'100 Yrs' by Doug Aitken at New York's 303 Gallery

Artist Doug Aitken has excavated a giant hole in the middle of New York's 303 Gallery
Artist Doug Aitken has excavated a giant hole in the middle of New York's 303 Gallery to create a work titled 'Sonic Fountain', 2013. Filled with milky water, the piece is accompanied by sounds and water dripping from above
(Image credit: TBC)

Few artists would get the green light to excavate a crater out of a gallery's floor these days, but Doug Aitken (opens in new tab) is worth making an exception for. The showpiece of his latest exhibition '100 Yrs' at New York City's 303 Gallery (opens in new tab) is just that - a gaping hole in the middle of its minimalist exhibition space.

Filled with milky water, the work - titled 'Sonic Fountain' - is accompanied by an installation of sounds and water droplets from above. The controlled rhythm of the dripping water mimics the pattern of breathing to hypnotic effect.

Aitken (opens in new tab) has consistently kept the art world guessing with his simple, yet grandiose gestures. In this latest outing, the Los Angeles-based maverick proved that he doesn't need a museum building or a big city block to pack a punch. '100 Yrs' is made up of eight provocative works that are each distillations of the multimedia artist's arresting visual style.

These include a Plexiglas sculpture of the word 'Art', which repeatedly overflows with bubbling liquid earth, simply called 'Fountain (Earth Fountain)', and a ticking light box that highlights the blurred lines of its title 'Not Enough Time in the Day' with each flash.

Aitken's ability to delicately tread the line between moving and static works, as well as highbrow and popular culture, imbues each piece with an innate tension. Even in self-contained works like these, the effect is mesmerising.

2013 is shaping up to be the artist's biggest year yet. A new commission, 'Mirror' will soon be permanently installed on the façade of the Seattle Art Museum (opens in new tab), while SFMOMA (opens in new tab) in San Francisco will stage a citywide installation of his Empire Trilogy in site-specific locations later this year.

'Party', 2013, is fashioned from an LED-lit lightbox

'Party', 2013, is fashioned from an LED-lit lightbox

(Image credit: Press)

'100 YRS' by Doug Aitken, 2013, is another LED-lit lightbox work

'100 YRS' by Doug Aitken, 2013, is another LED-lit lightbox work

(Image credit: Press)

Installation view, showing 'Sonic Fountain' and 'Sunset (black)'

Installation view, showing 'Sonic Fountain' and 'Sunset (black)'

(Image credit: Press)

'Sunset (black)', 2013, is made from hand-carved foam and epoxy, with LED lights and hand-silk-screened acrylic

'Sunset (black)', 2013, is made from hand-carved foam and epoxy, with LED lights and hand-silk-screened acrylic

(Image credit: Press)

'Fountain (earth fountain)', 2012, is built from Plexiglas, steel, a pumping system, soil, coloured methyl cellulose, and lava stones

'Fountain (earth fountain)', 2012, is built from Plexiglas, steel, a pumping system, soil, coloured methyl cellulose, and lava stones

(Image credit: Press)

'Sonic Table (Green Onyx Sound Table)', 2011-2013, features a wooden frame and a marble top

'Sonic Table (Green Onyx Sound Table)', 2011-2013, features a wooden frame and a marble top

(Image credit: Press)

'Not Enough Time in the Day', 2013, comprises an LED-lit lightbox

'Not Enough Time in the Day', 2013, comprises an LED-lit lightbox

(Image credit: Press)

'More (shattered pour)', 2013, is built from high density foam, wood and mirror

'More (shattered pour)', 2013, is built from high density foam, wood and mirror

(Image credit: Press)

ADDRESS

303 Gallery
547 West 21st Street
New York

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Pei-Ru Keh is the US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru has held various titles at Wallpaper* since she joined in 2007. She currently reports on design, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru has taken a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars and actively seeks out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.