plywood, wood dye
480 cm x 30 cm x 600 cm
- National Sculpture Prize Exhibition, National Gallery of Australia, 2005
- Permanent collection of the National Gallery of Australia
"The evolution of culture is synonymous with the removal of ornament."
Adolf Loos, Ornament and Crime, 1908.
"... the grid states the autonomy of the world of art. Flattened, geometricized, ordered, it is antinatural, antimimetic, antireal. It is what art looks like when it turns its back on nature."
Rosalind Krauss, The originality of the avant-garde, 1981.
"Wolfflin noted that the Baroque is marked by a certain number of material traits: ... matter handled in masses or aggregates, with the rounding of angles and avoidance of perpendiculars ... spongy, cavernous shapes, or to constitute a vortical form always put in motion by renewed turbulence ... matter tends to spill over in space, to be reconciled with fluidity at the same time fluids themselves are divided into masses."
Gilles Deleuze, The Fold: Liebniz and the Baroque, 1988.
Wall Zip (for Brancusi and Barnett Newman) articulates my interest in the representation of organic form in art and science. Like much of my current work it explores a boundary between pure abstraction and ornamentation (modernism and historicism). I see both of these opposed systems as forms of abstraction, one against the natural world and the other informed by it.
This piece plays with the high-minded seriousness of Barnett Newman's zip paintings. His zip motif suggests a mystical reality underlying our own that is normally obscured. Wall Zip is an ornament encrusted zip, a wrinkle in space that deforms the wall and by extension the building.
Wall Zip expresses an implied architectonic lattice. It forms along a vertical line on the wall and grows out horizontally at 60 cm nodes along this lattice like a crystalline ivy that left to its own devices would eventually cover the wall In Wall Zip the ornament is the structure.
© 2006 Simeon Nelson. All rights reserved
- National Gallery of Australia