The German artist Carsten Nicolai is known for his works that are located between art and science. At The Pace Gallery in New York he presents two works that deal with the laws of nature and optical illusion: One of them is Raster Gradient, a work that fills the entire back wall of The Pace Gallery's 22nd Street exhibition space. The pattern changes the perception of the hall; it optically expands and contracts the gallery space. The highlight of the show is certainly the work Pionier I. It consists of a large white silk parachute, a wind machine, soundproof panels, and a timer. In regular intervals, the wind machine inflates the parachute.
The show at The Pace Gallery is titled Pionier (German for pioneer). The visitors attending the opening reception of the exhibition especially liked the transition between the more or less stable state of the fully opened parachute and the moment when the wind machine stops and the parachute falls to the ground again.
Carsten Nicolai was born in 1965 in Chemnitz, Germany. After working as a gardener, he studied landscape design and now works simultaneously in visual and sonic media. He performs music under the pseudonyms noto and alva noto.
His work has been the subject of more than fifty international solo exhibitions at institutions including the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany (2005); Stedelijik Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Gent, Belgium (2006); and Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, Japan (2006 and 2011). Nicolai has taken part in international exhibitions including documenta X, Kassel, Germany (1993), and the Venice Biennale (2001, 2003). He has performed at major institutions including the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2000); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2001); Sydney Opera House, Australia (2001); Tate Modern, London (2006); Reina Sofia, Madrid (2007); and the Kitchen, New York (2006 and 2010). Carsten Nicolai lives and works in Berlin.
Carsten Nicolai: Pionier at The Pace Gallery's 22nd Street gallery in New York runs until October 22, 2011.
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