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译《里查德森·迈耶雕塑作品集前言》

更新时间:2020-02-21 13:50:52 作者:王晓昕

原文:

An architect of international renown, Richard Meier often turns to other art forms as outlets for talents that range far beyond the drafting table. Meier’s art, like his architecture, builds on solid modernist foundations. At the beginning of his architecture career, Meier spent evenings and weekends in lower Manhattan painting alongside other young artist attracted to the dynamic outpouring of older abstract expressionists including Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline. The collages he constructs out of papers gathered while traveling grow out of the work of Picasso, Schwitters, and others. Most recently, Meier has focused on sculpture, turning out assemblages that seethe and throb with a barely controlled vitality, recalling the charged creations of the constructivist, futurists, and even surrealists.

Meier’s foray into found-object sculpture began, appropriately, by chance. Several years ago, Meier’s longtime friend Frank Stella invited him to visit the Tallix Foundry in upstate New York, where Stella was working on large-scale works in cast stainless steel. While waiting for Stella to finish working, Meier busied himself in a corner, assembling wax elements and refuse into complex composition. Eight hours ago, when Stella had packed up to leave, Meier wanted to stay on. Thus began an passion that would consume his spare days and hours for the next three years, resulting dozens of sculptures.

Meier soon expanded his found objects to include scraps of architecture models collected from his architectural model shop in Los Angeles. He binds his elements and items from the foundry together with string, and then dips the whole bundle in wax. This is used to create a ceramic mold, which in turn provides the shell for casting the pieces in stainless steel. Meier thus uses the relics of his own design process, occasionally mixed with found objects, to create new works. He see this kind of artistic cannibalism as a way of breathing new life into the abandoned models: recycling as reanimation. The method also has a poetic slant. Meier calls old model parts, such as the rotunda from the Getty Museum that appears in several sculptures, “ruin.”

Meier further underscores process process by leaving remnants and scars of the casting in the finished works .The serpentine tubes that coil around many pieces are the “gates” through the liquid l flows into ceramic mold; the solid cylinders that anchor certain sculptures are the cups into which the l is poured.

Rather than sawing these off, Meier allows them to enliven his composltions. Creases and drips from the casting line the surfaces; elsewhere the tentacular gates have been tom off like weeds, their edges left raw. Meier was attracted to stainless steel because the surface comes out differently each time: variations  in heat make it impossible to predict the finish. Thus chanc--which models and scraps happen to be available, how the heat colors the steel on a given day--turns the creative process into a sequence of discoveries. Even “errors” such as the “flashes” of liquid l than occasionally fan out from broken gates attract Meier’s eye In his works they morphose into delicate leaf or petal forms. In his sketchbooks of collages, Meier works and reworks each page until the entire volume is filled. Nothing is ever fixed or certain about the sculptures until they leave foundry--and even then, he has been known to change his mind and send a piece back for revision.

The  works in series are named after southern German towns featuring baroque churches. Meier believes that the forms and the quality of light in these structures, many of which he has visited, loosely inspired his sculpture. He also acknowledges, however, that the list of names simply provided an interesting device for cataloguing the group. The next body of work will adopt a different rubric.

Meier doesn’t set out to make figurative or representational works, and the results are extraordinarily diverse, given the consistent materials and method. Nonetheless, it’s hard to resist seeing forms and figures in the pieces. Many resemble large flowers or undersea plants, their stalks and leaves and petals bending with the wind or current. Stalks and leaves and pieces play a flirtatious hide—seek omid more stolid masses. Others look like miniature factories or industrial compounds places that make things. Gabled roofs, leaning towers, and gridded walls, linked by webs of shoots and ladders suggest assembly lines run amok. In one piece, three “floors” held in place by certical “beams” hint at a plausible building—except that the middle floor twists vertically, a hinged platform swings out flamboyantly into space, and dangling staircases lead from nowhere to nowhere. Still others, like elaborate machines, contraptions that do God knows what. Whether mechanistic or organic. man-made or natural, teem with life. It is as if, animated by invisible forces, the sculptures have wriggled out of the artist’s hands and continue to evolve before our eyes.

Indeed, sitting amid the crisp white of Meier’s New York apartment, where neat stacks of art and design books form columns aligned with coffee tables and bookcases, the sculptures introduce a wild energy: heathens dancing in the temple Meier states that he struggles to achieve “some sense of order” in the sculptures (he is the butt of iokes at the foundry for his meticulous habit of squaring off horizontals and verticals with a carpenter’s level), but it is the disorder of the pieces that first strikes those familiar with Meier’s highly controlled architecture. While Meier incorporates elements from models for actual buildings in the sculptures, as often as not he turns them upside-down or sidewavs. or lets them dangle precariously from rickety armatures like tree houses about to topple from their perches. Elsewhere bundles of odd fragments defy gravity, swirling up into space like lumber caught up in a cyclone. Moreover, the smoky, molten surfaces couldn’t be further from the pristine white and glazed facades of Meier’s buildings, and the furious dynamism, as suggested above owes more to futurism and surrealism than to Le Corbusier.

Though Meier has looked at art throughout his life he has had no formal training in sculpture and acknowledges no conscious influences on his current works Here too his art and design practice seem to diverge: as the landmark New York Five book pointed out early on, Meier’s architecture consciously builds on the more idiosyncratic products of modernism: Le Corbusier’s baroque variations on the International Style and the distinctive contributions of Aalto, Asplund, Mackintosh, and the Viennese Jugendstil. Finally, Meier’s predilection for found objects in his sculpture no parallel in the architecture, which is created rather than assembled, invented rather than collected.

Significant parallels between the sculpture and the architecture emerge on second thought and second glance, however Meier’s buildings are “alive” Their classical geometries and pristine surfaces belie dynamic curves, undulating spaces, and modulating natural light. Moreover, every new building is in a sense composed of “found objecs”: standard program elements that, through centuries of architectural production have been cast into formal typologies familiar to even the casual observer of design. Rotundas, colonnades, triumphal arches,great halls, even half-baths and fire stairs, which the architect learns and then learns, to adopt and adapt to each situation. The stylistic and formal motifs that Meier borrowed from early modernism constitute such a set of found objects that he reworks into endlessly inventive new configurations, just as he imbues the old model pieces and other castoffs with new energy in creating the sculptures. Meier has worked with the finest architectural materials available, ancient and modern, from travertine to porcelain-enameled steel panels, In the sculpturss he transmutes distinctly modern assemblages through the time-honored method of casting—albeit in contemporary stainless steel rather than bronze.

Finally, the increasingly complex programs that have engaged Meier’s architectural talents over the past decade demand the same sort of accretive process enacted in the sculptures. The mammoth Getty Center curtly under construction is an architectural assemblage of disparate elements—museum, library, auditorium, research laboratories, offices—loosely grouped on a hillside overlooking Los Angeles like some modern Acropolis or perhaps it is more like Hadrian’s Villa, an elaborate estate designed dy the Roman emperor ornamented with structures copied from existing buildings all over the sprawling empire. Meier also cites examples of  how the sculptures have begun to influence his architecture. The skylight dropped into the recently designed Museum of Television & Radio in Los Angeles is skewed, following its own rebel logic over the order of the whole.

Cross-referencing the sculptures and the architecture is interesting and informative only up to a point, however, for Meier’s sculptures stand apart and stand on their own. They are neither studies for nor auxiliaries to his architecture. Rather, the sculptures are the work of a versatile artist who has found vet one more way to give form to his visions. Meier possesses the curiosity and the courage to follow a new path, giving way to each turn of an imagination that constantly rediscovers him. In the process, he infuses each work with a playfulness—while making it clear that he is not just playing around.

Lois Nesbitt is an artist and writer living in New York. Her essays on art and architecture have appeared in Artforum, A+U, The New York Times Book Review, ANY magazine; and other publications.

译文:

    作为一名具有国际声望的建筑师,理查德森·迈耶经常通过从事其他形式的艺术来宣泄自己在枯燥的草图绘制台前所不具有的艺术才华。迈耶的作品,如同他的建筑设计,是建筑在坚实的现代主义艺术原则基础之上的。在他刚刚开始从事建筑设计的时候,迈耶经常利用夜晚和周末的时间在曼哈顿与一群年轻艺术家一起画画,他们迷恋包括威廉·德库宁和佛朗兹·克莱恩在内的后期抽象表现主义艺术。迈耶的这些在出外旅行时用纸张拼聚而成的剪贴画来源于毕加索、史威斯和其他一些艺术家的艺术。最近,迈耶专注于雕塑创作,开始制作沸腾和跳动着强大生命力的集合雕塑作品。这些雕塑使人联想起很多充满感情的艺术作品,如构成主义、未来画派甚至超现实主义的作品。

    迈耶是通过一些偶然的机缘才开始制作现成品雕塑的。在许多年以前,迈耶多年的好友弗兰克·斯特拉邀请他去参观位于纽约州北部的大力克士铸造工厂。斯特拉正在这里制作一件大型不锈钢雕塑作品。在等待斯特拉完成其工作的时候,迈耶独自一人在工厂的角落里把蜡状的元件和废品装配成一件混合物。八小时后,斯特拉收拾完东西已经离开,而迈耶却还想留在这里继续手头的事情。就这样,迈耶以巨大的热情投入了这项艺术的创作中,他花费了三年的所有业余时间,终于完成了一大批现成品雕塑作品。

    迈耶很快扩大了他的现成品材料的利用范围,这些现成品甚至还包括他在洛杉矶的建筑模具商店的建筑废料。他把这些来自于铸造厂的原件和物品用绳子绑定,然后再浸入蜡液当中。这个过程是为了制造陶制的模具,这些模具也为不锈钢片的铸造提供了外壳。就这样,这些生产和加工过程经过设计的废品成为雕塑材料,迈耶利用他们创作出新的作品。他把这种艺术化的自残作为一种将新的生活注入放荡不羁的艺术模式的方法:周而复始的苏醒。同时这种方式也具有一种诗性的倾向。迈耶将摆放着许多雕塑作品的盖蒂博物馆的圆顶大厅称为“废墟”、“遗迹”。

    迈耶更进一步的强调了这个以被遗弃了的废料和元件为材料的铸造过程对于一件完整艺术品的重要作用。这些缠绕在许多金属片上的蜿蜒的管状物是流动的金属溶液进入陶制模具的通道;铆钉在雕塑实体上的凝固的柱状物则是灌注金属溶液的容器。与使用切割的方式不同,迈耶选择了这种铸造的方法熔铸出具有无限生机的合成物。在铸造过程中产生的折缝和滴状物使雕塑表面隆起皱纹;其他部分触手状的通道向杂草一样被割掉,这使得器物的边缘变的平整。不锈钢深深地吸引着迈耶,这种材质的表面仿佛在不断变化,没有人可以预知这种变化什么时候才算真正完成。这种变化的可能性使得元件和废品开始成为可利用的材料,也使得钢铁在一个特定的情况下有了火热的颜色。于是,这种变化的可能性就转变成一种片断性发现的创造过程。在这样的情形下,甚至像从闸门偶然间流出的闪动着的金属溶液这样的“误差”也吸引了迈耶的目光。在迈耶的作品里,以上这些元素发生质的变化,转变成为精巧的叶状或花瓣状的形态构成。迈耶反复的修改着速写本上的每一页剪贴画,直到它们有了强大的生命力。在离开铸造工厂之前任何雕塑都不可能是确立和完善的,而且尽管这样,迈耶依然不断的改变和修整着自己的想法。  

    本书的这一系列作品被命名为“德国南部小城巴洛克教堂印象”。迈耶确信这些教堂的形式构造和采光品质都或多或少的激发了他的雕塑灵感。然而,他也认为目录上的作品名称仅仅提供的是整体目录上的一个有趣的小片断,不能完全说明问题。迈耶的下一系列作品将采用一种不同的形式来完成。

    丰富的寓意和具体的形象会使作品的风格格外多变,因此迈耶不打算制作此类作品,而是继续保持材质和风格的连贯性。虽然如此,我们常常很难不去留意一些片断上的结构和图形。在迈耶的雕塑中出现过许多类似巨大的花朵和海底植物的形体,这些形体上的茎状的、叶状的、花瓣状的分支仿佛被强风和气流吹弯了似的在空中飘着。将扇形的片断弯折,遮挡住一些形态粗放的构件,这看起来就像一场戏虐的捉迷藏游戏。其他的部分看起来更像生产产品的大型工厂或工业化的合成物。人字形的屋顶、倾斜的高塔、网格状的城墙,这些都是我们把他们和射击用的网格和梯子相联系,使我们联想到集成电路的地短路。一方面,三朵“花”通过一束垂直的光线保持在一个适当的位置上,这暗示着一种似是而非的建筑存的在——除了中间的那朵“花”相互垂直的曲折以外,一个被链接的平台华丽的在空中摆动着,而平台的楼梯也在虚无缥缈中摇摆着。另一方面,就像精心制作的机器一样,这些设计巧妙的装置唤起了上帝的共鸣。总之,不论是机械的还是有机的,是人工的还是自然的,这些都充满了生活气息。或许被一种无形的影响力所鼓舞,雕塑始终试图逃避艺术家的控制,而继续先于我们的视觉而存在发展。

    的确,坐在迈耶建于纽约的白色墙壁的公寓中,看着紧挨着书橱和茶几的整洁的摆满了艺术和设计画册的专栏,你会感觉到他的雕塑传达出一种野性的力量,就像原始人在神庙里狂舞一样的感觉一样。迈耶自己认为他的目标是体现雕塑的一种秩序感(这其实是他在铸造工房里小心翼翼的画水平线和垂直线这样的木工活是开的玩笑),但是,就像他那些具有很强内在约束力的建筑设计一样,当你第一次看到他的雕塑的时候,你会感觉到它们又是那么的杂乱无章。每当迈耶把所有构件变得乱七八糟和东倒西歪,或者把零件晃动的如三间房子即将倒塌一样,这说明他将组合所有元件开始真正的雕塑构建了。在别处剩下的一大堆杂物碎片似乎在挑战地球引力,像飞舞在飓风中的木头一样在空中盘旋。而且,迈耶的这一系列作品的表面如同融化的烟雾一样飘然,仿佛与他那些颜色质朴和外立面光滑的建筑设计有着千丝万缕的联系。这种气质,再加上前文提到的猛烈的冲击力,使得迈耶艺术风格更加接近于未来主义和超现实主义,而不是勒·柯布西耶。

    虽然迈耶一生都在致力于艺术创作,但是他没有受过正规的雕塑训练,而且自认为当前的作品没有受到任何一种艺术风格的强烈影响。他的这种言论与他的艺术实践似乎有很大出入:《纽约建筑五人》一书很早以前就指出的,迈耶的建筑设计有意识的借鉴了一些很特别的现代主义设计的风格,比如勒·柯布西耶在国际主义设计基础上的巴洛克艺术倾向,以及其他一些建筑师(阿尔瓦·阿图、阿斯普伦德、马金托什、维也纳分离派)的独特作品。最后,迈耶将现成品运用于雕塑艺术的喜好事实上与他的建筑设计毫无联系,因为他的建筑设计并非是装配的、集成的。 

    然而,雕塑和建筑意义重大的联系却产生于第二种观点、第二个闪光点。迈耶的建筑设计是“活跃”的、“有生气”的。这些建筑经典的几何造型和朴素的表面质感掩饰了具有动感的线条、曲折的空间,以及变化着的自然光线。而且,他的每一座新的建筑都让人感觉到一件稳定的现成品的存在:近一个世纪的各种标准化生产的建筑元件通过熔铸已经演变成为一个个标准的象征体,好像设计原则的偶然遵守者。圆型大厅、柱廊、凯旋门、长城、大阶梯,甚至卫生间和防火梯,这一切都在遵守着某个公式,每个建筑师都在不断学习这个公式,并且学习如何运用这个公式去适应和改变每一种环境。迈耶从前期现代主义那里借鉴了一种风格化和形式化的图形,并用这些图形理论构建起他的现成品雕塑体系,并且赋予了现成品以一种变幻无穷和神秘莫测的新形式。同样迈耶也为一些旧的模式片断和其他废弃物注入了新鲜血液,用一种新的力量创造性地把它们融合成一种雕塑的形式。迈耶选用当今最好的建筑材料来工作,不管是古代的还是现代的,从石灰华到嵌有陶瓷和珐琅的钢铁镶板,应有尽有。在雕塑艺术方面,虽然在当代社会不锈钢的使用多于青铜,但是迈耶创造性地将古老的青铜铸造法引入新兴的装配艺术之中,推动了装配艺术的向前发展。

    最后,迈耶这项复杂而有趣的计划凝聚着他过去十年的智慧和心血。同样,在迈耶的雕塑创作中也可以察觉到一种与此计划密切相关的过程。现在庞大的盖蒂中心是一座由不同元素构建起来的建筑集合体,它包括博物馆、图书馆、会堂、检索实验室以及办公间。从洛杉矶远眺这些建筑在山腰上的松散的建筑组合体,它看起来就像一座具有现代感的雅典卫城;或者说它更像古罗马皇帝主持建造的汇集了当时辽阔的帝国版图内的所有建筑元素与设计风格的哈德良行宫,装饰精美、富丽堂皇。另外,迈耶自己也经常引用一些它的雕塑语言影响到建筑设计的例子。他最近设计的洛杉矶电视和广播博物馆的天窗是歪斜的,这种设计正体现出他那试图随心所欲的改变一切程式化形式的哲学理念。

    对比建筑和雕塑是非常有趣的事情,启发了我们的思维,然而,这对于我们认识迈耶的雕塑毫无疑义,建筑和雕塑仅仅是他远离自我和回归自我的过程。雕塑并不是附属于建筑的,相反,雕塑有他自己独立的形式。书中这些雕塑的作者是一位多才多艺的艺术家,他为自己的艺术事业拓宽了思路。迈耶有强烈的好奇心和坚强的勇气,不断促使他重新认识和发掘自己奇伟和丰富的想象,这一切都为他走出一条艺术的新路提供了强大动力。虽然迈耶认为他座雕塑的过程并不仅仅是在玩耍,但是,事实上他却为每一件雕塑注入了一股稚气,使得作品隽永、生动。

      洛伊斯·莱丝比是一位纽约艺术家和作家。她的艺术和建筑散文曾经发表于《艺术论坛》、《A+U》、《纽约时报书评》、《ANY杂志》以及其他一些出版物。

 

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