Suzanne Lovell Inc

Fine Art

Spatial relationships in installed art

February 04, 2017

Anish Kapoor– Leviathan, 2011.

Image courtesy of designboom

Space exists only in relation to something, or someone. Position and even direction in art may have some currency in previous ages when art had its strictly defined purpose of representing the living or metaphysical world. However, even the metaphysical one relied heavily on our perception and imagination, and was made similar to the palpable reality. As artistic styles developed and avant garde movements became mainstay, space started to dissolve and forms that filled artworks were defined along a much simpler differentiation between positive (space occupied by form) and negative space.

Examining space in art must always take into account the complex social and cultural standings of a given time, thus influencing the way space is experienced. To follow are a few examples to stimulate further thinking about spatial relations in art.

Inside view of Anish Kapoor’s Leviathan, 2011.

Image courtesy of designboom

Chiharu Shiota’s The Key in the Hand installation was achieved through the use of red yarn, keys and boats, and said to create a melancholic atmosphere of loss, but also of opportunity and hope.

Chiharu Shiota, The Key in Hand from The Venice Biennale, 2015 in the Japanese Pavilion, Giardini.

Image courtesy of Le Paradox

Henrique Oliveira, Tapumes, 2009, Rice Gallery, Houston. Plywood and pigment. Photo: Nash Baker.

Image courtesy of the artist via Feather of Me

Anselm Kiefer at The Margulies Collection at The Warehouse, Miami, Florida.

Here is Kiefer’s critically acclaimed seventeen foot high Die Erdzeitalter (Ages of the World)(2014). The sculpture, consisting of a pile of unfinished canvases, dried sunflowers, lead books and rubble and flanked by two paintings, previously formed the centrepiece of the artist’s retrospective at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

We have experienced this piece twice at Marguilies, when it opened in 2015 and again in 2016 around Art Basel Miami. The experience of this piece and large installations coming off of walls and filling rooms here is memorable and moving.

Image courtesy of White Cube