Drawing on the Air: The Kinetic Sculpture of Tim Prentice

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9781935212942: Drawing on the Air: The Kinetic Sculpture of Tim Prentice

In the New York Times Michael Kimmelman called them "sleek, whimsical contraptions in a modernist mode"; the Basler Zeitung termed them "net-like structures . . . like hedgehogs or serpents." The kinetic sculptures of Tim Prentice create a novel geometry of air and light. Concentrating on movement rather than object, Prentice harnesses natural elements into his art machines-delicate structures that walk the tightrope between order and chaos, control and serendipity, understated technique and extravagant wonder.
Prentice purposely circumscribes the artist's prerogatives, distilling the power of wind and sun into an ever-changing dance of light and shadow. These understated, subtle inventions provide endless distraction, delighting the child in all of us.

Drawing on Air offers a many-sided vision of the kinetic sculptor and his works. An essay by Nicholas Fox Weber introduces the artist and his work, while a chapter on "Mechanics" explains some of the physical principles underlying Prentice's whimsical sculptures. Photographs of works-in-progress, principal public commissions as well as occasional pieces created for casual amusement are punctuated by the artist's mordant, sometimes mischievous comments.

"Prentice's sculptures . . .are about fluid movement and change, reminding us that everything is in flux. . . . Wonders of engineering, they create evanescent drawings in thin air." -Michael Amy, Art in America

"What is grand in these sculptures is the sense of immensity created by their movements, a sense resonant with our most pleasurable apprehensions of land, sea, and sky." -Elaine Bleakney, Sculpture

"These refined sculptures are never ponderous, plump or boring but constantly and slowly transforming themselves as though imbued by perpetuum mobile." -Karen Gerig, Basler Zeitung

Experiencing Tim Prentice's work is like taking a ride on a roller coaster"
-Catalog of the Connecticut Biennial

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About the Author:



Tim Prentice received a Masters Degree in architecture from Yale in 1960 and founded an award-winning firm with Lo-Yi Chan in 1965. Ten years later, he established a studio in Cornwall, Connecticut to design and fabricate kinetic sculpture. This work grows out of the tradition of the Russian Constructivists, Alexander Calder and George Rickey, but has a “'gently assertive character . . . very much his own” (Grace Glueck). The sculptures can be seen in public spaces and corporate headquarters in locations throughout the United States as well as in Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Australia. His work is also in over 150 private collections. He has been represented by the Maxwell Davidson Gallery in New York since 1990.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:


Early Signs
When I was a kid my mother used to devise various games to entertain my young friends at birthday parties. The game that caught my fancy was a treasure hunt in which familiar objects were hidden in plain sight around the house, in unexpected places.

Making the Air Visible
The air around us moves in ways that are organic, whimsical, and unpredictable. I therefore assume that if I were to abdicate the design to the wind, my work would
take on these same qualities.

The architect in me studies matters of scale and proportion.
The engineer minimizes friction to make the wind visible.
The artist wants to understand its changing shape.
Meanwhile, the child wants to play.

Movement
I often wonder if, as a species, we’ve
become less aware of movement.

In primitive times a sudden movement in the wild could mean either getting lunch or being lunch. For a kinetic sculptor the first question is: how much movement is appropriate for a given space? How should the movement be different for an airport or a corporate dining room? In the first case the viewer may be an infrequent, anxious visitor and moving quickly. In the second, the viewer is not only stationary, but may experience the work over many years.

Many years ago I installed a large work in the airport nearby and I sometimes run into people who report on its behavior. Often they tell me that it wasn’t moving. I’m never quite sure quite how to react to this. They don’t say it was in a different position during their last visit. The implication is that it was designed to move and they expect it to perform during their short visit. I console myself with the conviction that as long as they take care to look for the movement the piece is holding their attention, which is all I can ask for.

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Book Description Easton Studio Press, United States, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In the New York Times Michael Kimmelman called them sleek, whimsical contraptions in a modernist mode ; the Basler Zeitung termed them net-like structures . . . like hedgehogs or serpents. The kinetic sculptures of Tim Prentice create a novel geometry of air and light. Concentrating on movement rather than object, Prentice harnesses natural elements into his art machines-delicate structures that walk the tightrope between order and chaos, control and serendipity, understated technique and extravagant wonder.Prentice purposely circumscribes the artist s prerogatives, distilling the power of wind and sun into an ever-changing dance of light and shadow. These understated, subtle inventions provide endless distraction, delighting the child in all of us.Drawing on Air offers a many-sided vision of the kinetic sculptor and his works. An essay by Nicholas Fox Weber introduces the artist and his work, while a chapter on Mechanics explains some of the physical principles underlying Prentice s whimsical sculptures. Photographs of works-in-progress, principal public commissions as well as occasional pieces created for casual amusement are punctuated by the artist s mordant, sometimes mischievous comments. Prentice s sculptures . . .are about fluid movement and change, reminding us that everything is in flux. . . . Wonders of engineering, they create evanescent drawings in thin air. -Michael Amy, Art in America What is grand in these sculptures is the sense of immensity created by their movements, a sense resonant with our most pleasurable apprehensions of land, sea, and sky. -Elaine Bleakney, Sculpture These refined sculptures are never ponderous, plump or boring but constantly and slowly transforming themselves as though imbued by perpetuum mobile. -Karen Gerig, Basler Zeitung Experiencing Tim Prentice s work is like taking a ride on a roller coaster -Catalog of the Connecticut Biennial. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9781935212942

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Book Description Easton Studio Press June 2012, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. In the New York Times Michael Kimmelman called them 'sleek, whimsical contraptions in a modernist mode'; the Basler Zeitung termed them 'net-like structures . . . like hedgehogs or serpents.' The kinetic sculptures of Tim Prentice create a novel geometry of air and light. Concentrating on movement rather than object, Prentice harnesses natural elements into his art machines-delicate structures that walk the tightrope between order and chaos, control and serendipity, understated technique and extravagant wonder. Prentice purposely circumscribes the artist's prerogatives, distilling the power of wind and sun into an ever-changing dance of light and shadow. These understated, subtle inventions provide endless distraction, delighting the child in all of us. Drawing on Air offers a many-sided vision of the kinetic sculptor and his works. An essay by Nicholas Fox Weber introduces the artist and his work, while a chapter on 'Mechanics' explains some of the physical principles underlying Prentice's whimsical sculptures. Photographs of works-in-progress, principal public commissions as well as occasional pieces created for casual amusement are punctuated by the artist's mordant, sometimes mischievous comments. Bookseller Inventory # 105715

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