Lars Fisk

  • 5Items
  • SEEING SOMETHING FOR WHAT IT ISN’T:

    Singular Objects and Editioned Sculptures Selections here from four distinct projects by Lars Fisk: Balls (1996-present), Trash (2008), the Self-Storage Volkswagen (2013) and Das Dings (2023). The Balls are a series of sculptures where familiar subjects such as a tree, a barn, or a UPS truck (to name a few) undergo a shape-shift into that of a sphere. As the artist says, “To make a ball of something is to abstract it into a kernel of itself. I want to strip it down to its most basic, identifiable features to see what we might find underneath the physical, like its essence. I’m curious about what happens to our perception when presented with something in this state. Can we still see it for what it isn’t?” “The sphere is the most pure and perfect of forms, a shape that lies at the heart of physics, philosophy, religion, geometry, and astronomy... it also presents the ultimate technical challenge for a sculptor. In a world in which most stock materials are based on straight lines, planes, and right angles, flawlessly bending these products to one’s curved will is an indication of an impressive mastery of technique and materials, as well as evidence of an overpowering desire for order. Fisk’s formal invention, sculptural prowess, and precise attention to detail yield sculptures that are surprising, humorous, accessible, and profound.” -Nick Capasso, Director, Fitchburg Art Museum The Trash series considers the issue of consumer waste and represents its signifying forms (garbage cans, trash bags, etc.) into iconographic sculptures carved in marble. In Trashbags, references to classical art history can be seen in its “drapery”, the traditional sculptors’ task of rendering the soft folds of fabric into the hardness of stone. And then in Trashcan, with its likeness to the fluted columns of Greco-Roman architecture. The Self-Storage Volkswagen is represented here by a series of large-format photographs of a VW van, modified to resemble a row of self-storage units. For this project, Fisk travelled across the United States and staged “pop-ups”, deploying the disguise in vacant areas wherever such a development seemed imminent. As stated in his travelogue: “Self-storage is a handy way to contain our bulging excesses of stuff. Boxy warehouses like these have been cropping up across America and can now be found anywhere, from our great cities to the most remote corners of the country.” These photographs echo America’s pioneering spirit (WESTWARD HO!) and at the same time, are a wry response to contemporary materialism. Aside from the images, the van itself, combined with its photographic facade, is considered a distinct work of art and is also offered here as a collectible. Das Dings (The Things) are sculptures made directly out of Volkswagens. Specifically, a rare model that was produced briefly in the 1970’s and marketed in the United States as “The Thing”. The design of this model was akin to “The Beetle” but without the friendly, rounded shapes of its sibling. The result was oddly similar to the ubiquitous Beetle and, to the artist, “seemed like some sort of cubist abstraction. It was already playing on a shift of identity that interested me so all I had to do was further the process”. Like minimalist sculptures, these objects are pared down to basic rectilinear shapes, trapezoids and parallelograms and like their automotive counterparts, are convertible- meant to be opened, closed, folded up and even rotated into a variable arrangements of form.

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