Chambers presents a new installation comprised of a salvaged battleship buoy, repurposed as a massive metal ball, more than 5 feet in diameter. Visitors can push the ball around an ovoid decagon track. Chambers lowers the ball’s center of gravity by partially filling it with oiled BBs. This way, the ball will not tip nor stray from its journey. Eager accomplices, the visitors who push it advance the cycle, over and over again, never reaching a destination.
Chambers refers to an essay on “Gestalt, Bauhaus and Japanese Gardens” in the Oxford Handbook on Perception. In it the authors Gert van Tonder and Dhanraj Vishwanath explain that the therapeutic appeal of this garden’s space is related to the system behind its proportions. The rocks and the distances must be different sizes—not half the size, but instead one third or two-thirds the size of the neighbor. It is also essential that the entire composition be effortlessly apprehensible to the eye. Finally, the arrangement is an abstraction of clusters on an invisible tree, a method that establishes an optimal viewing point, one that, once located, relaxes the senses.
Asked about his reasons for making this work now, he states “I want to revisit my metal training. Serious metal work seems right, especially in light of the way things are, the way the art world is, the unrest, the uncertainty, the changes. In the midst of all this I revisit fairly minimal metal work, like my earlier installations as opposed to something more…” and here he pauses and with precise enunciation finishes, “lightweight.”
Robert Chambers has work in the permanent collections of MOMA, the Kemper, PAMM, MOCA North Miami, MOSI and Tufts University. Recent public art commissions include Light Field, an interactive 100’ light wall and Orbital 1 & 2, 10 and 12 ton marble CNC sculptures at the South Dade Cultural Art Center. An outdoor bronze constellation sculpture, Orthrus, is a recent commission for the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, Florida. Exhibitions include The Invitational at The American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City and ProjektraumM54 in Basel, Switzerland. He lives and works in Miami. Emerson Dorsch is now representing him and his work.
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