Tobias Putrih + MOS


10 April 2009 - 6 September 2009

BALTIC presents a new collaborative project by Slovenian born and New York based artist Tobias Putrih and American architect and design company MOS. For this installation Putrih has used Styrofoam blocks and stack structures according to the basic rules of equilibrium and ‘maximum overhang stacking’ to produce a lightweight structure that appears on the verge of collapse.

Putrih’s work exists between science, sculpture and architecture,  his projects informed by improvisation and often by collaboration with others. The artist choosing to use temporary materials such as cardboard, Styrofoam and packing tape in seemingly improvised way, though the results are highly ordered and systematic. His striking and thoughtful constructions may be thought as models or design concepts where the potential of an idea is explored, but this can extend to making proposals for objects or entire architectural spaces, sometimes that will never be built.  

Embedded in his work are ideas that undermine and question the fixity of things we know. One recurring theme is the history of modernist utopian architecture.
Born in Slovenia but now living in New York there is much in his practice that looks at the exchange between Eastern Europe and its ideas of modernism and his understanding of such structures and their reception in the West. This exhibition is presented at a time when a well-known modernist edifice in the centre of Gateshead is in the process of being dismantled, piece by piece. Responding to the proportions and scale of Level 2 gallery, this project has more than a degree of resonance with some of the 60s and 70s architecture that can be seen across the city’s skyline.

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