Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Gabriel Sierra: Numbers in a Room in Sculpture Center

Gabriel Sierra created a series of works in the lower level galleries of Sculpture Center for his first solo exhibition in New York City. Compared to the high-ceiling and spacious ground floor exhibition space, the lower level’s cramped tunnels and corridors ideally fit to Sierra’s site-specific art works. He reconstructs the existing architectural elements to build his active exhibition playground.

Sierra arranges several signs with numbers along the wall all over the place. They do not necessary guide you in a clear direction, but drag you deep into his maze-like structure.  The very first installation you see after walking down the stairs is an exit sign that slowly moves along a track in the ceiling of the corridor. It is barely noticeable as it moves back and forth. The sign implies there is no certain order to explore the exhibition.

In another tunnel-like corridor, each arch is inlaid with a minimalist geometric form, which reorganizes and reorients the path down the hall. By blocking the line of sight, the forms attempt to lure viewers into an unknown journey. The irregular forms divide the space into various sized chambers and hallways, which create a rhythmic moving experience for viewers. Geometric forms covered with pale yellow burlap provide a high contrast to vivify the aged brick walls. These forms also arouse us to break our obsolete way of seeing things and enjoy our life as an unpredictable path.


  1. Hello, your review was very detailed in describing the site-specific installation. I like that you mention the “rhythmic moving experience” created by the blocked doorways through the corridors. It would be interesting to get some background information on why the artist was interested in this particular space, or why he chose pale yellow burlap. Is there more meaning or symbolism behind the colors or the guided movement of the viewers? I appreciate that you made the metaphor of the art piece to life as an unpredictable path, but couldn’t that be said about any maze? What made Sierra’s exhibition in particular, so intriguing?

  2. Hi, I think your review has a good introduction to the space of the gallery and the exhibition itself. I like how you describe the maze as an "active exhibition playground," but as the comment above, it would be interesting to know a little bit of a background information on the artist and this particular exhibition- his intentions on the site as well as the design elements.