This is our Art recommendation for today. Showcasing Artist Daniel Arshman.
New York-based artist blurs the boundaries between dance, design, architecture and art. His current exhibition, “Reach Ruin” at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, is Mr Arsham’s largest solo show to date, spread over two floors of the museum. On the ground level, three plaster models of cameras are displayed alongside a series of monochrome gouache-on-Mylar paintings of a man on the moon. Nearby are human sculptures: a figure stands against a wall, shrouded from head to waist in what appears to be white fabric but is actually aqua resin, fibreglass and epoxy. A few metres away, a similar work gives the illusion of a human form behind a white sheet blowing in the wind (though there is nothing behind the sheet). “So much of my work is about making architecture do things that it really shouldn’t do, making it perform in unexpected ways, and collapsing the materiality of it,” says Mr Arsham. The results merge the surreal with the mundane.
Much of this show was inspired by a traumatic childhood memory. He was 12 when Hurricane Andrew swept through Florida in 1992. He hid in a reinforced closet in his Miami home while the storm destroyed nearly everything around him. The experience left him with some unforgettable images: decimated drywall, shattered glass, pink insulation turned to mush, and warped aluminium studs. “Reach Ruin” is an anagram of “hurricane”.
The sculptures on the eighth floor stand as a reflection of the aftermath of the hurricane: 11 jagged columns constructed from white drywall and pale green shattered glass look like an eroding forest. Two other sculptures of human figures made from architectural foam coated with shattered glass sit on plinths; one deep in thought, the other staring down (pictured above). “It’s about taking this material that has no purpose, that’s broken, that’s useless, and remaking it back into a figure, or an object that has that kind of intention behind it,” says Mr Arsham. You can click on the image and it will link you to Arsham’s profile.