Get to Know: Sara Gassmann

Interviewed by: Eliana Blechman

We asked Sara Gassmann a few questions about the materiality and viewer interaction involved in her work. Read on for more...

Art-in-Buildings: How does the physicality of the objects displayed in DOMESTIC STARE explore the relationship between viewer and object?

Sara Gassmann: I like to enlarge the abstraction, to use a wide range of abstract forms on the border to figuration. And here it is obvious that domestic stare is related to the size of animals. This size allows the work to come in a relationship with the body. The fact that they are behind the window staring outside, involves the viewer themselves seeing his own reflection staring/looking at the sculptures.

AiB: You work in a variety of mediums, including ceramics, painting, and paper. In what ways does your process change when using different material?

SG: All my works are process oriented. To work on paper has something very intimate – I am working on a smaller size and on the table. So my position and interaction with the work is very close. In this sense it functions to be seen from near.

The paintings on canvas are made on the wall, my proximity and distance is very important during the process.

With the ceramics it is a different story, the shape becomes an important role. And there are more steps to consider. To play with the colors is kind of a brain game, because they are changing during the firing process. The surprises are higher.

The installations are as well different, they are site specific and some of them are exactly planned in advance.

I can tell that the different mediums have playful interactions and are important to find new questions.

AiB: How important is revealing the artist's hand in your work?

SG: That is a very important factor. For me this element of imperfection can offer a deeper insight or kind of an entrance to the viewer.

I am looking for different subtle opposites inside the work. That could be with color neighborhoods who are fighting against each other or a kind of imperfection that shows the fragility and the changing dynamics in our everyday lives.

AiB: How did working within the confines of the West 10th Window influence your practice?

SG: My starting point was the question about the advantage of a small window. I can create big ceramic sculptures who are filling out the whole space. These are the biggest ceramic sculptures I have ever made. I like the physical aspect from the sculptures, and it gave me the idea to work on larger ceramics, maybe combined with wood and concrete, to create body size sculptures/installation.

AiB: What's next for you?

SG: I will be in a group show in July at art3 gallery in Bushwick, organized by Residency Unlimited. End of July I am going back to Switzerland where I will prepare a couple of exhibitions that are coming this and the following year.

Learn more about Sara Gassmann on her website!

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