Convolution: New Work by Will Natzel
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 11, 2013 6-9PM
Show Runs: May 11 - June 23
Art galleries are intentionally designed to be passive containers of the artist's work. An enclosure of white walls meant to recede into non-existence. However, in the hands of Wil Natzel, the plain walls are activated by the grandeur of forms, exploded in scale until the twists and turns of the facades redefine how the space is experienced. Their exaggerated size allows these undulating constructions to consume and control the surrounding environment.
Straddling the line between art and architecture, this "spatial graffiti," is a temporary intervention of the banal that resuscitates the brutal boxes contemporary cultural has scraped of all embellishment. In his quest to re-romanticize architectural design, Natzel has become a master of cardboard design, elevating the medium from crude fort construction into intricately designed, flowing, organic forms. The base materials create a tension with the tradition of fine design and craftsmanship that draws attention to the temporal.
Convolutions are folding, looping lines, like decorative squiggles or the rise and fall of heart monitors. Convolutions are also the folds of the brain. Trained as an architect, Natzel is concerned not only with the physical experience of the space but also the mental. Natzel's cardboard becomes tubular mouldings that dominate the viewer. The loops bisect the ceiling and crawl across the floor completely changing the architectural relationship with the space. In Natzel's exhibition, Convolution, a work specifically created for SooVAC’s space, the viewer experiences the cardboard interventions like ants in a lawn. Each loop is like a blade of grass, representing only a small part of the whole. "I have created a place where decoration can thrive in Architecture," says Natzel, "and not be immediately cast aside."
Wil Natzel lives and works in Owatonna, MN. He graduated from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2009 with a Master’s in Architecture. He has produced and assembled large architectural constructions of cut cardboard for group exhibitions at The Soap Factory and Northern Spark 2012 in Minneapolis. He has served as a guest juror at the University of Michigan, Iowa State University, and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Early in his career, Natzel interned for Charlie Lazor, designing FlatPak prefabricated bathrooms. His work was published on Wired.com in 2012.