Magazine article Artforum International

Leon Vranken: Z33 - House for Contemporary Art

Magazine article Artforum International

Leon Vranken: Z33 - House for Contemporary Art

Article excerpt

"Paper-Scissors-Stone," the most recent show by Belgian artist Leon. Vranken, got off to a powerful start with Flowing Line, 20 14, a jet of water noisily shooting out of a circular pit cut into the floor, enclosed by a white railing. As with Study of a Vertical Line, 2013--the thirty-six-foot-high fountain and ascendable scaffolding structure that the artist erected at the Middelheim Musuem, an open-air sculpture park, in Antwerp, Belgium, last year--visitors could experience the top of the water jet, here by moving up one floor within the building. The fountain spouted right through a neat hole in the ground-floor ceiling, emerging upstairs as a modest squirt of water, once again encircled by a white railing, With the exception of the fountain, Vranken left the ground floor distinctly empty; he had stripped the spaces and returned the architecture to its bare state.

Upstairs, by contrast, Vranken tackled every room with a different intervention, showing the precise conceptual focus yet broad material range of his by now decaclelong practice. The exhibition, the artist commented, could be seen as a retrospective with new works. Just as the children's game after which the show was named is played without the objects it evokes but merely through gesture and sign, Vranken offered an exquisite play on the differences between sculpture as matter and as image, as object and as intervention. Delicately. Vranken played out the different relationships to gravitational pull and to bodily perception implied by each. Paper Scissors Stone, 2014, includes five towering stacks of paper with high-resolution prints of five types of marble, topped by hand-sculpted, organically shaped stones of the very same marble. To delineate the spatial expanse of the installation, the artist replaced a rectangular portion of the existing gray linoleum flooring with a new, yellow one. …

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