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First In-Depth Exhibition Exploring Digital Fabrication in Contemporary Art, Architecture, and Design Opens This October

Out Of Hand: Materializing The Postdigital Features Interactive Installations And Digitally Fabricated Works Of Art By Ron Arad, Barry X Ball, Chuck Close, Zaha Hadid, Anish Kapoor, Maya Lin, Marc Newson, Roxy Paine, Frank Stella, And Hiroshi Sugimoto, Among Many Others

On View October 16, 2013, Through June 1, 2014, At Museum Of Arts And Design



New York, NY (October 15, 2013)

Exploring the latest trends in digital fabrication, Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital at the Museum of Arts and Design is the first in-depth survey dedicated to exploring the impact of computer-assisted methods of production on contemporary art, architecture, and design. Opening in October, this landmark exhibition brings together more than 120 works of sculpture, jewelry, fashion, and furniture by 85 artists, architects, and designers from 20 countries to examine how new technologies are pushing the boundaries of artistic expression and creation. The cutting-edge works highlighted in the exhibition demonstrate the reciprocal relationship between art and technological innovation as well as materials and new techniques—an area of exploration that has long been at the core of MAD’s mission and curatorial program.

Out of Hand will be on view at MAD October 16, 2013, through June 1, 2014. As part of MAD’s newholiday hours, visitors are invited for a sneak peek of the exhibition will be open on Columbus Day, October 14. A press preview of the completed exhibition will be held on the morning of October 16.

Organized by Ronald T. Labaco, MAD’s Marcia Docter Curator, the exhibition features new and recent work from 2005 to the present, including commissions created especially for Out of Hand and objects never presented before in the U.S. by such artists, architects, and designers as Barry X Ball, Bespoke Innovations, Wim Delvoye, Richard Dupont, Zaha Hadid, Anish Kapoor, Joris Laarman, Daniel Libeskind, Maya Lin, Greg Lynn, Lucas Maassen, Jürgen Mayer-Hermann, Achim Menges, Marc Newson, Nike, Alan McCollum, Roxy Paine, Frank Stella, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Unfold, among many others. Two large-scale sculptures—a fifteen-foot-high digitally scanned mask of artist Richard Dupont’s face, and a towering abstraction of wrestling figures created through digital milling techniques by Michael Rees—will activate the space  outside the Museum on Columbus Circle and serve as an introduction to the exhibition. 

“The compelling works in Out of Hand expand audience understanding of the ways artists and designers from around the world are utilizing these new technologies to extend their artistic practice, revealing how these innovations are also transforming practices in manufacturing, healthcare, and other fields not readily associated with the contemporary art world,” said David McFadden, MAD’s William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator. “By examining these trends through the lens of artistic expression, MAD is opening up a dialogue on the significance of digital technologies to our larger culture and global society.”

Building on MAD’s practice of making the artistic process accessible in the gallery spaces, audience participation plays a central role in the exhibition. The Museum’s second floor will be equipped with 3D printers, modeling software, and computer monitors, allowing visitors to experiment with the technologies explored in the show. Designers-in-residence working in the gallery will demonstrate various digital techniques and fabrication tools used to create objects like those in the exhibition, and a range of special workshops, public and educational programs that provide visitors with hands-on opportunities to deepen their engagement with 3D software and hardware throughout the exhibition’s run. Also integrated into the installation are video clips that explain individual artistic practices and the divergent approaches toward incorporating digital fabrication in the creative process. Additionally, a number of the featured works include interactive components.

The exhibition is conceptually organized around six themes, which provide a framework for navigating the diverse range of artwork on view and reflect aesthetic trends and artistic approaches:

  • In Modeling Nature biological and ecological phenomena serve as a point of departure for artistic creativity;
  • New Geometries explores how mathematical formulae are applied to create intricate three-dimensional patterns and geometric forms large and small;
  • Rebooting Revivals reveals how creators use computer-assisted production to reference or appropriate notable historical art works and decorative styles;
  • Digital manipulation is also used to reconceptualize human figuration and the body in Remixing the Figure;
  • Works in Pattern as Structure incorporate movement, sound, light, and other sensory elements to create immersive art forms that activate the gallery space;
  • Processuality documents how the act of making plays a vital role in the creation and presentation of works that reveal the limitless possibilities of these emerging technologies.

“From sculptural fantasy to functional beauty to conceptual idiosyncrasies, the works of art in Out of Hand, all created in the past decade, demonstrate an explosive, unprecedented scope of artistic expression,” said Curator Ronald T. Labaco. “The cross-disciplinary nature of the work and the exploration of seemingly disparate themes and concepts allows for boundless creativity. The exhibition puts these pioneering works in dialogue, highlighting at once their vast diversity and the trends and ideas that connect them.” 

To provide audiences with the full sweep of innovation in this rapidly growing field, the exhibition includes objects created through purely digital fabrication techniques alongside works that combine traditional handcrafted processes with these new methods. Highlights include the following works:

  • Barry X Ball’s haunting 21st-century interpretation of Giusto Le Court’s 17th-century allegorical sculpture Envy, re-envisioned in translucent golden honeycomb calcite stone using digital scanning and milling technology;
  • Frank Stella’s spiraling 3D-printed and polychromed sculpture K.179 from his recent Scarlatti Sonata Kirkpartrick series that projects boldly from the wall and evokes the animated quality of composer Domenico Scarlatti’s Baroque-era compositions;
  • Marc Newson’s unique fractal necklace, handcrafted by Boucheron and composed of 2000 diamonds and sapphires set in swirling designs created by mathematical formulae, which has never been presented before in the United States;
  • L’Artisan Electronique by design studio Unfold and Tim Knapen, which calls upon visitors to manipulate a digital 3D display that mimics a traditional pottery wheel. The manipulated computer-animated model appears digitally on the opposite wall with 3D-printed ceramic examples on view;
  • Greg Lynn’s parametric Flatware that fuses organic leaf forms with the functional design of a 65-piece formal service based on Emily Post’s mid-20th-century books on American etiquette;
  • SOMARTA’s lace PROTEAN Bodywear worn by entertainer Lady Gaga, digitally-knit in one piece, absent of any seams and covered in Swarovski crystals;
  • Michael Eden’s Voxel Vessel vase, created especially for this exhibition, that playfully references 18th-century ceramic mass production while addressing the real possibilities of mass customization today;
  • Lucas Maassen and Unfold’s Brain Wave Sofa, which derives its shape from an EEG (electroencephalogram) of the designers’ brain wave patterns while they thought of the word “comfort.” The form is rendered in three dimensions in CNC-milled polyurethane foam and hand-upholstered in felt with traditional button-tufting;
  • Nick Hornby’s I Never Wanted to Weigh More Heavily on a Man than a Bird (Coco Chanel) in which Constantin Brancusi’s Bird in Space may be detected from one perspective and Auguste Rodin’s Striding Man from another.

Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital is organized by the Museum of Arts and Design and curated by Ronald T. Labaco, MAD’s Marcia Docter Curator.

Major support for Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital is generously provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Industries Fund NL, and Infor. Additional support has been provided by Dassault Systèmes, the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York, Toyota, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature,  the Flemish Agency for Arts and Heritage, and Design Flanders. Major in-kind support for the exhibition has been provided by Shapeways and LuciteLux. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the Official Airline of MAD.

Out of Hand
is accompanied by a fully illustrated 300-page catalogue, which includes essays by Greg Lynn (Architect and Professor of Architecture, University of Applied Arts, Vienna), Christiane Paul (Professor of Media Studies, The New School New York; Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts, Whitney Museum of American Art), and exhibition curator Ronald T. Labaco.

The Museum of Arts and Design explores the intersection between art, design, and craft today. The Museum focuses on contemporary creativity and the ways in which artists and designers from around the world transform materials through processes ranging from the artisanal to digital. The Museum’s exhibition program explores and illuminates issues and ideas, highlights creativity and craftsmanship, and celebrates the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by gifted and innovative artists. MAD’s permanent collection is global in scope and focuses on art, craft, and design from 1950 to the present day. At the center of the Museum's mission is education. The Museum’s dynamic new facility features classrooms and studios for master classes, seminars, and workshops for students, families, and adults. Three open artist studios engage visitors in the creative processes of artists at work and enhance the exhibition programs. Lectures, films, performances, and symposia related to the Museum’s collection and topical subjects affecting the world of contemporary art, craft, and design are held in a renovated 144-seat auditorium.

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