ANOTHER YEAR IN LA is pleased to present an exhibition of Stephen Kaltenbach’s recent conceptual work featuring a large spherical sculpture with a hidden intermittent audio component, ”S FEAR”, 2008 and a series of drawings that relate to the shape of the sculpture physically but address many global issues including environmental as well as spiritual.
Since the 1966, Kaltenbach has produced project drawings as a means of expressing his concepts quickly, cheaply but importantly as a strategy of minimizing his work. Recently, he commented, “To take it away from form and push it toward pure idea”.
Kaltenbach elaborates further, “The drawings could actualize work that was in some ways difficult to get done due to the project representation itself being a real thing. These then to me became finished work which opened doors to making work that was not possible or ever desirable to do because of size or the repercussions involved. The first difficult works were pieces that challenged collectors. The next group of works were challenging to museums because of content or how they functioned. The next group were difficult politically or socially as exemplified by the thermonuclear missile works. The fourth group is more than bad ideas, they are impossible for reasons of scale and lack of technology to achieve them. Examples are the Structured Nebulae which are often parsecs in diameter or Furnace - iron clad sun as a means of controlling global warming. The project drawing for 'S FEAR explains that the sphere contains a vacuum - a metaphor for fear”.
Awakening last week to the news that NASA literally blasting a hole in a crater in the moon, one can’t help but ponder deeply the conceptual impact or prophetic nature of Kaltenbach’s contemplations as in the “Blasted Luna Seas” drawing included in this exhibition. The timing of this exhibition acts as premonition; the time we are now experiencing. It could be touted that today’s events are merely coincidental, ironically; the fact that the scientists who might have once been the guardians of the pristine moon, preventing its demise, are now the ones doing the bombing.
Kaltenbach’s “S FEAR” and the project drawings with their spherical iconography share an investigation of celestial opportunity and poetically lyrical concepts as well as references to arte povera in their juxtaposition of material and technology.