The built environment has long been a source of inspiration to contemporary artists. From Gordon Matta-Clark’s abandoned building “cuts” to Doris Salcedo’s site-specific interventions and Dan Graham’s Pavilions, artists have utilized architecture as a means to engage the public. This fall, Public Art Fund presents a series of talks by a new generation of artists whose work engages the built environment as both a point of departure and source of inspiration. Drawing on elements of architectural and design history—including Modernism, Brutalism, and even DIY construction—these artists address the psychological, social, and cultural significance of the urban landscape.
Monika Sosnowska’s site-specific interventions and large-scale sculptures utilize scale, optical illusion, and existing architectural forms to challenge our perceptions and expectations of architectural space. For more than ten years, she has created increasingly complex installations, including a series of doors that shrink in size until viewers are unable to move through them (Entrance, 2003); a scale model of a communist housing block crushed to fit into the Polish Pavilion for the Venice Biennale (1:1, 2007); and an external staircase, as found in Poland’s Socialist housing, oversized, twisted and leading nowhere (Staircase, 2010).
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Monika Sosnowska was born in 1972 in Ryki, Poland and currently lives in Warsaw. In addition to representing Poland in the Venice Biennale in 2007 she has twice been invited to present her work in the Biennale’s Arsenale exhibition in 2011 and 2003. Select solo exhibitions include Kunsthalle Nürnberg , 2011; Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, 2011; 2011 Kurimanzutto, Mexico City, 2011; Lichtof/Atrium Project 1, K21 Düsseldorf , 2010; Artspace, San Antonio, Texas, 2010; Herzliya Museum Tel Aviv, Israel, 2010; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2006.
* Public Art Fund Talks at The New School are organized by the Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, presented on occasion of the Vera List Center’s 2011–2013 focus theme Thingness.
Image caption: Monika Sosnowska, Ladder (detail of work in progress), 2010. Steel, paint. Herzliya Museum for Contemporary Art.