For Gallery Weekend Berlin 2019, Galerie Thomas Schulte will present a new work by the American sculptor and installation artist Alice Aycock. At one of the busiest street corners in the city center of Berlin, Twister Grande (tall) twists its way up in the nine-meter-high Corner Space of the gallery to be admired by passers-by from afar.
The four-meter-high, complex sculpture is composed of countless spirals, bows and arches of thin, white powder coated aluminum sheets that wind around each other. For these intricate, multi-faceted forms, the artist draws on an extensive repertoire of cyclonic wind patterns, which she assembles on the computer. A 3D-CAD-software enables Aycock to calculate the feasibility and statics of the arbitrary arcs and vortices of her sculptures and to realize them as blueprints for the production.
Twister Grande (tall) is related to a series of large sculptures first shown in 2014 in a spectacular installation on Park Avenue in New York City entitled Park Avenue Paper Chase. The installation of white, sunlit, elegantly curved sculptures, some eight meters high and up to twenty meters long, swirling through the busy streets of New York City, represented sheets of paper blowing in the wind, thus visualizing the energy of wind as well as that of the city and the ideas, thoughts, and desires of the people living and working in it.
An early installation by Aycock was already on view in the gallery’s Corner Space three quarters of a year ago. For the reconstruction of Sand/Fans (1971), thousands of kilos of sand were brought into the gallery space and four fans were placed at equal distances around the piled-up sand. The opposing fans generated air currents that eventually distributed the sand into random, wave-like patterns. Although Sand/Fans and Twister Grande (tall) seem to have little in common at first glance, the two works illustrate Aycock’s almost fifty years of artistic development. While Sand/Fans was created as an early Earth Work in the context of Land Art and Robert Smithson’s entropy and non-site, it was also one of the first works in which chance, wind, and wave movements as well as the implications of machines played a role. The primeval power of the vortex, hinted at by the rotating rotor blades of Sand/Fans, has now found expression in the twisting vortices of Twister Grande (tall). The constitutive power of the machines, which was still a physical component of the installation in the seventies, remains hidden in Twister Grande (tall). However, the actual realization of the monumental sculpture is only made possible with the help of its construction in the virtual space of the computer.
Parallel to the installation at Galerie Thomas Schulte, Aycock’s works will also be on display this year in a comprehensive exhibition at the Sprengel Museum Hannover and at the Bundesgartenschau in Heilbronn.