A Salem Public Art Commission project
The City of Salem Public Art Commission sought out proposals from artists and designers interested in creating site-responsive public art installations in the heart of downtown Salem during the summer/fall of 2017. Artists and designers working in any media, including light, sound, or other multimedia submitted proposals. The City was particularly interested in installations that have an impact when viewed across the site and will be effective at night as well as during the day.
One of the artists chosen for the initiative is Brooklyn-based Matthias Neumann. Here Matthias talks about his “basics” installations.
“Over the past two years, I have been engaged with a body of work under the title “basics”, which explores an abstracted notion of form, space, and utility. “Basics” is based on a constructive logic of additive dimensional lumber, configured spatially following a set of formal vocabulary. The work wants to be experienced both as an abstract sculptural gesture as well as a usable and interactive spatial environment in the public realm. Initially conceived as part of a larger concept and installation for the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest, Romania (2014), the series of work has since had a number of iterations as public installations in New York, Connecticut, Mississippi, Kansas, Illinois, California, Georgia and North Carolina. The work occupies my continued interest in how simplicity in constructive logic and material can formulate a notion of the every day and site-specificity that encourages uncertainty in the dialog between the viewer and the materiality of the work, opening possibilities in the public quality and appropriation of the work. I believe the double entendre of “basics” as a series of formally strong sculptures that concurrently also act as usable spatial environments may provide an appropriate addition for “Celebrating the Urban Environment” in Salem this coming summer.
Look for this wonderful piece at the corner of Washington and Front.
Learn more about the “basics” series here.