American artist Jim Isermann is currently exhibiting at the Mary Boone gallery in New York (through 17 December). But before you think it’s that chair there you’re meant to be looking at, take a look up – yes, up – towards the ceiling, et voilà. Formed by the clean lines and materials of Modernism, his ceiling installation employs a minimal and pure vocabulary that combines art with design and architecture, creating a unique visual experience that asks the viewers to reposition themselves in relation to ‘art’, to reconsider our expectations of artworks. The work is made out of 500 custom vacuum-formed styrene panels.
Isermann’s work defies to occupy the space of the gallery, and yet, formed by modular units of varying planes that tilt towards and away from us, the work is oddly three dimensional, making us aware of a sense of volume in this ‘flat’ surface. This focus almost compresses the gallery space, making the ceiling push down towards us.
‘The drop ceiling’s compression of vertical space and the walls left bare alter the viewers’ perception of the Gallery’s function,’ explains the Mary Boone gallery.