Suspended Fall 2005 is a hanging mobile with six balanced elements joined by lengths of wire and powder coated steel. Each of the elements consists of a sawn section of vintage Jacobsen Series 7 chairs, which the artist bought in Berlin. Hung freely in the gallery space, the individual elements of the work can move independently or as a whole when prompted by air movement or direct contact. Designed by Arne Jacobsen (1902–1971) in 1957, the Series 7 chair was styled for modern living. Although the ideology and ambition of Jacobsen’s modernism have faded, the classic plywood moulded chair is still being manufactured using the same methods and materials, and it has become one of the most popular chairs of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. Suspended Fall makes reference to the art of Alexander Calder (1898–1976) and his distinctive, colourful mobiles of the 1930s which in turn were influenced by the abstract work of Piet Mondrian (1872–1944) and Joan Mir¿ (1893–1983). The work explores and reflects the cross-fertilisation of ideas and forms between art and design during the period of early twentieth-century modernism. It is one of an ongoing series of mobiles that Boyce has been making since 2001. It has been exhibited in the following exhibitions: This Storm we call Progress, Arnolfini, Bristol 2005; Material Intelligence, Kettles Yard, Cambridge 2009; and The 4th Auckland Triennial, New Zealand 2010.
Martin Boyce’s work explores the visual language of modernist architecture and design. Drawing on its iconography and history of production, classic pieces of furniture by Arne Jacobsen, Charles and Ray Eames, Jean Prouvé and Charlotte Perriand, among others, have often been the focus of Boyce’s attention. Boyce’s selected objects engage with the ethos of modernism: democratic and mass-produced, they reflect an ambition for what can be understood as a utopian vision – a re-imagining of society on egalitarian terms. Boyce is also interested in how meanings change over time, in particular how the significance of particular objects alters as society changes. Displaced from their original ideals and context, Boyce’s objects take on an alternative life.
Martin Boyce: For 1959 Capital Avenue, exhibition catalogue, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt 2002.
Martin Boyce Undead Dreams, exhibition catalogue, RomaRomaRoma, Rome 2003.
Martin Boyce, Zürich 2009