We’ve looked at the work of Bay Area sculptor Dan Grayber here before, but he’s got a small show of new work opening up at Oakland’s Johansson Projects gallery next month and it seems worth stopping by.
Grayber describes his work as a study in “self-resolving problems,” where highly-tensioned devices hold themselves aloft inside glass vitrines, as if floating in space, fighting their own weight while pushing relentlessly against the walls that contain them.
Graybar uses an over-arching description for many of pieces seen here, writing, for example, that each piece is “a counterweight driven mechanism that wedges itself into the inside of a cavity (the glass dome in this case), suspending itself.”
[Image: “Cavity Mechanism #11 w/ Glass Dome” (2013) by Dan Grayber].
They are as much displays of gravitational potential energy—like staged moments in some avant-garde machine-ballet whose only plot and purpose is to resist the pull of the earth—as they are “art objects.”
While the highly contained, desktop scale of each piece adds to the overall feel of pent-up force and concentration, it’s hard not to want to see this guy working at Richard Serra-like proportions, scaled-up to the point of architecture.
You walk into Madison Square Park in Manhattan only to see a giant steel mantis weighing five or six tons, painted in fluorescent construction orange, poised kite-like inside a polarized glass dome, holding boulders the size of Fiats, sprung, tensioned, and impossibly buoyant, as if somehow lighter than air.
There is an artist’s reception and opening on October 4, so mark your calendars ahead of time and stop in to meet the machines. More examples of his work can be seen here on BLDGBLOG or at the artist’s own website.