BK_blue_steel_parabola_1 copy.jpg

Ayn Foundation presents:

Bernard Kirschenbaum

October 14, 2018–ongoing
Public reception: October 14, 2018, 1–7PM
Floor 5

Mana Contemporary presents two large-scale sculptural works by New York-based artist Bernard Kirschenbaum, Plywood Arc (1973) and Blue Steel Parabola 1 (1973).

“My work closely relates people to sculpture. It invites people to place themselves in warping spaces, to change their height and therefore their perspective, to put themselves in enclosing color environments, or to be surrounded by patterns.”—Bernard Kirschenbaum, artist statement

Since the 1950s, Bernard Kirschenbaum has employed industrial materials and technological processes (he was among the first artists to make creative use of computers) in a search for the transcendent sculptural object. Having studied ornamental horticulture, he gained experience in theatrical set design before starting work as an architect. Kirschenbaum co-founded Geodesics, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts, an office for which Buckminster Fuller served as honorary president, and in 1957 moved to New York, where he worked at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill and designed the first residential geodesic dome. (As Verlaine Boyd recounts, “Kirschenbaum designed himself into the dome, marrying his client, Ms. Weil.”) In 1966, following a show of model domes at Park Place Gallery in New York, he was invited to participate in a sculpture exhibition, sparking his subsequent career as an artist.

In a February 1974 Arts Magazine review of Kirschenbaum’s 1973 exhibition Plywood Arcs at 112 Greene Street, a show in which the titular sculpture on view at Mana was included, Ellen Lubell wrote:

Kirschenbaum is not interested in his pieces as objects of aesthetic delectation, but as objects of a kind of experience which itself is subject to a kind of aesthetic delectation. We are not treated to the feel of his hand in this work, nor the scope of his personal expressiveness; instead, what he has done is to produce, almost industrially, an object which invites us to form a physical relationship with it as no ordinary base-bound or Cubist-related sculpture could possibly do.

Bernard Kirschenbaum was born in New York City in 1924. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in design from the Chicago Institute of Design in 1952, took part in the influential exhibition Sculpture in Environment in Central Park in 1967, and had his first solo exhibition, at Paula Cooper Gallery, in 1969. Kirschenbaum also exhibited at Max Hutchinson Gallery; 112 Greene Street Gallery; and PS1, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art and Wade Gallery, Washington, D.C.; and at several venues in Sweden, including the Moderna Museet, Galerie Nordenhake, Galerie Aronowitsch, and Skulpturen Hus, Stockholm; and Malmo Kunsthall, Malmo. He was a professor at the Swedish Royal Academy of Art from 1986 to 1992, and his estate is represented exclusively by Postmasters, New York. Bernard Kirschenbaum died on February 16, 2016.

Ayn Foundation was founded in 1993 and is dedicated to presenting comprehensive, large-scale installations by major international artists to the public. Other current projects include Andy Warhol’s The Last Supper and Maria Zerres’s September Eleven, located in Marfa, Texas. Past projects include the establishment of the Arnulf Rainer Museum in Chelsea, New York, from 1993–95, as well as projects by Joa Baldinger, John Chamberlin, and Dan Flavin.

Press Release

(1) Bernard Kirschenbaum, Blue Steel Parabola 1, 1971. Blue spring steel, steel bracket. 66 1/5 x 126 in. Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery and the estate of Bernard Kirschenbaum.

(2) Bernard Kirschenbaum, Plywood Arcs, 1973. Plywood. 63 4/5 x 600 x 7 9/10 in.(each). Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery and the estate of Bernard Kirschenbaum.