Peter Downsbrough

(New Jersey (USA), 1940)

AND / AS, HERE, PLACE, SET, THE, THEN, 2016

Site-specific installation. Powdercoated lluminium and stainless steel black letters
Variable dimensions

The work offers a reflection on the importance of the position taken: that of sculpture within its context, that of the viewer vis-à-vis the work, that of the artist within the world that surrounds. Within these complex structures the position of each element plays a decisive role, and this goes for language as well as architecture.

The lines and the words used to mark or underline the architecture, the passage thus offer an opening onto the environment, an opening towards interpretation. Prefixes or conjunctions articulate relationships that leave everybody free to decide their terms. We are invited to shift our gaze in a different way to read the place, the context and the work in a different way. The viewer turns into a participant.

AND brings together here and now, inside and outside, art and architecture 

“Peter Downsbrough’s intervention for the Barcelona Pavilion can be considered fortuitous. Here, two seemingly different disciplines, art and architecture, meet to share an equally sparse, austere yet engaging vocabulary. Mies van der Rohe’s iconic masterpiece, a landmark of Modernism, was built during a decade in which his ground-breaking architecture literally surpassed the ordinary. To reach this conclusion, all one needs to do is take a look around, which is exactly what the artist has done.

The seven discreetly inserted words – verbs, adverbs and prepositions – interact in a subtle way with the constructive logic and spatial freedom of the Pavilion. They invite the visitor into a greater scenario of which SET – in the reflecting pool next to Georg Kolbe’s figure – could be the architectural abstraction that enhances our awareness of our environment and PLACE.” Moritz Küng

 

Installation view of “THEN” at Mies van der Rohe Pavilion. Stainless steel letters laser-cut from 8 mm steel plate, and with a height of 17,5 cm

Installation view of “THE” at Mies van der Rohe Pavilion. Stainless steel letters laser-cut from 8 mm steel plate, and with a height of 17,5 cm

Installation view of “PLACE” at Mies van der Rohe Pavilion. Stainless steel letters laser-cut from 8 mm steel plate, and with a height of 17,5 cm

Installation view of “HERE” at Mies van der Rohe Pavilion. Stainless steel letters laser-cut from 8 mm steel plate, and with a height of 17,5 cm

Installation view of “THE” at Mies van der Rohe Pavilion. Stainless steel letters laser-cut from 8 mm steel plate, and with a height of 17,5 cm

Installation view of “AS” at Mies van der Rohe Pavilion. Stainless steel letters laser-cut from 8 mm steel plate, and with a height of 17,5 cm

Installation view of “AND” at Mies van der Rohe Pavilion. Stainless steel letters laser-cut from 10 mm steel plate, and with a height of 250 mm. The pipes are stainless steel with a diameter of 70 mm.