Shawcross, Location One’s first International Fellow, has produced an ambitious new work titled Slow Arc III, which demonstrates the artist’s continued interest in mathematics, cosmology and epistemology. The installation will remain on view from 20 May – 31 July 2009, and will re-open for two weeks in September with special public programming.
Shawcross is known for his multi-media, kinetic sculptures and mysterious structures that are imbued with an appearance of scientific rationality yet beneath the surface are also haunted by the search for the unobtainable and inexpressible. In this new work the artist continues the series of investigations that started with Slow Arc Inside a Cube (2008), which was initially inspired by the late British chemist Dorothy Hodgkin, who said deciphering the structure of pig insulin ‘was like trying to work out the structure of a tree from seeing only its shadow’.” In this new work, however, instead of the path of light being traced by an articulated arm locked into a fixed cycle, the light can move anywhere, by means of a computer-controlled system, within the confines of the mesh cage and thus create and endless series of unpredictable spatial ‘throws’ into the room around it.
The harmonic drawings, also included in the exhibition, are similarly created by a machine that operates within a narrow band of parameters. The artist sees these ‘throws’ as a series of temporary, transient drawings in which the illusion of three-dimensionality is created through line, forking and arcing at random. Both mechanisms divorce the artist’s hand from the process of art-making and instead put in place a series of variables, sometimes predictable, sometimes arbitrary.
Other works in the show include The Celestial Meters, a new work inspired by the history of the meter and its origins, and Lattice Cube IV which continues the artist’s interests in the geometry of the tetrahedron and the Platonic solids.
Born in 1977, Shawcross lives and works in London. He has had solo exhibitions at Jenaer Kunstverein, Germany (2008), The New Art Gallery, Walsall, and The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2005), and the National Maritime Museum (2004). His work has also been exhibited internationally at institutions including Musée d’art Contemporain, Lyon (2008), Art Basel | 39 (2008), La Chapelle de L’Ecole National Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris (2008), The Saatchi Gallery (2004) and Manifesta 5, San Sebastian, Spain (2004). He is represented by the Victoria Miro Gallery in London and will have a New York solo gallery exhibition with Pace Wildenstein in the Spring of 2010.
Conrad Shawcross’s fellowship has been made possible by the International Committee of Location One. Special thanks to Victoria Miro Gallery, London; PaceWildenstein, New York; Outset Contemporary Art Fund, and Ovitz Family Collection.