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FNB Joburg Art Fair features work by Spier Architectural Arts

October 7th, 2013

This year’s FNB Joburg Art Fair featured work by Spier Architectural Arts in an exhibition in the central atrium. The exhibition, titled Sightlines, included Vertical Aerial, Johannesburg – a sculptural mosaic artwork by Gerhard Marx.

Vertical Aerial, Johannesburg (2013)

Contemporary style freestanding mosaic artwork, indirect method.
3.2 x 5.6m

For his work Vertical Aerial, Johannesburg, a freestanding sculpture composed of 56 mosaic panels mounted onto a rectangular steel frame with a compound angle, Gerhard Marx worked with a continuous aerial view of Johannesburg’s historical city centre.

“An aerial view is both a photograph and a map,” explains Marx. “As a photograph it functions in a sort of scientific objectified manner. It is literally an ‘overview’. As a map, the aerial view interests me because of the manner in which one ‘reads’ a map – particularly a map without text, which is what the aerial view arguably is.”

Each mosaic panel measures 800 x 800mm, suggestive of a grid reference found on maps. The artwork was fabricated in the indirect method in Spier Architectural Arts’ Cape Town studio: seven professional mosaic artists from Italy and South Africa, (three of them former Spier Arts Academy graduates) together with nine apprentices from the Academy, applied the tesserae face-down to a backing paper before they were transferred. Mosaic panels are placed on both sides of the artwork, reading as a continuous built surface.

The project took five months to complete. The individual tesserae include natural stone such as marble and travertine, fragments of red brick, ceramic elements and chippings of Venetian smalti glass.

Watch the ‘making of’ video: Spier Architectural Arts at the 2013 FNB Joburg Art Fair

 

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