Miami, FL – Primary Projects gets Lucid with Lena Schmidt and Evan Robarts. The mixed media installation spotlit these two artists’ interpretations of forgotten spaces and found objects, challenging the viewer to open their lens and focus on the background and periphery as the subject matter. As seen with Primary Flight’s Wynwood-based murals, the collective is particularly interested in using ‘dead spaces’ as a canvas for their artists. Both Hamburg-based Schmidt and Miami-native Robarts toy with this concept of making something out of nothing.
In lieu of adding paint to a surface, Schmidt’s work emerges in the negative space. The young artist uses a thin knife to scratch old wooden planks, emphasizing the materiality of what she calls “urbanscapes” – places that are typically considered non-places, including transit zones, traffic interchanges, road systems and deserted old industrial brick buildings. In 2010, Schmidt participated in the Fountainhead Residency Program (Miami) and was represented in the German National Academic Foundation’s art collection of the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conversation and Nuclear Protection. Lucid will be Schmidt’s first show in the United States.
Born and raised in Miami, Robarts now resides in New York. Transforming everyday objects into new things with familiar meaning, he explains, “My work is inspired by forms found in the natural world but outside of our realm of observation and understanding.” For example, discarded soccer balls are recast in Robart’s Molecule installation, drawn together to create abstract geometric sculptures; and inflatable lungs are made from clear recycling bags and packaging tape, with three fan motors set to inflate and deflate the bags in accordance with slow breathing. Robarts graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Pratt Institute.
Special Thanks to Kathryn and Dan Mikesell / Fountainhead Residency for Continued Love and Introductions.
Photos by Peter Vahan