Ian Kiaer

For immediate release

Endless Theatre Project

September 5 to October 4, 2003
Opening reception: Friday, September 5, 2003, 6 to 8pm

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to present ‘Endless Theatre Project,’ the first US solo presentation of work by London based artist Ian Kiaer, opening Friday, September 5.

Ian Kiaer groups architectural models, untouched or slightly modified found objects and two-dimensional work to create complex compositions and poetic narratives.   Heavily researched, Kiaer’s work is layered with references to selected figures and concepts from the history of architecture and social philosophy.  Describing ideas and methods for the successful integration of man within society or environment, these arrangements inevitably provoke an atmosphere that is at once subdued, hopeful, tragic and romantic; the romance of the ideal, checked by the tragedy of the unattainable.   As the vulnerable nature of the material suggests the impossible application of various utopian notions, the cerebral elegance of the compositions lends form to the dream.  The amorphous indentations of a soccer ball bladder, or an irregular sheet of polystyrene foam take on the poetic structural randomness of the universe, a universe whose immensity is described by the diminutive scale and ultra-delicate nature of the work set with the much larger architectural spaces. 

‘The Grey Cloth’ presents five new Ian Kiaer compositions inspired by a novel from 1914 of the same name written by German Paul Scheerbart.   An architectural critic and writer, Scheerbart sets his novel in the mid-20th century and lays out a visionary work about glass architecture, within a very human and irony-filled narrative context that includes megalomania and personal suffering. Within the year the novel was complete, Scheerbart had died of an infection in his legs, and the show touches on his illness, his looking into the future which is also symmetrically our past, a kind of fictionalized Modernism, and somehow, the difficulty of writing and thinking about visionary work.

Ian Kiaer lives and works in London and is currently featured in the Italian Pavilion of the 50th Venice Biennale.  In November, Kiaer will have a solo presentation in the contemporary artist series at the Tate Britain. Recent group exhibitions include Artist’s Imagine Architecture at the ICA, Boston; Manifesta 3, Ljubljana, Slovania; and Building Structures, PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, NY.