13 rooms in Materials and Objects
Sarah Sze combines familiar objects to create a fantastical sculpture
Seamless 1999 incorporates functional, human-scale items, for example a ladder. Other handmade elements, such as tiny bridges made from matchsticks, use a scale that relates to fictional miniature worlds. Spiralling structures also suggest the microscopic scale of molecular science. They resemble the double helix shape of DNA, molecules that determine the growth and reproduction of all living things.
The sculpture sweeps across the room in a way that appears seamless. Expanding into doorways, corners and even the space behind the walls, it draws attention to the architecture of the gallery. Seamless was first shown in Pittsburgh, USA, at the Carnegie International exhibition in 1999. Displayed for the first time since, it has been reconfigured to respond to the specific space of this gallery.
Sarah Sze includes cheap, everyday objects, connecting the work to contemporary consumer culture. But Seamless also refers to art historical sources from the early twentieth century. Its structures and shapes relate to constructivism, abstract art that reflected the modern industrial world. And by using the colours red, blue and yellow, Sze recalls De Stijl. This modernist art movement promoted ‘pure’ abstraction using only straight lines and primary colours. Seamless is displayed together with Piet Mondrian’s Composition C (No.III) with Red, Yellow and Blue 1935 to highlight these references.
Piet Mondrian, No. VI / Composition No.II 1920
An early example of Mondrian's pure geometric abstraction, this painting dates from his involvement with the De Stijl group. The strict use of horizontal and vertical lines and primary colours with black and grey is characteristic of De Stijl. Mondrian's aim to evoke a spiritual equilibrium was influenced by the mysticism of Theosophy, which sought universal order. He had been working with chequerboard grids before he began this painting, which introduced greater variety. He told van Doesburg: 'now I do not always keep to the proportional division'.
Gallery label, August 2004
Image released under Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND (3.0 Unported)
artworks in Sarah Sze
Art in this room
De Stijl was a circle of Dutch abstract artists who promoted a style of art based on a strict geometry …
Constructivism was a particularly austere branch of abstract art founded by Vladimir Tatlin and Alexander Rodchenko in Russia around 1915
Watch artist Sarah Sze describe how she makes art