Fluid Transformation

A Sarah Sze installation is instantly recognisable – characterised in its display of the cosmic and the intimate. The artist is known for large-scale works that dangle from the ceiling, bury into the floor, and stretch across walls. Recently, Sze’s Timelapse took over New York’s Guggenheim Museum, transforming the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright building into a site of memory and timekeeping. At Peckham Rye Station, the artist converted an abandoned Victorian waiting room into a space of wonder. Viewers were greeted with Metronome, a luminescent sphere composed of fragmented screens, each displaying a loop of images.

Now, at the Nasher Sculpture Centre, the pivotal American artist debuts a series of site-specific works, responding to the Renzo Piano-designed space. The result is an assemblage of painting, sculpture, image, sound and video – a constant stream of objects that reflect today’s materially saturated world. Across print and digital forms, silvery-blue tones swirl in circular formations, glowing with orange hues and iridescent rainbows. Viewers are taken on a journey across the elements through sculptures that imitate the rippled rhythms of water as well as photographs that glow with the blaze of afternoon sunsets.

A mobile of collaged photographs hangs from the ceiling, creating a mobile heavy with string, stones and office utensils. In another room, an organic sculpture emerges from the ground, casting its spindly branches across the space. Positioned in front of a central projector, it throws leaf-shaped shadows across the walls, creating a sense of seasonal time passing before our eyes. Elsewhere, multicoloured pictures piece together in a rainbow-coloured tapestry-like display, sprawling out like a family tree. We’re reminded of the labour that goes behind a work – the banal and mundane objects that are assorted, damaged and repaired in order to create something of their grandeur. Across arcs, lines and textures, Sze establishes a visual language rooted in experimentation, fluidity and transformation.

There’s no single idea or feeling to describe Sze’s work. What comes to mind is a cornucopia of information, an interconnected web of things that bend and respond to the world around. We’re encouraged to throw ourselves into the experience, to suspend what we know for the sake of embracing the uncertain. Amongst chaos, here, we realise that disparate elements converge into a congruous whole.

Nasher Sculpture Center: Sarah Sze | Until 18 August


Image Credits:

Sarah Sze, Pictures at an Exhibition.

Sarah Sze, Images Beget Images (2023).

Sarah Sze, Slow Dance (2024).

Sarah Sze, Details of Time Zero (2023)

Sarah Sze, Slow Dance (2024).