Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery is pleased to announce BUILDING, a solo exhibition of new work by Barney Kulok. The artist’s first monograph, Building, will be published by Aperture (October 2012) and will include an essay by architect Steven Holl and an afterword by filmmaker Nathaniel Khan.
In the fall of 2011 Barney Kulok was granted access to observe and photograph the construction of the highly anticipated Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. The memorial park, designed in 1973 by Louis I. Kahn and situated on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, was the last design the great modernist architect completed before his death in 1974. Revived after almost forty years, the Park will finally open to the public this coming October.
Kulok, free to roam the site and use it as an outdoor studio, limited his project to the boundaries of the site and the duration of its construction. Comprised largely of details of materials, objects, and their incidental arrangements, Kulok’s photographs do not illustrate the architect’s design or describe the building process. Instead, the photographs attend to the surface of the landscape and depict micro-events encountered during the building of the monument: a constellation of cobble- stones splayed out on an unfinished promenade, a pebble resting precariously on the face of a 36-ton granite block, shards of light scattered across a workshop drawing. The gelatin-silver prints, dense with information and nuanced in tone, are a testament to the value of carefully articulated photo- graphic seeing. In “Luminous Silence,” Steven Holl’s afterword in the artist’s forthcoming mono- graph, the architect writes, “Kulok’s photography probes material, detail and circumstance of the construction site. Rather than a documentation of construction they form a poetic parallel.”
With this body of work the artist continues to address the near-documentary photographic and pictorial concerns central to his practice. Here Kulok extends his exploration of detail, surface and fragment through precise observation of the conditions and constraints of the construction site. Kulok’s approach to picture making has in the past included video installations, light boxes and painted panels. This is the artist’s third solo exhibition at Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery. He has exhib- ited nationally and internationally in both group and solo exhibitions, including Galerie Hussenot, Paris; Galerie Elisabeth Kaufmann, Zürich; de Pury & Luxembourg, Zürich. Kulok (b. 1981) studied at Bard College and lives and works in New York.