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Gudjon Bjarnason
at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, San Antonio, Texas
Recommendation by Dan R. Goddard

Gudjon Bjarnason, 2005, 'Swirling diVISIONS, ' approximately 20 bent and chromed metal fragments on floor, 39 x 39 x 4'

Continuing through August 6, 2011

To avoid the predictable eye-pleasing qualities of symmetry and balance, Icelandic-born sculptor and architect Gudjon Bjarnason blows up sculptural objects and installations using carefully placed high explosives. Enlisting the aid of the San Antonio Police Department Bomb Squad, Bjarnason created ten new large-scale metal works for "DySTOPic ProgressiONs." His oddly capitalized titles reflect the boom, pop, blam surprises of his work. But planned and calibrated for desired effects, Bjarnson's blasts attempt to reconfigure the orderly lines of modern art and architecture.

For example, an oblong hole has been blasted in the upper half of a minimalist rectangle formed by ten steel profiles mounted horizontally on the wall in "UPrising ACute DEscending - ABYsSMALL pleasuREs." The ragged hole suggests a bombed-out portrait painting, trailing tangled lines of detonation wire. His arrangements of straight beams of metal interrupted by violent jagged edges form rugged abstract expressionist installations, while other beams strewn over the floor suggest the aftermath of an IED. He uses the ragged lines in his architectural designs as well. The maquette for a house he designed looks as if one wall has been ripped away by a tornado. The chaotic visual fields of the explosions to add unexpected dimensions to his jaggedly unconventional architectural designs.

Blue Star Contemporary Art Center

Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum

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