Sarah Sze has built a longstanding relationship with the LeRoy Neiman Center which stretches over a decade of projects. Her first experience in the Center’s shops was in 2000. Coming into the studio, she set out to tackle on oversize format, juxtaposing her elegant architecturally rendered images in a multilayered print titled Day. Using a multitude of layered runs in color photo offset lithography and silkscreen, the artist incorporated many aspects of her drawing. Day (first version, edition of 10) brought this spatial artist back into the two dimensional composition format and resolved into a pair of prints, editions of 27 each, titled Day (version II) and Night. These three prints reflect each other in size and scope and each show intricately mapped out skies. They exude a kind of cosmological architectural schematic space on cream and dark blue grounds.
“These works investigate movement, disintegration, and disorientation. Here I wanted to enter a two-dimensional frame and find a location that is entropic, fragmenting, spinning, and adrift. These drawings frame a fragment of a larger system that could potentially expand beyond the frame. They start from an exploration of atmosphere, fleeting situations, and environments with a specific kind of weather.”
Following her successful experience on these projects, Sze returned to the Center in 2007 to build a 3D multiple utilizing the shop’s new laser engraver. The project she envisioned became an appropriated version of a composition pad, titled Notepad. Positioned on the wall – the piece gently unfurls its individual sheets over a miniature paper model of a fire escape with ladder.
“I am interested in an object or image that plays with the state of its own existence; for example, a pad of paper that is carefully printed rather than mass produced, or a collage that seems to be falling apart as much as coming together, in other words, its parts are holding the picture plane together and yet still maintaining their identity (as a rock or an envelope).”
Sze returned to the Center in 2011-12 to further investigate the process of sight. She conceived of a project to decontextualize the design of the Ishihara color blindness test and to reinterpret the form of the traditional eyechart. The two projects editioned: 2 (a set of 6 prints in color silkscreen) and Eyechart (a playful 3D pop up eyechart). These projects were included in her solo exhibition, Sarah Sze: Infinite Line, at The Asia Society, NYC, on view from December 13 – March 25, 2012.
The LeRoy Neiman Center’s most recent project with Sze, started in the summer of 2012. The work resolves as a very striking black wall multiple titled, Checks and Balances. It moves the artist’s explorations further into 3D territory and relates in composition closely to her recent site work. Using the shop’s laser technology, the artist cut a scrolling form in filigree black paper. This form intricately duplicates her linear drawings and then combines with her use of found material – ie. black painted string, blue plastic push pins and black painted stones. Images found in the work are such recognizable silhouettes like a miniature floating Coliseum and her recurring spiral staircases.
Sarah Sze is a sculptor who lives and works in New York City. She received her BA from Yale University in 1991 and an MFA from the School of visual Arts in 1997. She is currently a faculty member in the School of the Arts at Columbia University and teaches the MFA Advanced Printmaking course with Kiki Smith and Valerie Hammond every spring term. She has received many awards, including a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship (2003); John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (2003); Louis Comfort Tiffany Award (1999); and the Rema Hort Mann Foundation award (1997). Major exhibitions of her work have appeared at the Asia Society Museum, NYC (2012 – as mentioned above); 10th Biennale de Lyon (2010); BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (2009); Malmo Konsthall (2006); Whitney Museum of American Art (2003); Walker Art Center (2002); Sao Paulo Bienal (2002); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1999), Foundation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, Paris (1999), the Carnegie International (1999), and the 48th Venice Biennale (1999).