Emerging as an artist in the 1990s, Sarah Sze (b. 1969, Boston) has built a distinct visual language that blurs the boundaries between various mediums including painting, sculpture, sound, print, drawing, video, and architecture, challenging the threshold between digital and the analogue, the tactile and the imagined, and the permanent and the impermanent.
For this solo exhibition, Sze will create a series of site-specific installations that weave a trail of discovery through multiple spaces of the Guggenheim’s iconic Frank Lloyd Wright building. Outside, the exhibition will spill into the public sphere beyond the museum walls. A flowing river of images will trace the building’s exterior, echoing the movement of the traffic and passersby at street level, while a live-feed projection of the moon on the curved rotunda facade will mirror its cycle over the course of the exhibition. In Sze’s reimagination, the iconic UNESCO World Heritage architecture becomes a public timekeeper in a reminder that timelines are built through collective experience and memory.
Inside the museum, Sze will arrange a path of unexpected encounters: a pendulum hovering above the fountain on the rotunda floor, an installation tucked into a hallway in front of the freight elevator. These quiet gestures will score visitors’ progress to the top level of the rotunda, where an immersive environment comprising new works of sculpture, painting, installation, and sound awaits them. These expansive sequence of eight bays will be connected by a river of videos that travel across, above, and behind the works on view, forming a site-specific horizon line of moving images.
Bookending this installation designed for the Guggenheim’s building will be two key works from the museum’s collection, both exhibited for the first time in New York: Untitled (Media Lab) (1998), Sze’s first sculpture to incorporate video; and Timekeeper (2016), a monumental, multisensory installation that will mark the exhibition’s finale in the adjoining gallery on Tower Level 7. Time, as it unfolds the ensemble of works gathered for Sarah Sze: Timelapse, is not only a collection of lived and remembered experiences but, in the words of the artist, “a contemplation on how we mark time and how time marks us.”
Sarah Sze: Timelapse is organized by Kyung An, Associate Curator, Asian Art.