The Strandbeest Returns

I'm still in awe of the Strandbeest 'living sculpture' by Theo Jansen that Kim and I saw at Mass MoCA this summer. So I was excited to see Jansen discussing his work in a recent Ted Talk. Here, he sounds more like a biologist talking about his animals (or a god talking about his creations) than an artist talking about his work. As I watched his demonstration, I realized what made his work so remarkable to me.

A few years ago I saw an exhibition in a small gallery in New York* which presented art work that was merged with science- fruit that had been shaped into sculpture through molds as it grew, a "painting" made by exposing grasses to different kinds of light, watercolors created from chemicals absorbed into litmus paper, and more.

That exhibit made a lasting impression on me because of the unique and varied ways that science had been manipulated into art. Jansen's work goes a step past merging art and science, because for him, the two are inseparable. There is no line that distinguishes the art and science. Even though they are all made of piping, tubes, and bottles, it gives them a sublime natural beauty rarely found outside of nature itself.

*unfortunately, I forget both the name of the gallery and the exhibition. These were my pre-blogging days.


  1. Rey Rey said...
    Hey David... i remember that show actually. amazing combination of science and art. Was the gallery called, "Exit Art"? I think it's on broadway.
    dsgran said...
    That's right! Good memory, Rey! It is on Broadway, down near Prince Street somewhere. Did I see that with you?

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