JanKossen Contemporary is pleased to present Dialogue, a two-person show featuring German artist Harald Schmitz-Schmelzer and American Troy Simmons, on view from September 6, 2018 – October 8, 2018. Although visually both artists appear to be radically different, from Simmons’ bioorganic and deconstructive aesthetic in contrast to the precise geometric clean lines of Schmitz-Schmelzer, both artists carefully engineer each of their works; For Simmons this involves building and constructing his pieces and then breaking the forms out of the concrete. Inversely, Harald Schmitz-Schmelzer’s process involves freeing the resin sculpture from the constructed molds he crates.
Troy Simmons explores the idea of the Anthropocene and humanity’s destructive relationship with the planet. He plays with the viewer’s notions of nature by depicting it as an independent entity which can fight back against man made materials. Simmons describes his work as an exploration of incompatible binary relationships; his work exposes how these opposite forces have the ability to coexist in balance.
Inspired by nature’s persistence to co-exist despite the impact we impose, Simmons’ work is a contemporary reimagining of the Arte Povera movement, particularly in the beautification of everyday objects and the bold juxtaposition between traces of nature and industry. However rather than presenting the objects simply as they are, Simmons creates a dynamic sculpture wherein the materials work both with and against each other.
Conversely, the creations of Harald Schmitz-Schmelzer draw inspiration from nature and ancient culture’s most elemental forms, functioning as contemporary manifestations. Through a technique evolved over years of experimentation, pigmented resin is poured in parallel or vertical layers onto a base of raw tropical wood.
Rejecting the common comparison to “3-D color stripes”, the artist cites diversity of chromaticity and translucency in his assertion of each layer’s existence as a sovereign entity; Varying widths and hues lend a unique life to each layer, akin to geological striations showing the passage of earths time. Through repetition and variation of carving method, the materials’ inherent imperfections are transformed into compelling patterns and structures that encourage the viewer to interact with the sculpture from different angles, to perceive new dimensions based on one’s position in relation to the work.