Brecht Wright Gander, Junk Band Series no. 1, USA, 2018
Junk Band is a series comprised of sculptural tables and vessels created through the artist’s experiments in his studio employing unique materials and textures. Incorporating found objects, internal armatures, plywood, polystyrene, and resin, Gander creates his unique assemblages. Like inky relics from a Dr. Seuss oil spill the works appear haphazard and improvisational, and yet Gander is always cognizant of their functional aspects and structural integrity. Accumulations of detritus have been pieced together to form assemblages reminiscent of a one-man-band, each component reconstituting itself, yearning towards renewed usefulness. Blurring the boundaries between durable and disposable and the delicate and the permanent, Gander’s Junk Band Series challenges notions of form and function. Used as end tables, side tables or a coffee table, each work is fitted with platform shelves for objects and bowls for collecting or planting.
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: Plywood, Polystyrene, Metal Armatures, Resin
Dimensions: 38” H x 43” W x 30” D, 60.96 H x 45.72 W x 55.88 D cm
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