MOMENTUM | Solo Exhibition by ZEEHAN WAZED
OPENING: TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2018 | 7 – 9 PM
ON VIEW: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13 – SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2018
LOCATION: ABXY LES | 9 Clinton Street | New York, NY 10002
@zeehanwazed | @abxyles | abxy.co | Artsy
FOR ALL PRESS INQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT MELANIE KIMMELMAN
(NEW YORK, NY) On Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 ABXY hosted the opening of an exhibition by emerging artist,ZEEHAN WAZED. The show, entitled Momentum, marks Wazed’s first major solo exhibition. Inspired by movement, synchronicity, and his own life, the show incorporates the artist’s various technical practices including painting, sculpture, dance, and creative new media (e.g. augmented reality, 3D modeling and printing). A reflection on Wazed’s fascination with concepts of momentum and relativity, for this exhibition, the artist has transformed the gallery into an entirely immersive installation designed to bring attention to the viewer’s own sense of personal momentum.
PAINTING: For Momentum, the artist unveiled a new collection of paintings. These latest works, spiraling linear abstractions, primarily executed in a palette of black, white, and gold, allude to the artist’s favorite book, “The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho. An allegorical novel, The Alchemist follows a young Andalusian the shepherd on his journey to the pyramids of Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding a treasure there. Like ancient maps or swirling electrical diagrams, Wazed’s winding graphic compositions intend to bring the viewer’s awareness to their own personal journey and the pathways we forge as we move through space and time.
DANCE: Opening night, Wazed presented a work of performance art, entitled, “Last Stop.” The piece included eight dancers (including Wazed) performing the artist’s choreography to music and narrative interludes, written by Wazed in collaboration with poet Libby Mislan. Inspired by the movement of the city, for “Last Stop,” dancers will perform a series of freestyle vignettes based on scenes from the New York City the subway. Dancers can be found on Instagram: @victoryellow ; @infinite.brynn ; @yoitsyahya ; @caradiazc ; @madd_moses
AUGMENTED REALITY: Throughout the length of the exhibition, visitors will be able to view a sampling of the choreography, which the artist has performed, filmed, and converted into augmented reality in collaboration with David Lobser, founder of Object Normal. In a multi-media process using software to track the paintings in the gallery, Wazed overlaid a virtual recording of his performance onto his own artwork. Designed to illustrate the relationship between the artist’s dance practice and his visual work, by holding the gallery’s iPad up to a given painting, visitors can watch a silhouette of the artist appears to dance across the surface of the artwork
SCULPTURE: The sculptural work presented in the show was also designed in virtual reality. Inspired by a Frank Stella sculpture the artist admired in the home of a collector, Wazed created a series of twisting golden orbs using Google’s latest 3D modeling program Google Blocks, and an HTC Vive VR module. Blocks eases the complications associated with designing 3D objects on 2D monitors by allowing users to design 3D objects in virtual reality. Once the artist had modeled the sculptures in Google Blocks, he then brought his swirling geometric forms to life using 3D printing. The sculptures were created in collaboration with Alex Vasilyev, a senior project manager at Milgo Bufkin. Specializing in custom architecture and sculpture, Milgo Bufkin has created monumental works for artists such as Robert Indiana and Jeff Koons.
“I’ve always been fascinated by gyroscopic shapes, interplanetary and molecular orbits, galaxies within galaxies...I have a 3D view of the Kharmic Wheel. I find meaning in everything. I am interested in the way time, place and movement intersect...the moments, which together form the trajectories of our lives, these strange pathways leading towards an ever unknowable future, those are the lines you see in my work.
A lot of my dexterity in painting comes from dancing. The lines, muscle memory, and coordination converts on to canvas for me, like dancing with a can of spray paint. That’s what I’m trying to show with the augmented reality component of this show.
For this exhibition, technology was so important, not only because it allowed me to create that link between my choreography and my visual work in AR; technology was also essential in creating the sculptures. For me, creating these structures wouldn’t be feasible through any other process. Only with the combination of virtual reality and 3D printing would anyone who is not an experienced engineer be able to create structures with level of intricacy, these particular angles and interlocking structures.
All of my practices come together in New Alchemy. I’m so inspired by the movement of this city. I want to create a real New York City moment. Individually and collectively, the works in this show are intended to cause the viewer to feel that they are standing in the gallery, experiencing the work at whatever particular time for a reason. Maybe the works will inspire them, maybe they’ll meet someone, maybe they’ll just avoid something else by being there - but I want to create that momentous feeling you get when you see something and sense you’re synchronized with your life or aligned with faith at that precise moment. I want to viewer to think about the energy and sense of forward motion that experience creates.”
- Zeehan Wazed, 2018