Chadwick Rantanen

Chadwic Rantanen

Work from his oeuvre.

“The objects are easily transportable, erectable and dismountable. What’s more, in an exhibition context they are visually reticent. Like Barnett Newman’s zips or Fred Sandback’s yarn vectors, they oscillate between asserting themselves as figures in the foreground and receding as gaps or spatial incisions. In pictures (and perhaps too in our imaginations) they lean towards the latter; in reality, their fragile relation to our clumsy bodies tilts them towards the former. These are awkward, shy sculptures; Rantanen has spoken of them as ‘fighting visuality’.

Their aesthetic indeterminacy was compounded when he added decorative patterns to the poles; at first these were simply taken from found images, modified for the purpose. The designs were applied to the aluminium with an anodized dye-sublimation process that literally fused the image with the object. The images – multi-coloured bows, or tartan – were intended to be as innocuous as possible, the pattern’s repetition ensuring that viewers needed to see no more than a small area to establish that the rest of the object was essentially the same. There were no surprises here. In one instance, the artist created a perforated sticker printed with images of various kinds of metal finishes. The tautology of matching the image to the support was, for Rantanen, a way of prioritising neither.”- Jonathan Griffin

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