At this year‘s Armory Show in New York galleries Thomas Schulte from Berlin and Christopher Grimes from Santa Monica are proud to present a solo show by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. For the stand, alongside his new installation, bird in space mach 10, the artist shows his installation, Storm Prototype II, comprising two cloud sculptures, Cloud Prototype No. 2..
The cloud as a subject matter plays an important role in Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s artistic vocabulary. As nomadic matter in constant motion, clouds exemplify their immunity to climatic and political developments and are free of geographic and political barriers. The same way as one cannot measure the dimensions of the sky, one cannot define the outline of a cloud, nor analyze its surface. Lacking a solid form, clouds are always in a state of change and motion, defying all boundaries. Such, the beautiful, abstract and formally differentiated shapes of his so-called Cloud Prototypes are more than just aesthetic bodies.
As masterpieces of construction and ingenuity, Cloud Prototypes play with the efficiency of contemporary technology that enables the transformation of fleeting, bodiless forms into architectural objects. These large-format sculptures made of fiberglass and covered by a titanium alloy foil are based on actual data recorded by the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois. In correlation with the architect Douglas Garofalo, Manglano-Ovalle adopted these data to build a structure and form of his sculptures. These are then turned into small models by computerized, industrial milling-machines. From these again the larger works are precisely taken. In comparison to the digital generation of cloud shapes, titanium alloy foil is meticulously applied as an outer layer, and being closely related to the antique process of gilding, it beautifies the sculpture as a whole. The grid that develops through the application of the metal foil refers to the digital network from which the form originally stems.
The process of forming the Cloud Prototype sculptures suggests the influence of science on the painting of the romantic period. As the art historian Hubert Damisch noted, painters like Constable and Turner were not able to paint clouds in their actual form until after the researcher Luke Howard classified and named them at the beginning of the 19th century. And therefore finally it was language—in its equally ever-changing system—that gave the clouds their solid form. In that respect meteorology, originating with Howard’s work is, like language, an attempt to create a systematic order.