Sunday, October 05, 2014

Not Going Straight: Juan Angel Chavez's Points to Blossom in Pioneer Court

click images for larger view
Much is made in contemporary architecture about liberating itself from the constraints of linear form, but the new sculpture in Pioneer Court by Juan Angel Chavez takes randomness to a new level.

Points to Blossom officially goes on display on Monday and is scheduled to remain, providing its durability remain unchallenged, through November 3rd.  (If Chavez's sculpture is not really improvised, the same can't be said for those paper signs hastily taped on with “CAUTION DO NOT CLIMB” underscored in yellow highlighter.)
Chavez is artist in residence for this year's edition of Chicago Ideas Week, which takes place October 13-19 at various locations.

Chavez is known for constructing his works out of found materials - in this case, recycled plywood, angled, bent and threaded together.  Points to Blossom resembles a ball of rubber bands, if it wasn't really a ball, and if the bands were somehow widely dispersed around a large irregular space.  While a building by Frank Gehry or Zaha Hadid may break the bounds of traditional right-angled design, Chavez's loosely woven structure seems all irregularity, a sequence of components that seems just a moment away from totally unraveling and flying off into space.  Its a structural improv that almost defies you to resolve its many parts into a visually comprehensible whole.
Chavez encourages his audience to interact with his sculptures and, Sunday morning, kids were already bounding past any intellectual questions the work may pose, and simply enjoying the experience of Chavez's loopy construction.

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