On the Edge
Howard Halle -- Interior Design, 5/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
Constructing sculpture out of prosaic drywall, plywood, and steel, Felix Schramm creates a poetic balance of creation and destruction—suggesting, perhaps, a Kurt Schwitters installation in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. "His work is specific to the architecture of a place. Yet there's an element of chance to what he does," says Aspara DiQuinzio, assistant curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where the 36-year-old German is having his first solo U.S. museum show.
From June 29 to September 30, Schramm's Misfit is taking up two galleries. Viewers will be forced to navigate around the work, much as they would with a massive Richard Serra arc. But whereas a Serra celebrates the triumph of one artist's will, Schramm gives a nod to the larger forces that can precipitously change our relationship to the world—both natural and man-made.
Schramm starts by building walls that mimic those of the space he's tackling, to the point of incorporating similar paint ortilework. Then he takes an electric saw or a hammer to this room-within-a-room, leaving rough-edged shards to collapse in artful arrangements or slice through one another in architectonic bouquets. Ironically, however, what might look like the random rampaging of a wrecking ball is actually constructed as carefully as the Parthenon.