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Kurt Steger

 

‘Urban Structures’ addresses the loss that cultures or communities experience from the destruction or demolition of spaces, particularly those with personal or spiritual importance. Recent travels in Tibet, where Steger observed peoples’ homes and places of worship destroyed, provided an impetus for this series, as it reflected a similar experience back home, where he witnessed the demolition and redevelopment of structures in the ongoing gentrification cycle in Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn.

 

‘Urban Structures’ uses this cycle of destruction as a literal foundation; each sculpture features a found piece of Bushwick concrete rubble as a base upon which I design form-fitting abstract shapes. These structures, inspired by his interest in architecture, are each a unique response to their concrete base, designed to balance and contrast with the jagged, uneven shapes and surfaces in the material. Through its reduction to rubble, the concrete begins to imitate the inherent randomness of natural forms. A trace of former function remains, like the curved imprint left from a pipe or an angle that marked the edge of a curb.

 

Each structure is designed as a type of sacred space that honors the memory of its foundation’s past. In most of the works, the structures contain an object or material, such as earth from Tibet, white sage, seeds, or notes composed as prayers. The spiritual aspect of the work remains largely undefined and open to interpretation, not adhering to a specific religious tradition.

 

As with all of Steger's work, these ‘Urban Structures’ are designed to provoke contemplation about space, time, community, and man’s responsibilities to and within his environment.

—Text by Wilson Duggan

 

Urban Structure No. 12

2015

Wood, Pigment, Found Concrete with Rebar

15x10.5x10.5

Urban Structure No. 16

2015

Found concrete, wood, paper, pigment, Tibetan prayer flag

9.5x 8.5x 8.5 inches

Urban Structure No. 17

2015

Found Concrete, wood, pigment

9 x7 x11.5 inches

Urban Structure No. 4

2015

Yellow curb fragment, wood, paper, pigment

13x7x11inches

Urban Structure No. 9

2015

Yellow curb fragment, wood, paper, pigment

9x6x11 inches

Urban Structure No. 22

2015

Found concrete, wood, paper, pigment

20x18x15 inches

Urban Structure No. 25

2015

Granite cobblestone, wood, paper, pigment, internal object

11x5x11 inches

Urban Structure No. 27

2015

Found concrete, wood, paper, pigment, internal object

8x10x9 inches

Urban Structure No. 28

2015

Found concrete, wood, paper, pigment, internal object

10x8x10 inches