The magnificent Blow Lamp, standing at a commanding 9 feet blurs the line between anthropomorphism, abstract sculpture, and functional design. The over-scaled lamp is illuminated by hidden LED’s which are both reflected and absorbed in the warm interior creating an illusion that it glows from an almost mystical source. Gander’s sculptural lamps do not attempt to hide evidence of their construction, rather, they embrace the artist’s hand at work. The Blow Lamp’s unusual ridged texture references an earlier work of the artist’s, The True Jelly of the Beast Bar.
Gander treats functionality as a ground for aesthetic play. His wide-ranging curiosity fuels his research-driven practice. He engages a multitude of unconventional materials, describing his unique works as “a culmination of many collisions.” Gander seeks out materials that allow him to go from impulse to final result with few intermediate steps. Using resins, paper pulps, single-use molds, spray foam, and cast-able concrete allows the artist’s hand to resonate throughout the work, addressing the “longing for haptic connection” Gander feels is a by-product of digital culture.
A recent move to a large warehouse-sized studio space in rural New Jersey has opened up Gander’s opportunity to experiment with new materials, including lightweight glass fiber, reinforced concrete, and color-shifting pigments, while allowing his works to take on a monumental scale.
Maintaining a delicate balance between whimsy and function helps stabilize Gander’s design practice.
“I want a certain level of seriousness with my play, to know that it’s connected to an inquiry that has a weighted intention behind it,” he says. “When it’s playful but also having to hit these measures of functionality, that’s the kind of place that I find the most compelling.”
Medium: Plaster, Paper Pulp, Concrete, Pigment, Steel, Fabric, LEDs, Metal Leaf, Resin, Shellac
Dimensions: 108” H x 48” W x 60” D, 274.32 H x 121.92 W x 152.40 D cm
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