Artist Alex Chinneck, well known for his outlandish architectural interventions, has revealed new work at an exhibition in Germany that sees him tie seemingly solid structures in knots. The landmark piece at the show in Städtische Galerie Kornhaus in Kirchheim Unter Teck, Germany, is a wooden column that mimics the neighbouring existing columns, only it’s knotted in the middle.
To add to the effect of the piece, titled Birth, death and a midlife crisis, the artist also added another new straight column to the row, following the knotted version. “I like to give fluidity to typically inflexible things,” Alex Chinneck explains, “transcending their material nature. The columns are the prominent feature in the 450-year-old museum and this intervention took an opportunity to defy logic and distort history.
“I wanted to create the impression that we had only changed what was already physically present in the museum and the work was born through the manipulation, rather than introduction, of material. With this approach, the objective was to produce something sculpturally bold but contextually sensitive.”
Alex is currently working on another, larger scale knotted piece as part of his upcoming series Onwards & Upwards, a set of five red brick chimneys to be installed alongside one mile of canal linking Sheffield and Rotherham. One of these chimneys, constructed from over 20,000 bespoke bricks, will also feature a knot in the middle.
Meanwhile, the exhibition in Germany also features a smaller installation, a wooden broom leaning against a wall, with a knotted handle. This and the knotted column are the artist’s first indoor sculptures in five years. The exhibition is open until 8 April 2018.