Held in the 40th anniversary year of the National Gallery, Daniel Crooks: Structured Light celebrates the design of the original Gallery building by architect, Col Madigan.
From Times Square to Canberra, Crooks has exhibited his sophisticated digital video installations across the globe.
Using Madigan’s original geometric language as inspiration, Crooks has created a suite of visual manipulations spanning geometry, architecture and perspective. The work culminates in a series of vignettes that transforms the Gallery façade through volume, colour, light and sound.
To produce Structured Light, Crooks delved into the Madigan archive in the National Gallery Research Library last year and was inspired by the Gallery’s iconic Brutalist and equilateral triangles.
‘It became apparent [to me] how obsessed the architect was with an almost sacred geometry. He talks about the unifying structure and the natural harmony,’ said Crooks.
‘At the time, I was working on a code to build a drawing machine to create my work, so it felt right to focus on geometry and the line drawings themselves. Brutalism is really having a moment now and I love the brutalist sensibility about honesty [of] materials; subtlety is not rewarded. So, for my work I’m using a lot of Madigan’s drawings and it is going to be super-minimal yet super extreme by embracing the brutalist nature of the building.’
National Gallery Director Nick Mitzevich says the work honours and celebrates Madigan’s vision through the artist’s own perspective.
‘Inspirational in its physicality, the building is robust, beautiful and poetic. Through Structured Light, Crooks reveals Madigan’s original framework and at the same time conceals it with a new skin,’ said Mitzevich.
Curator Elspeth Pitt says Crooks has engaged with Madigan’s watercolour and hand-drawn designs and considered how the architect would respond to digital technologies today.
‘Projecting then animating Madigan’s drawings onto the Gallery’s façade, Crooks’ work culminates in a series of proposals for a dynamic and ever-changing building,’ said Curator Elspeth Pitt.
Accompanying the digital video work is a score by Byron Scullin which also responds to Madigan’s brutalist architecture and sense of sacred geometry.
Daniel Crooks: Structured Light will be on display from 4 – 14 March daily from 8pm. Free.
Curator: Elspeth Pitt, Curator, Australian Art.
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