Curated by Tom Kotik
The work of artist David Baskin utilizes industrial materials that are commonly used for commercial applications to reflect on our place in today’s consumer-driven culture. For Construct, a site-specific installation designed for the Grace Building, commissioned by Arts Brookfield, Baskin has created a series of brightly colored faux marble tiled plinths. Cast in urethane resin, the sculptural forms are designed to engage the pedestrian while creating new pathways throughout the lobby. These vibrant “Pop” structures provide a counterpoint to the Modernist aesthetic of the lobby’s marble interior.
Whether used in ancient temples or Modernist skyscrapers like the Grace Building, marble has traditionally been seen as a cultural symbol of power, affluence and refined elegance. Baskin’s work brings to light another aspect of this ancient building material by utilizing the naturalistic aspects of marble surfaces. His resin tiles imitate marble’s patterns while injecting bright colors into them, transforming a utilitarian architectural material into something organic that might resemble a bright tulip garden. These vibrant structures transform the lobby from a foyer of pure functionalism into a communal setting not unlike many corporate atriums. In this way, Construct is a rumination on the transformational nature of constructions we live and work in every day. We only need to observe our daily landscape a little deeper.