Ian Collings’ sculptural debut
At Casa Perfect, LA, artist and designer Ian Collings unveils a new series of delicate stone sculptures which offer a window into our planet’s history
Three years since Ian Collings left Fort Standard, the Brooklyn-based design company that he co-founded shortly after graduating from the Pratt Institute, the sculptor has unveiled his first body of sculptural work. Currently on view at Casa Perfect in Los Angeles and titled ‘Primary Data’ it comprises a wide variety of forms, all cut from stone. Collings’ sculptural debut brings together his equally diverse range of interests and specialised areas of study.
Collings’ departure from Fort Standard was motivated by a drive to build up a sculptural practice. As an artist, Collings’ approach reflects his exposure to different craftspeople from a young age and reconciling that with his formal design training. In this inaugural collection of work, his ability to manipulate stone into small abstract monoliths that teeter between the natural and manmade, challenge viewers to consider what elements predate the artist’s hand.
‘I am attracted to working with materials that are evocative of the ‘big picture’,’ says Collings, who is based between Ojai in California and Pavones, Costa Rica. ‘In doing so, I am able to examine my relationship with uncertainty. I am drawn to stone for the way it dislocates my human-centric sense of importance. It encourages me to cultivate a faith of willful not-knowing, rather than a trust in absolutes. Through it, I feel more connected to the cosmos. It helps me to imagine wholeness.’
He continues, ‘Viewing these stones that I carve into as lithified bits of stardust reframes the material in new terms. I see them as images of time. I feel a relationship between things, regardless of their scale and complexity. I imagine everything that is, emerging from the same stuff; a sort of primary data. Not from some distant location in time, but as an explosive simultaneity of which I am a small part.’
Each of Collings’ sculptures at Casa Perfect highlights the mercurial qualities of stone. In the sculptor’s hands, it appears light, malleable, animated and majestic at all times, and each sculpture appears true to the unique characteristics of the stone, be it green marble, travertine, or white alabaster.
The artist also embraces the philosophical duality of working with stone. He says, ‘These stone objects are a reflection on the material as such. The raw and metamorphosed stuff of the universe, perpetually transforming. Each one contains an account of billions of years. Their ambiguous forms allude to their temporally abstract position: neither fully articulate nor without meaning.’ §