Alfstad& Unveils New Space with Site-Specific Installation

Gallery

BY PHILIP LEDERER SRQ DAILY FRIDAY WEEKEND EDITION FRIDAY NOV 3, 2017

Alfstad& Contemporary reopens its doors today for the start of a new season with a new space. Though still recognizable from the outside, gallery-goers are in for a treat with a thoroughly revamped interior embracing a modern gallery style and with 33 percent more space. Celebrating the upgraded environs, Alfstad& kicks off the season with a bold exhibition—a single mammoth installation from the Swiss artist, Zimoun.

It all started with the tile, says Alfstad& Contemporary Owner Sam Alfstad. Distracting from the art and unpleasing to the eye, Alfstad tore it up in favor of the minimalism of polished concrete, which paired well with the exposed brick on the walls. But one thing often leads to another and once the renovation started, it was hard to stop. Next to go was the great overhanging balcony, which previously cut the space in half, leaving high ceilings and a permeating sense of openness to the entire affair. Resulting in one great exhibition area, with white walls amongst the brick and nothing looming overhead, the art has a chance to breathe and stand alone. “It’s really a smart and wonderful way to present art, and really activates the art,” says Alfstad, noting that this “White Cube” approach to art has become the dominant theory in many contemporary circles and beyond. “To let important art shine, it needs a little more room.”

Lighting has also received an upgrade, with Alfstad aiming for less of a harsh spotlight approach and more of a natural light effect. Soft ceilings and soft lighting not only eliminate the starkness of spotlighting in favor of a more inviting warmth, but also more closely recreate the natural lighting most use in their home. “It’s a much more relaxing place for the viewer,” says Alfstad, “and shows the art in a much more natural way.”

And to show off the new space and start the new season, Alfstad and his crew went for something a little different. Instead of an exhibition of many works and all for sale, tonight’s opening will feature but one installation and it’s not for sale. It will, however, change over time, allowing for greater rewards from further visits.

Designed by the internationally acclaimed installation artist, Zimoun, the installation comprises 208 plain cardboard boxes, each affixed with a motor that propels a single ball in pendulous motion. Alone, one creates little more than a whisper and hum. Arranged across the wall, with hundreds of motors whirring in an asynchronous chorus, as the boxes bob and shudder with the swaying of their pendulums, the mass takes on new character, new weight. Site-specific, the installation is designed precisely for the new space, where it will live and slowly die, as the motors run themselves ragged over the course of the exhibition. “It’s really bleeding-edge, contemporary work,” says Alfstad. “The kind of work we are committed to bringing to Sarasota.”

Zimoun opens tonight at Alfstad& Contemporary with an opening reception at 5:30pm.

Pictured: Previous Zimoun exhibition in Le CentQuatre Paris, France, in 2017. Photo courtesy of Alfstad& Contemporary.

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