Saturday, January 8, 2011


"Two Motorized Colored Forms", Stephan Soihl, 2010

Making my favorite first Thursday stop at Blackfish Gallery, my attention was immediately grabbed by Stephan Soihl’s unusually soothing sculpture. Titled “Two Motorized Colored Forms”, his two-part kinetic piece was composed of plexi-glass, colored motor oil, brass motors, and timers. Set against a white background the color and volume of the plexi-glass forms is accentuated. Each abstract form, one filled with yellow motor oil, the other green, rotated slowly in alternating directions. The green form was set on a single line, with a thin tube of plexi-glass and one and a triangular prism at the other. The yellow form was constructed with a radial balance consisting of three protruding prisms of different size and shape. Without movement, the asymmetrical balance of the piece would not have been as well emphasized. Not only was the kinetics of the overall piece interesting, but the liquid motor oil inside each prism traveled throughout the sculpture creating dynamic volumes and an equally interesting visual.

-Kristen Petsche

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for including video of this. That's a big help in getting an idea of how this sculpture works.

    Just from what I've seen here it seems to me that the assymetry would still have been prominent without the movement. The dark green is a heavier visual weight than the light yellow cross formation. The white background emphasizes the contrast between the dark green and the yellow motor oil as well.

    Its hard to tell what a "natural" static position for this sculpture would be. The feeling from the horizontal orientation in your video is very different from the vertical set up of the photograph. The vertical set up gives a sense of tension by having suspended thin rods bear the weight of the motor oil at their ends. Horizontally it feels almost like a minimalistic Dali painting with a deep horizon, yellow middle ground, and dramatic green foreground.

    I don't think the sculpture being kinetic was necessary, but it definitely adds a lot of interest to this.