3 Pages

Sarah Sze

Sarah Sze’s practice lies between the intersections of architecture, painting, and sculpture.

Working primarily in installation, Sze begins each work by first “considering the nature of the

space-how it is used, the circulation, the light, and the history.”1 Her formal consideration of

light, color, and texture is coupled with sensitivity to materials and their various possibilities in

different contexts. Her works are often assembled from innocuous, mass-produced bits of residue

that are painstakingly arranged in a way that strips them of their intended utility. As early as

1998, with the exhibition “Ripe Fruit Falling” at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in New York,

Sze’s signature sculptural aesthetic of the ephemeral has captured viewers’ attention through a

unique manipulation of space. In her 2006 installation Tilting Planet, rings of sliced Styrofoam

cups intermingle with bottles and glasses of water, an unlikely balancing act that brings rocket

ships and planets to mind. Associative leaps are unavoidable as one considers relational

possibilities implied by the items in these impermanent constructions-water collides with a

menacing micro-forest of push pins, and this tactile environment is fleshed out by razor blades,

sponges, masking tape, and blades of grass. In representing the residuals of human traces in

uncommon and, at times, uneasy juxtapositions, Sze engages viewers in a continual reorienting

of themselves, forcing a new experience with the leftovers of everyday.