I flew out to Arizona for my first time and I fell in love.
The purpose of my trip was to see Alois Kronschlaeger’s awe-inspiring Untitled (Basin and Range) at MOCA Tucson. His installation, his largest and most ambitious to-date, was stunning. It was over a year in the making, took seven weeks to install with a crew of people, and one night to celebrate his accomplishment.
I also ventured into the desert. I took in the landscape and the culture.
At dawn, I bid adieu to Tucson and headed to Yuma, Arizona in a red convertible Chevy Camaro. I got the grand tour of Yuma by the city’s own spokesperson, seeing the Colorado River and the Ocean to Ocean Highway.
I hopped back in my Camaro and continued my journey to San Diego. I traveled through the desert, the sand dunes, the turbines, the mountains, and finally through paradise.
I drove over 400 miles to the coast, basking in the sun upon my arrival.
I ate Mexican food while talking aviation with my old pal and Marine pilot.
The next day, I traded in the Camaro for a new set of wheels, a beautiful bicycle with red rims. I rode all along Mission Beach, envisioning my life in this paradise.
On Saturday night, Critter & Guitari hosted a party, pop-up exhibition, and concert at the Cristin Tierney Gallery in New York City.
The ONOMONO Party has begun with installations by Ali Osborn, Raphael Griswold, Teddy O'Connor and Alois Kronschlaeger.
Chris and Owen introduce the lineup of talented acts performing
Orit Ben-Shitrit presents ONOMONO
Erika Spring and Melanie Moser perform
Patrick Noecker also known as RAFT performs
The final performance of the evening
All in all, it was an awesome party to culminate an exciting year. Thanks to Cristin Tierney, Main Drag Music, The Original Moonshine, Orit Ben-Shitrit, Ross Goldstein, Joe Grillo, Raphael Griswold, Melanie Moser, Patrick Noecker, Teddy O’Connor, Ali Osborn, Tonito Santos, and Erika Spring. Special thanks to Alois Kronschlaeger for my beautiful gift. Extra special thanks to everyone who wore sequins!
Way back in January, I described my week with Alois Kronschlaeger, installing Allotropisms at Cristin Tierney and now I would like to share his latest project, Spire.
In April, Alois was asked by his friend Paul Amenta, founder of the nonprofit arts organization SiTE:LAB, to do an installation in an abandoned building in downtown Grand Rapids for ArtPrize 2011. Of course, Alois jumped on the opportunity which has enabled him to create his largest work to-date.
Alois’ idea was to create a giant installation that connected the entire building by assembling his biomorphic sculpture in the elevator shaft starting in the basement and extending through the roof. Once this idea sprouted, he built a scale model, gave a lecture at SVA, wrote a blog, starred in a documentary, broke through the roof, constructed Spire and then made the front page of the Grand Rapids Press.
Now all he has to do is win.
All in all, I am so proud of Alois for accomplishing this amazing feat.
I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with Alois Kronschlaeger as his “critical eye” as he installed his solo show titled Allotropisms at Cristin Tierney (546 West 29th Street, New York, NY 10001).
Alois said that there were four main phases to Allotropisms. Phase 1 was the construction of the wood structure that hangs from the ceiling of the gallery and Phase 2 was the installation of fluorescent lights that lined the top of the structure (which ultimately didn’t get fully finished until after Phase 4). When I came into the process just after Phase 2, they had just finished testing the mesh overlay and the paint in the space. For Phase 3, we had to drape aluminum mesh and attach it to the hanging structure. Phase 3 was a real test of strength and delicacy as we unraveled 100 foot spools that would connect to the wood from above. Phase 4 involved dripping paint onto the draped mesh starting from the bottom and working its way up to the highest points in the structure that Alois could reach. Alois called this part “paint by restraint” as he had to climb into the structure – which was essentially a hazardous jungle gym – and pour the paint gently onto the mesh. This part of the process was really messy for me because as I refilled Alois’ paint bucket and scooped paint off the floor I got dripped on from above as the paint poured through the mesh.
The process of planning Allotropisms was a very scientific one with measurements, renderings, and even a scale model but the process of building the site-specific installation was very organic. Alois put a lot of trust in his team to install this work and it has been a truly remarkable journey. Through this experience I have learned that it’s important to have a plan, test things out, get outside opinions, and then reign it all in to create a stunning piece of artwork.
Here are some photos documenting the process:
Phase 2 Complete
Phase 3 Part 1
Phase 3 Part 3
Phase 3 Complete
Phase 4 Part 1
Phase 4 Part 2
Phase 4 Complete
Phase 2 Final Adjustment
When the four elements of wood, light, mesh and paint are combined the result is Allotropisms, a new, site-specific installation by Alois Kronschlaeger at the Cristin Tierney Gallery. Alois’ work exists at the intersection of art, architecture, fashion and design. His forms are surreal and his materials simple, in the tradition of earlier artists such as Frederick Kiesler and Buckminster Fuller. Alois is best known for his site specific installations and sculptures, which demonstrate a preoccupation with environment and light, as well as an interest in exploring time and space via geometry.
I have had the immense pleasure of working with Alois this week on the installation – his most ambitious project to date. The opening of Allotropisms is Thursday, January 13, 2011, 6-8pm at the Cristin Tierney Gallery, 546 W 29th Street, New York, NY 10001.
Here is a sneak peak!
(More to come after the opening!)