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Urban Crystals are mysterious obelisks, frames for the urban landscape mapping out new points of perspective. It is a group of three sculptures in the form of rectangular frames inspired by the irregular structure of crystals. Executed in gleaming steel, they are like mirrors reflecting the environment while at the same demarcating a strong accent in the environment.
Urban Crystals were created as a variation on the theme of Crystals, forms developed in 2018—multidimensional “crystals” with strong, dynamic edges and decisive contrasts of burgeoning planes and mesh cut-outs. In 2018 Crystals became an element of an artistic installation presented at Museum Jerke in Recklinghausen, Germany. In their shape, they alluded to the outline of the museum building, and their polished surfaces reflected light, creating multicoloured afterimages, in homage to Wojciech Fangor, the outstanding painter and creator of stained glass in the museum’s collection. The Crystals were also shown in 2019 at the Salone del Mobile in Milan. They then evolved into a freestanding sculptural group which in 2020 was to serve as part of the Design Pavilion in the NYC×DESIGN festival in Times Square.
“The Urban Crystals are objects I call ‘urban kaleidoscopes.’ They operate on the effect of reflection. The left side is reflected in the right, and the top reflects off the bottom. They form frames underlining certain important axes, buildings and architecture.” —Oskar Zięta
The Urban Crystals are jewel-box sculptures, like a tale within a tale. On their own, they tell a story of sculptural minimalism, a focus on material, a passion for craftsmanship, but also provide a frame for other stories—of the urban landscape and nature, and humanity captured within the frame of abstraction.
Size of the installation's elements:
Hometown: Zielona Góra
Based in: Wroclaw
Oskar Zięta is an artist fascinated with the formal properties of metals, which he transforms into sculptures that play with the senses, often intimidate with their scale and cross the border between what is possible and what is only imagined. In his works, he uses his original method of metal forming, which gives him endless possibilities of manipulating the material, while not depriving it of authenticity and craftsmanship naturality.
Zieta creates both sculptures based on mathematical precision, as well as organic objects that question Euclidean geometry. His projects are the result of a close relationship between man and the material, a practice already exercised by his father Jan and grandfather Bolesław. While they forged steel with the help of their own hands and heavy tools, Oskar Zięta in his work uses more sophisticated machining methods. He is a 4.0 blacksmith who carves with data, which he materializes in the form of sculptures – that give the impression of being subtly shaped by the natural forces. They contain the truth about the material from which they are made – Zięta deforms and stabilizes metal with internal pressure, on the basis of meticulously collected information about it. How will it behave under the influence of a certain force? How will a polished surface reflect its surroundings? How will the context influence the reception of a given form? These are the questions that Zięta faces during the creative process based on the idea of a controlled loss of control. At the same time, he leaves the material a considerable margin of freedom, thanks to which he enters into a dialogue with it both in the virtual and real world – transforming bits into atoms, and these again into bit representations. Thanks to this cooperation with the material, his objects are characterized by a dose of precisely planned poetics.
Oskar Zięta, born in 1975, is an architect, artist, craftsman and process designer, and the founder of Zieta Studio. He lives and works in Wrocław. He holds a PhD from Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich. In 2010, he created his first works on an architectural scale, including Blow & Roll installation for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The sculpture, composed of profiles inflated on the spot, contained an element of fun and performance, which is present to this day in the work of the artist still experimenting with scale and form, as well as with the aesthetic potential of steel structures.
He is the creator of the highest sculpture in public space in Poland, called Wir (Warsaw 2017), as well as the urban sculpture of Nawa (Wrocław 2017), which contributed to the revitalization of the surrounding area. In 2019, Nawa was nominated for the prestigious award in the field of contemporary architecture – the European Mies van der Rohe Award.
Oskar Zięta’s works belong to the collections of such museums like the Museum für Gestaltung in Zurich, the Pinakothek in Munich, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
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