Nick van Woert’s (1979 Reno, US) practice is rooted in his architectural background and reflects on modern day society, technology and progress. Van Woert works with contemporary materials that are ubiquitous in the environment around us, investigating the extreme polarity materials can traverse. Fascinated by the material language of art and what things consist of, he dismantles and strips down objects to examine what remains.
Grimm is proud to announce a solo presentation by Nick van Woert at Frieze New York.
Nick van Woert presents Universal Gym, at first glance a replica of a huge piece of fitness equipment. The artist questions, attacks and comments on technological and industrial progress. The viewer will encounter objects constructed with contemporary materials that are ubiquitous in the environment around us, discussing what material things around us are made of and how this environment connects to our own body and living environment.
Fascinated by the material language of art and what things consist of, Van Woert dismantles and strips down objects to examine what remains: The latent horror behind ordinary materials we typically associate with luxury, domesticity and beauty that don’t have a real function. The work dissects and questions architecture, art and materials developed throughout Western Civilization and, like Thoreau in his day, asks the question; is this what we want society to ‘be’?
Nick van Woert on his sculpture at Frieze Sculpture Park:
“The title Primitive is in reference to a few things. The first is Anarcho-Primitivism and a Primitive way of life, which for me is a form of anarchy through a lifestyle aimed at returning to nature. Stripping away modern amenities to see what life has to offer on that level. I want to make sculpture in the same way an icicle forms on an overhang or how a river tears through a mountain or how branches grow. We figured out how to grow metal in this way. We built a nervous system and grew copper on top of it. The pose of the figure and the structure it hangs from alludes to Vitruvius’ Primitive Hut, a principle revolving around post and beam construction which all architecture was believed to embody. Simple structure and simple man blowing in the wind.”
Nick van Woert on the solo presentation at the Frieze New York Focus Sector:
Nick van Woert presents Universal Gym, a large multifaceted piece of exercise equipment made of steel, leather and cat litter. For van Woert the piece of equipment is a figurative sculpture; arms, legs and chest are articulated by the ergonomics of the machine. The apparatus has ties to Classicism and sculpting the human form as well as Corbusier’s Modular man and his relation to machines. The machine serves as a floor plan for the other objects in the room. The hoops are scaled to the different stations of the machine, conforming to it making a new figurative form.
Nick Van Woert
Nick van Woert (1979) was born in Reno, Nevada and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. His work was shown by GRIMM in the group show Hi, Low and in Between in 2009, his first major solo exhibition SHE-WOLF in 2010 and Improvised Munition in 2012. In 2011 Yvon Lambert hosted Van Woert’s first Paris show Anatomy as well as his first New York show Breaking and Entering.