Stephen Talasnik’s sculptures transcend the boundaries between architecture and art in both directions: although they are reminiscent of structurally and technically complex constructions, as habitats they belie the primacy of artistic freedom. In this way, Talasnik’s sculptures balance structural necessity with spatial and formal experimentation. “Architecture without Architects” is how Talasnik describes the inspiration for his seemingly organic sculptures, which are developed without a plan: the form of Talsnik’s Hives is “unearthed” or dug out of the connection between the spatial framework- the bones- and only takes on its final shape once the skin, which is made out of strips of woven bamboo, is pulled over the supporting structure. Although the final result gives the impression of habitability and function, the Hives are actually a hybrid which combines the language of fictional structural engineering with that of dysfunctional architecture.
Since the medium of drawing plays a central role in Talasnik’s work it is unsurprising he describes “hives“ as three-dimensional drawings, whose aesthetic imitates hand-drawn lines in space.
Talasnik has developed a number of site-specific installations in the last few years based around this concept, such as “Floating World”, (Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado), “Sanctuary” (Russel Wright Design Center, Manitoga Garrison, New York) and “Pioneer” (Tippet Rise Art Center, Montana). The exhibition developed for the Architektur Galerie Berlin adapts this working method for an indoor space for the first time.
Stephen Talasnik lives and works in New York City. His drawings are in numerous important collections around the world, including the Albertine in Vienna, the British Museum in London, the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Prints and Drawings in Berlin, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York Cty and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
The book “Unearthed” was published in 2018 by Monacelli Press, New York City and includes contributions by Michael Sorkin, Phyllis Tuchman, David Wittenberg and Lebbeus Woods.