kiaer

Magazine article Artforum International

Ian Kiaer

Article excerpt

MARCELLE ALIX

Broadly speaking, Ian Kiaer's methodology evokes the intricate process of placing heterogeneous elements in a plane within an accurate perspective (or at least a desired one). In other words, despite its sculptural guise, his work avails itself of a concept historically attached to painting. Not many individual positions so epitomize the expanded nature ot artistic practice today as Kiaer's, in which voids convey content as much as forms do. Scattered around the exhibition space, his fragmentary objects paradoxically sparked the notion of a whole as he immersed i the viewer in scenarios built on clustered arrays of references. Along with painting, these include the history of utopian projects, such as those undertaken by visionary intellectuals and architects, among them Claude-Nicolas Ledoux in eighteenth-century France and Konstantin Melnikov in twentieth-century Russia, with which Kiaer has long been fascinated.

In Kiaer's work, there is a connection between painting and the architectural duality of inside and outside, since the practice of painting SO insistently poses the question of what happens when an artwork transcends the solitude of the studio and steps out into the world and toward its public. I wonder if, at the start of Kiaer's career, this was the crux of his turn toward disseminating both found and handmade objects in the exhibition space, therefore emphasizing the idea of a void waiting to be filled by the viewer, who composes a narrative thread out of the scattered elements that would have once been captives of the picture plane.

Kiaer's recent exhibition was a recontextualization of works from his first institutional show in France, held at the Centre international d'art et du paysage de rile de Vassiviere in the spring of 2013. The concept of specificity was equally at stake on both occasions. …

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