AO On Site – New York: Conrad Shawcross ‘The Nervous System (Inverted)’ at 590 Madison Avenue, Through July 10th, 2010

June 2nd, 2010

Conrad Shawcross, The Nervous System (Inverted), 2010. Organized and presented by the Pace Gallery. Installed at The Sculpture Garden, 590 Madison Avenue. May 10 – July 10, 2010. Wood, metal, acrylic chord, and mechanical system. Installation dimensions variable. Image via ArtObserved.

Conrad Shawcross: The Nervous System (Inverted) is an evolutionary piece that combines art and invention, a sculpture that completes itself as the audience looks on.  At 590 Madison Avenue, New York, 162 multicolored bobbins suspend 50 feet in the air, feeding rope into motorized contraptions.   The inconspicuously gradual weaving and intertwining, set against the glassy atrium ceiling, occurs at multiple levels of the piece.  The ropes combine in groups of three until one entity remains: a thick, colorfully woven rope that hangs to the floor, where it passes through a pulley and coils finally in a heap.  The complex machinery will ultimately produce one sturdy, 1,7000-foot braided rope, which will be cut into pieces and sold at the exhibition’s close.

Conrad Shawcross, The Nervous System (Inverted), 2010.

More text and images after the jump…

Shawcross’ sculpture, a system of pulleys, gears, metal contraptions, bobbins, and ropes, weaves 24 hours a day, steadily creating art regardless of observation.  Although a product of artistic labors, the piece is seemingly self-sustaining.  The sculpture is an amalgamation of continual processes of construction to which the audience is privy.

Conrad Shawcross, The Nervous System (Inverted), 2010.

The final piece is nonexistent, rather, the progression is the spectacle.  Each rope combines to form one, which will be divided again, sold, and transported around the globe. The grand size of the heap of thick rope on the ground, despite the slowness of the constellation of bobbins, stresses the power of time and accumulation.

The exhibition is presented by the Pace Gallery, New York, and will be open and creating until July 10th, 2010.

Related links:
Art in Review | Conrad Shawcross: ‘The Nervous System (Inverted)’ [NY Times]
Entertainment, Critics’ Pick | Profile, Conrad Shawcross [New York Magazine]
Exhibitions | Conrad Shawcross: The Nervous System (Inverted) [The Pace Gallery]