Art@Site Nancy Rubin Airplane Parts

Nancy Rubin


Airplane Parts

Museum of Contemporary Art
Suspicion and anxiety
Suspicion and anxiety come to me at the work Airplane Part by Nancy Rubin which is a kind of plane made of old airplane parts.
By Theo,

Compared with other artworks
I suspect John Camberlain (Thurm von Klythie, picture 1, more information) is having fun playing with a large number of inconsistencies, without the intention to say much about it.

In Reflections From Sky, Helidon Xhixha (Milan, picture 2, more information) disrupts a shiny surface, the area is on a special reflected in the artwork and reflections and distortions occur in the area.

(Reclycling of) everyday objects play an important role in the work of Suboth Gupta (Shanghai, picture 3, more information) and in this work this appear to be an essential necessity of life. Pots and pans flow out a mug like the water.

The role of vanity in our finite lives is made clear by Gino de Dominicis in his Calamita Cosmica (Milan, picture 4, more information) on a humorous way.
By Theo,
Rubins is a true sculptor, manipulating materials in space in the constructivist tradition of Pablo Picasso and Julio Gonzalez, who first applied the technique of welding to sculpture. Like them, and David Smith, who added color to the sculptural mix, Rubins transforms civilization’s detritus into magical formal concoctions.
Her work is most frequently and appropriately compared to John Chamberlain’s gestural assemblages of automobile bodies, which take found color (as it comes on the junked sections of metal) as their subject.
A soft harmony of faded colors evoking nature more than the sculptural elements’ identity as massive fragments of airplanes, 5,500 lbs. of Sonny’s Airplane Parts, Linda’s Place, 550 lbs. of Tie-Wire is predominantly greenish-yellow, the color of the aluminum primer used on the inside of airplane bodies, and muted silver. The ordinarily industrial colors echo the fluttering, light green leaves of the courtyard’s sycamore trees, which were planted only three years before the installation of Rubins’s sculpture in the spring of 1997 and are now double in height.
A more congenial ambiance can hardly be imagined as the trees and the wispy bamboo hedge sheltering the courtyard from the street provide a shady, integral surround for the sculpture. As it lunges upward from one end anchored to the pavement, the thrusting planes and curving sections burst into a great bloom of energy.
Held together by welds and wire, the sculpture is clearly under tension, miraculously cantilevered above the heads of viewers. In scale, force, and risk, Rubins’s work is reminiscent of Richard Serra’s or Chris Burden’s. What is significantly absent is the sense of immanent danger so crucial to, for example, Serra’s propped up pieces of lead or suspended slabs of steel. My own experience does not accord with critic Michael Duncan’s assessment that 'Rubins’s smashed airplane parts evoke our fear of sudden, unexpected death, a fear that reoccurs each time we buckle an airplane seat belt,' but maybe I’m just not afraid of flying.
Airplane parts seem natural in the air. Enhancing this naturalness is the sculpture’s sense of upward lift, as if taking off rather than crashing to the ground.
She explores the precariousness and limits of natural forces through large-format pieces with formidable psychological and physical presence. Working with salvaged commercial and industrial materials since the late 1970s, Rubins frequently combines features of assemblage and monumental sculpture to create dynamic works that are at once familiar and otherworldly.
Following the life cycle of her chosen materials, Rubins hones the formal qualities of these discrete components. Held together by stainless-steel wiring in tension, these monumental aggregations appear to be suspended in a moment of temporary stasis and evoke the possibility of ever-changing plasticity.
These parts refer to their original purpose while also highlighting the effects of consumption and industrial production machinery.
When this particular sculpture was created in 2003, the association with the terror attacks on the Twin Towers in New York was inevitable. Airplane Parts & Hills looks like a frozen disaster, while at the same time displaying a unique beauty in the rearrangement of the parts.
Nancy Rubins (born 1952) is an American sculptor and installation artist. Her sculptural works are primarily composed of blooming arrangements of large rigid objects such as televisions, small appliances, camping and construction trailers, hot water heaters, mattresses, airplane parts, rowboats, kayaks, canoes, surfboards, and other objects. Works such as Big Edge at CityCenter in Las Vegas contain over 200 boat vessels. Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Monochrome I, Built to Live Anywhere, at Home Here, at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, contains 66 used aluminum boats and rises to a height of 30 ft.