Letters that work
There are of course artists who go through an extensive exploratory process to arrive at the right balance of art and letters. David Schorr, an artist we profiled almost two years ago is one of them. Each work in Schorr’s recent series of drawings is a carefully choreographed ballet of images, words and meanings — intended and unintended, obvious and concealed — most of which are based on the language and the society that uses it, and that’s what makes it work. That layering of references, meanings, sources and interpretations is what makes Schorr’s relevant today and years from now.
Leon Ferrari is another successful artist who built his entire oevre around letteral art. The 2009 exhibition at MoMA, titled Tangled Alphabets where Ferrari’s calligraphic paintings were presented together with works by a Swiss-born, Brazilian artist Mira Schendel was a brilliant illustration of the use of language as “physical medium – to be shaped and molded.”
Anselm Kiefer‘s incorporation of language into his paintings also works because there is a tight connection between the message and the image. The message and the cultural history the artists explores in his work.
Among the younger artists, Ashley Zelinskie‘s 3-D printed sculptures are an interesting exploration of language, mathematics, and programming code – all [graphic] abstract notions invented by men. This young Brooklyn-based artist presents old and new ideas through a new and developing technology.
Another artist whose human-scale installation at Sean Kelly Gallery in 2013 made a definite Impact is Laurent Grasso. His installation Infinite Light was a multi-layered, multi-sensory experience that was realized in coordination with the MoMA’s exhibition Van Gogh at Night curated by Joachim Pissarro, and installed across the Lexington Avenue pedestrian bridge at Hunter College in New York in 2008.
So, as we see there are plenty of smart artists making intelligent letteral art and I hope we will see more of their work at the upcoming art fairs.
Featured image original photograph by Kira Sidorova.
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