Bodies and Design

August 07-November 08, 2009

Mutant bodies, fictional bodies, animate architecture: these are among the provocations offered by Sensate, an exhibition that reflects recent debates about what bodies are and how they are met and mirrored by design. Works from the SFMOMA collection are joined by two large-scale installations fabricated especially for the exhibition. Andrew Kudless's cast plaster P_Wall covers a 45-foot-long gallery wall, its bulbous, creased texture replacing the smooth surface with a decidedly different kind of skin. Alex Schweder's A Sac of Rooms All Day Long is a massive, inflatable sculpture that begins as a heap of clear vinyl and, over the course of a day, slowly rises to assume the shape of two houses, one inside the belly of the other. The installations, alongside other works by artists, architects, and designers, replace traditional references to the body with approaches that admit greater complexity, nuance, and uncertainty.

  • Andrew Kudless white sculpture
    Andrew Kudless (MATSYS), P_Wall (detail), 2006/2009; plaster and multichannel audio; Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; Andrew Kudless
  • Aziz and Cucherspeckled rectangle interior
    Aziz & Cucher, Interior #1, 1998; chromogenic print on aluminum mount; gift of Henry Urbach and Stephen Hartman; Aziz & Cucher
  • John Dickinson, chair with bone legs
    John Dickinson, Bone Cigarette Table, 1977; painted wood; gift of Macy's California; John Dickinson

Form, growth, behavior: The making of Andrew Kudless’s “bulbous” sculpture

Andrew Kudless discusses P_Wall (2009), a forty-five-foot-long wall installation composed of undulating, bulbous forms. He demonstrates the techniques used to create the work at his design studio, Matsys, and how its form mirrors the human body.