Sperone Westwater is pleased to present an installation of Danish artist Jeppe Hein’s “1 - Dimensional Labyrinth” (2006). A new work by the artist, this constructed labyrinth made of steel and mirrors continues Hein’s ongoing interest in sculpture as an expanded field of social interaction.
Through his innovative installations of cubes, balls and labyrinths, Hein articulates a dialogue between the work itself, the person encountering it and the gallery space in which it is sited. Works of this kind imply a wry relationship both to the Minimalist sculpture of the 1960s and to those forms of institutional critique that sought to question the authority of the museum or gallery space. Yet Hein’s practice does not really fit either tradition – the mode of address and idea of wonder present in his work are at odds with, for example, phenomenological interpretations of Minimalist sculpture, in which the viewer participated in the work but as a relatively abstract presence. For Hein, the viewer is a very literal participant who acts as a trigger for the work and becomes involved, both conceptually and physically, in the carefully calculated structures the artist creates. With “1-Dimensional Labyrinth,” as with his previous works, Hein calls into question traditional perceptions and functions of art, creating a work that can only be experienced through the viewer’s participation.
According to Francesco Bonami, “we could say that Hein’s work is about feelings, a sort of mental sculpture that has both a life of its own and a life shared by the viewer. It happens sometimes that the users of Hein’s work don’t even know what the work is about, actually they don’t even realize it’s a work of art.” Hein’s work deals in oppositions, at once overtly unnatural while at the same time dealing with nature on a very subtle level. Entering and experiencing the artist’s work poses a challenge not to the viewer’s intellect, but rather to his physical body and psychology.
Born in Copenhagen in 1977, Hein currently lives and works in Berlin. His work has been shown at many major museums worldwide including in solo exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Fundació La Caixa, Barcelona, and capcMusée d`art contemporain, Bordeaux, and in group shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the MCA, Chicago, among others.