• 01_redcurtain_705x456px

    Red Curtain [painted plastic foil on string]

  • 02_circle_705x456px

    Circle

  • 03_pinkflag_705x456px

    Pink Flag [plastic bag on pole]

  • 04_bicyclewheel_705x456px

    Bicycle Wheel [Ode to Marcel Duchamp]

  • 05_sculpture1_705x456px

    Sculpture 1 [Ode to Fischli&Weiss]

  • 06_whitediagonal_705x456px

    White Diagonal [tape on wood / stone]

  • 07_whiterectangle_705x456px

    White Rectangle [tape on wood]

Art

Student of the Month: Thomas Albdorf

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

It’s Nice That Student of the Month launched at the beginning of this month and the response was truly excellent. Safe to say it’s impossible to set expectations after inviting the student populace to send us their best work as it was very clear, very quickly that the sheer talent and collective enthusiasm surpassed whatever logic we employed in selection. That said, queue Thomas Albdorf! A third year Transmediale Kunst (Intermedial Art) student at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna …

Thomas’ project Sculptures has a delightfully simple mentality. Onsite detritus is utilised with his own kit of soft, foldable items with which he ties, flies, props or places amongst environments that rarely see/probably never see “art” again. The sculptures and their eventual conclusion as photographs feel coherent and Thomas cites interesting references, talks about the process with a happy confidence and shows some honest aesthetic goodness.

“My favorite haunt is the woods – mainly due to two factors: firstly most of my sculptures are very simple and work with basic geometrics or monochrome surfaces, so they function as a counterbalance to the highly textured, dense structures of the surrounding woods, and in addition the artificial geometrical shapes are not repeated within the surroundings. The architecture/simplicity of urban environments would interfere too much with these sculptures. Secondly, I like to work in places that are rarely confronted with human presence, not to mention art.

The sculptures / interventions only exist for a very short amount of time and are removed / deconstructed after taking the photo, but they are “frozen” in time due to the act of photography."

At the time of making/creating this project, who or what was your biggest influence?

Mainly five artists that work with similar strategies: Marcel Duchamp (but honestly, I think there’s no contemporary artist that can’t refer to Duchamp), Fischli & Weiss, Roman Signer and Erwin Wurm. Duchamp and Fischli & Weiss are also credited in the titles of two of the photos of the series “Sculptures” that directly refer to specific works of them.

What is the most valuable thing you have learnt at university to date?

This may sound naive, but I began looking differently at my environment. Since I started studying my awareness for semiotic shifts (a different use of signifiers and signified respectively their relationship), subtle uncanniness and not-so-obvious possibilities to create interesting situations out of ordinary objects constantly increased. And this process still continues with every lecture I take or every conversation I have with my fellow students.

What would you be doing now if you weren’t at Art School?

I worked full-time as a graphic designer before I started to study (and I’m still doing it as a freelancer now), so I’m pretty sure I would still be employed at an advertising agency, suffering from a limited amount of time to produce my art.

Where are you making/creating most of your work?

Due to the fact that I build my interventions either out of found objects in, for example, abandoned areas or install them mainly in the woods, so work on-site, I effectively create most of my work in random outdoor places. But since I consider the conceptual part the most important one (besides maybe the actual moment where I take the photo), one could also say I primarily work while, for example, drinking beer with my friends at a bar, discussing relevant artistic topics like postmodern traces in zombie flicks, watching nature documentations on TV in a dazed condition, or any other occasion where ideas pop out of nothing.

What are you working on at the moment?

I simply try to bring my installations to the next level. Lately I also started to create simple interventions out of the things that surround me in my flat, so my interest shifted a bit from outdoor to indoor. But this may change as soon as spring arrives … In general I usually work without a bigger plan, keep doing stuff, until the photos I took materialise in form of a series (or not).

If you’d like to submit a project to It’s Nice That Student of the Month click here to read more…

Portrait9

Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

  1. Main7

    There was a time when we at It’s Nice That were inundated with internet art – we were having so much submitted to us on a daily basis that it was pouring out of our ears in waxy gifs. It’s pleasing to be faced with it again, a year or two after the craze has kind of died out, when it’s created by someone who actually has a passion and an eye for this stuff and isn’t just jumping on a weird bandwagon.

  2. List

    It feels like Max and Adele at Atelier bingo lead a pretty charmed life. Camped out in the middle of the countryside with their converted studio/barn, it would be easy to resent the life they lead – in fact sometimes it’s very easy indeed. But the work they’re producing – stunning screen prints and collages of abstract forms – keeps me returning to their website time after time, and I just can’t find it in my heart to resent their rural idyll. Though if they called me up tomorrow to invite me to come and live with them, I’d definitely have a hard time saying no.

  3. List

    Here at It’s Nice That we spend an awful lot of time talking about, thinking about and writing about creatives but ultimately we don’t get too many chances to really see what goes on in their day-to-day working lives…until now. Our new collaboration with super-cool eyewear brand Ace & Tate is taking us inside the studios, and inside the minds, of a host of some of our favourite creatives.

  4. List

    Some artists, immensely talented and original though they may be, simply don’t make work that fits in the grandest art galleries of the world. Fortunately for them there are super-cool concept stores created specifically to house such work, and queen of all of these is Colette. Hiro Sugiyama’s surreal, hilarious and altogether unsettling artwork is a natural fit for Paris store Colette’s carefully curated collection of the avant-grade and the offbeat.

  5. List

    Few forces shape the modern world more than the internet and yet it’s an invisible presence that we just understand is there. But PhD student Luis Hernan has changed that by designing a system which scans for wireless networks and creates images where different signal strengths are represented by different coloured LED lights. The results, in essence, allow us to see the WiFi around us.

  6. Main9

    Anyone in New York had better gallop over to Ed. Varie gallery to catch a new show by the ever-wonderful artist Ana Kraš. We’ve posted about Ana a few times, mainly about her beautiful lamps and designs to make your home/life better, and her fun collaborative photography projects. Her show at Ed. Varie entitled Mothers with Spoons and Relationships is an exploration into her more recent love of drawing, using predominantly back-to-basics art supplies such as wax, crayon and oil pastel.

  7. List

    When we last encountered Essex-based painter Simon Monk he was busy preserving toy superheroes in plastic bags and rendering them with hyper-real precision. Secret Identity explored the strange imbalance of the powers ascribed to superheroes and the powerless inertia of their model representations. Since then he’s focussed his attention on one plastic superhero in particular, treating Batman with torturous sadism and restricting him with any binding he finds to hand. He’s been netted, taped, cling-filmed and roped down, trapped forever in a compromised position thanks to Simon’s dangerously accurate brushwork.

  8. Main

    I came across Graham Little when going through content from the site, he was one of the first people I ever put on the site about three years ago. To revisit his work reminded me just how much I loved him the first time around, particularly as he’s been very busy in the last few years and has created some absolutely stunning new work. There’s something about the poses, and the calm nature of his nymph-like female subjects that makes me slightly uneasy.

  9. Main9

    I’m the third person to take a turn waxing lyrical about the art of Bryan Olson (he was discussed here and here in the past), but I don’t mind, I’m just happy to have the opportunity. The North Carolina-based artist is arguably the master of his medium; a creator of collages so delicately crafted it’s often impossible to tell they’ve been made from hand-cut paper. Though it’s by no means his only concern Bryan focusses a great deal on the cosmos in his work, leaving strange portals into the unknown at the centre of his images or placing earthly objects within inter-planetary scenes. It’s a heady combination that lures viewers in, making them feel like children gazing at a dense night sky or an adult on one hell of a trip.

  10. List

    The phrase “artistic intervention” has a chequered past, but we’re struggling to think of a more impressive example than Frank and Patrik Riklin’s BIGNIK. The ongoing project aims to build a huge picnic cloth by 2040, made up of 252,144 panels – one for every person in the Appenzell region of Switzerland.

  11. Main

    Sure, here at It’s Nice That we love fine art. You may even walk past us on the weekend ambling around in galleries, or poring over art books in libraries. We champion some of the most exquisite architecture, sculpture and filmmaking along with some of the most groundbreaking works of art made in modern times. What you define as “art” is a personal thing, but I can tell you now that when it came to voting on content for the site (we decide on content via a voting process around a table FYI) this Presidents with Boob Faces was a unanimous “YES” from each knowledgeable, art-loving member of the It’s Nice That team. When you can see hard, skilled craftsmanship and evidence of a brave artist taking one small idea and running really, really far with it, how can you resist loving it? These are amazing, and artist Emily Deutchman should be very, very proud of herself.

  12. Main

    When something is well-designed, be it a magazine, building, fashion collection or car – it should be well-celebrated. To honour the spectacular and cutting-edge design of the brand new Lexus NX, a new digital art exhibition entitled NX-Perspectives has been launched. Gathering together some of the world’s leading creative thinkers, makers and doers, Lexus have assigned them to create a special piece of performance art inspired by the Lexus NX to exhibit in the digital show.

  13. List

    London-based artist Aleksandra Mir has been busy over the past month investigating the process of drawing in a collaborative experiment that invites participants to contribute to a giant collage of the London skyline, rendered entirely with Sharpies. The process of creating the work was part of the exhibition itself, with Aleksandra and her team engaged in drawing everything by hand during the first days of the show. But for those that missed it there’s also a beautiful time-lapse film of the process, providing context and insight to this giant piece of collaborative draughtsmanship.