Carroll / Fletcher is pleased to present the first UK showing of NanoBlck-Sqr #1, a work by Belgian artist Frederik De Wilde.
Created with a nano-engineered material developed in collaboration with NASA and Rice University, NanoBlck-Sqr #1 comprises a material so dark that it absorbs practically all visible light. The artwork is made from carbon nanotube bundles “grown” in a laboratory, as in NASABlck-Crcl #1, and then applied to an aluminium canvas by the artist.
Yves Klein worked with chemists to create his now iconic International Klein Blue to offer, as he put it, an “open window to freedom as the possibility of being immersed in the immeasurable existence of colour”. Similarly, De Wilde’s monochromatic or “blacker-then-black art” works as a space of boundless immateriality. Yet black cannot be called a colour, merely the visual impression formed in its absence, and so looking into a void space evokes a vital act of introversion.
In a recent article in Dazed magazine, De Wilde explains, “Above all, the blackest-black is for me – just like for Malevich– a symbol for societal change providing hope for new generations of young artists living in a world facing huge economical, ecological and societal challenges. I believe change starts with the individual. Darkness is perfect, because more than light, it turns directly and singularly towards the individual. I see my blacker-then-black art as a space of refusal, but also as a space of and for imagination. In a time where we're oversaturated with media and information, it pulls you back to something that is private and personal. In absolute darkness everybody is the same, things are forged and unified. For Yves Klein it was the blue sky, for me it's deep space. The blackest-black is an artistic concept, research project and a poetic thought which is "born" out of necessity, reactionism, subversiveness. The blackest-black concept and artwork help us to question our perception and reality… it's the ultimate celebration of the unknown.”
Frederik De Wilde works between the bordering areas of science, technology and art. The conceptual roots to his artistic praxis are the notions of the intangible, inaudible, and invisible. It is this interstitial territory that De Wilde explores in his various works. Sometimes on the side of the technological, and often in the perceptual, conceptual, social-human-register, De Wilde’s art is grounded in the interaction between complex systems, both biological and technological. Moreover, the indistinct, diffuse, ‘fuzzy’ arena where the biological and the technological overlap and commingle is a productive and favoured ground for his projects.
Frederik De Wilde (b.1975) lives and works in Brussels. He studied Fine Arts (MA) in LUCA Brussels (painting), the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp (sculpture), experimental & audio-visual arts (MA) in LUCA Brussels, followed by a pre-education in architecture, and one year of philosophy (VUB). Frederik concluded his studies with a post-graduate degree in New Media, Arts and Design at Trans- media in Brussels where he was initiated into software programming. He is currently guest professor at Transmedia Brussels and is a permanent artist-in-residence at the University of Hasselt.