Noah Loesberg: Constructing Ornament
Opening reception: February 26, 2016, 6-9pm
Four Windows, One Door, 2015-16
144" x 96" x 8" (3.66m x 2.4m x 20cm)
Through shifts in scale and substitutions of materials sculptor Noah Loesberg recontextualizes items from historical sources like early 20th century builder’s guides, Persian illuminated manuscripts, images downloaded from the Internet and our contemporary built environment. Common things, like windows, often overlooked or simply ignored by most of us are for Loesberg full of beauty and rich with metaphoric potential. By transposing the ubiquitous into the unusual Loesberg brings to our attention the pleasure of ornament and the beauty in the everyday.
This exhibition will feature a site-specific installation titled, Four Windows, One Door (144” x 96” x 8”, wood, acrylic house paint, 2015-16) derived from early 20th century builder’s manuals. Loesberg compressed the horizontal dimensions of the windows and the door thus squeezing what would be the glazing emphasizing the wooden structure. This manipulation of proportions forces the window and door trim moldings into the visual forefront and the industrial yellow paint obscures a simple enjoyment of ornament and decoration, while emphasizing the contemporary object-ness of the piece. Loesberg says, “Over-decorated, a baroque feel overtakes the repose of American utilitarian restraint.”
Also included in the exhibition are a series of castings and a large wall sculpture. Taken from Persian illuminated manuscripts, Loesberg deleted the calligraphy leaving only the architecture of the borders. He then reproduced these structures in wood and cast them in jewel-like ruby-tinted translucent polyurethane blocks. For the large wall relief (wood, acrylic house paint) Loesberg cut up and rearranged plinth blocks and decorative rosettes into a puzzle-like composition meant to resist his desire to find pattern in decorative motif.
By extracting beauty from the mundane Loesberg asks us to contemplate our cultural assumptions and reevaluate what we think. His exploration of materials and context offers us a perspective to see common objects differently and manipulates our preconceived notions of beauty and value.