Galeria Leme is delighted to announce our second solo exhibition of new work by New York- based Lithuanian artist Zilvinas Kempinas. Acclaimed for his kinetic sculptural installations created with fans and unspooled magnetic tape, the artist will here be debuting a suite of new pieces that traverse the boundaries between drawing, painting and sculpture.
These never before seen works consist of a series of panels approximately 4ft in dimension, in which pins spaced around the panels’ outer diameters form the nexus points for elaborate designs created with polyester thread. The pieces are composed entirely of straight lines of thread that crisscross the surface of the panel, the variations in spacing of their anchor points creating dramatic differences in the overall design of the works. Radiating concentric webs of lighter and denser threaded areas appear to pulsate outward from, in each case, a perfect circular void at each work’s center.
As well as these intricately modulated patterns, the works achieve subtle variations through the artist’s manipulation of color, employing differing colored back panels of blacks, grays, deep blues and off-whites, and occasionally colored threads, to produce surprising contrasts in tone and effect. A number of pieces use magnetic tape in place of thread, and start with more randomly spaced pins, their patterns quickly becoming chaotic as their design unfolds.
Upon completion of each piece, Kempinas has the panels embedded in a thick slab of crystal clear resin, fixing their fragile designs for the eons. Like insects in amber, submerging the taut skeins of thread somehow magnifies the delicacy and mystery of their origin.
Each piece is titled after a star, and their radial vortexes recall models of space-time warped by celestial objects. The works also parallel the combination of mathematical abstraction and sheer wonder that underlies our conception of space.
These new works by Kempinas will be installed alongside one of the artist’s magnetic tape and fan pieces, ‘Double O’ (2008), in which the air currents from two facing industrial fans maintain vertically aloft two large loops of magnetic tape. The juxtaposition gives us the opportunity to see parallels with the new panels: the paradoxical strength yet shimmering immateriality of tape being extended through the artist’s use of thread. The works also echo each other in their extension of line beyond one dimensionality: where ‘Double O’ traces its rhythms in the immediate space of the viewer, these new works’ cumulative nodes point toward the infinite spatiality of webs and networks.
A series of voids made manifest, the works in this exhibition take their place in Kempinas’ ever expanding universe of enchanted objects and confounded physics.
Zilvinas Kempinas has had numerous solo exhibitions internationally, including Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris and New York; The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow; Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; Wien Kunsthalle; Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius; and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. His work has also been seen in important group exhibitions including ‘On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century’, MoMA, New York; Yokohama Triennale, Japan; Liverpool Biennale, England; and Manifesta7, Bolzano. In 2009, the artist represented Lithuania at the 53rd Venice Biennial. Kempinas’ work can be seen in the current display of the permanent collection at Centre Pompidou in Paris.