Seeing Double: Poetic Sculpture with Human Narratives
Artist collaboration on view at Sherman Gallery
In the slideshow above, Alexi Antoniadis and Nico Stone talk about working together in their latest exhibition. Photos and slideshow by Kimberly Cornuelle[…]
Defying gravity and playing with fire, artists Alexi Antoniadis and Nico Stone create sculpture that makes a statement—by saying as little as possible.
“I would say our aesthetic is poetic,” says Antoniadis, a Rhode Island School of Design–trained artist who collaborates with longtime friend Stone on fine art, as well as their design business, A & S Design Studio, in Boston. “There are narratives running through our work that are very human—there are relationships between objects.”
Antoniadis and Stone use a muted palette of grays, black, and brown in creating their sculptures. In some of the pieces on display, they take lighters to man-sized pieces of glass to create pixilated abstract objects punctuated by black burn marks. In another piece, a tree limb is balanced in drainage-like holes embedded in a column of plaster. The two artists frequently play with the height and suspension of objects—including a T-shirt seemingly hovering in air, delicately linked to a two-pronged industrial sculpture, called Wet Nurse.
Their new show, Animal Mother, is an exploration of the vocabulary of three-dimensional form. The artists are known for using nontraditional materials to visually imitate real objects. The exhibition opens today, January 28, in the Sherman Gallery, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m.
The Sherman Gallery, nestled at the top of the staircase above the George Sherman Union Link, has floor-to-ceiling glass walls on two sides. The two artists removed a half wall blocking the back of the gallery to prepare for their show. That change allowed light to fall on another sculpture, a giant block that is precariously balanced on the kind of plastic rings typically found on six-packs of canned beverages.
The eight pieces in the exhibition took Antoniadis and Stone only seven weeks to produce in their shared Boston studio. They met as teenagers in Newton and Watertown, and began working together on carpentry and design projects, developing a working relationship.
“Since we’ve known each other since we were young,” Antoniadis says, “we’ve sort of created our own language in the work.”
“Everything you see is made by us,” says Stone. “As of now we’ve developed a pretty tight vision.”
Antoniadis: “Every piece is a collaboration.”
For the two artists, no detail is too small. To prepare for their current show, they rented a UHaul and moved the objects, made of wood, plaster, plastic, and paint, and sometimes dirt, into the gallery themselves.
“We tend to kill ourselves, but this is what we love,” says Stone. “Although it would be nice to have a crew to move the work.”
Alexi Antoniadis and Nico Stone: Animal Mother is at the GSU’s Sherman Gallery, 775 Commonwealth Ave., second floor, through March 3. The opening reception is Friday, January 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, check online, or call 617-358-0295. Admission is free and open to the public.
Kimberly Cornuelle can be reached at email@example.com; follow her on Twitter @kcornuel.
I have often pondered the link between poetry and sculpture, not least in my own work. It is interesting we speak of a “volume” of poetry, whereas three-dimensional form implies just that. In addition, sculpture can tease out poetic inferences and speaks a language that I personally feel painting and other two dimensional plastic arts cannot reproduce. Perhaps this is because sculpture points to something beyond itself in a way a poem does.
Just as an aside, there is an article in this week’s New Yorker entitled “Painters, Poets. and the Tibor de Nagy Gallery” (Peter Schjeldahl, p. 80) which discuses multimedia collaborations between painters and poets and also the crosstalk between the two of them.
All the best,