The New Apostle Gallery featured sculptures and tapestries by Robin Kang at their booth at the Select Fair. Kang works in two very diverse styles. The sculptures are created using clear plastic BRXL bricks in two shapes: cubes and rectangular prism that are basically the size of two of the cubes side by side. The edges of each brick have a dark shading to accentuate them. Some of the interior walls are lined with radiant film creating reflections. “Artifact 435” from 2015 is a floor construction that is all about geometry by limiting the shapes Kang focuses on the interiors as well as the exteriors of cubes and prisms.
Robin Kang also has work included in a very interesting exhibition at the 1285 Avenue of the Americas Gallery (the lobby of the USB building) titled “Between a Place and Candy: New Works in Pattern + Repetition + Motif”. This show, organized by Norte Maar, presents recent work that relates to the Pattern and Decoration tradition of the 1970’s. This movement also had a basis in the craft and ornament. The use of repetition quite often has Mathematical implications and I saw a number of exciting connections. To see complete set of images go here.
Kang’s contribution to the show is a tapestry “Two Birds with Diamonds” from 2015. It was made on a digitally operated Jacquard loom (a binary operated loom). The images of the birds have a bold simplicity that remind me of ethnographic patterns. The vector-type parallel lines remind me of computer circuit boards. Kang has managed to integrate the history of textiles with the history of technology.
The work of Robin Kang relates to mathematics on two fronts: the sculptures elevate basic geometric figures by revealing their interior structures, the tapestries combine the mathematics of early computer science with the cultural significance of the textile arts.