plaster and stainless steel
133 x 19 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches
Not Vital’s practice presents a fantastically distorted universe that produces dreams and glimpses of memory. His work pulls us into a half-familiar world, forcing us away from our everyday perceptions. Model, from his recent exhibition Not Vital: 十 五 at Sperone Westwater, asserts a bulbous plaster work that, although abstract, conjures an organic form or suggests a figure. The piece is perched precariously on a stainless steel rod, balanced by its vertically distributed weight. The rod and the base act as a framing device, as the rounded, white forms contrast with the cool, geometric steel elements. The result is a ghostly work of austere beauty that is startlingly emotive. In speaking on his use of plaster, Vital says:
I think if you grow up in a surrounding where you have snow for six months of the year, your eyes are naturally sensitive to white. Then, when the snow melts, the mountains turn grey. The canton where I grew up is called The Grisons, probably something to do with the color grey. So I became accustomed to these nuances in grey and white and not so much color. Even now, my favorite material is plaster…
Not Vital’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions around the world and is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Brooklyn Museum; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburg; Musee d’Art et Histoire, Geneva; Bunder Kunstmuseum, Chur; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen; Kunstmuseum Luzern; Museum der Moderne, Salzburg; and The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford, among others. He was born in the Engadine region of Switzerland. Vital (a particularly nomadic artist) lives and works in Switzerland, China, Niger, the US, and Chile.
estimated retail value: $100,000
courtesy of sperone westwater, new york
gallery website: www.speronewestwater.com