Understanding what kind of structures it will be possible to produce in the future with generative software and multi-material 3D printing processes is what engineers need. Today, though, this is still mainly a job for artists like Nick Ervinck, whose latest works can be admired over the next few months at four exhibits in France, Belgium and Arizona.
Ervinck is a leading interpreter of a new generation for artists who combine an in-depth comprehension of new generation generative software with the technical, mechanical, physical and mathematical knowledge necessary to bring unprecedented new structures into physical reality, as works of art. This, in a way, is very similar to the concept of “Renaissance Man”, where multi-talented geniuses such as Leonardo da Vinci explored science through the arts and vice versa.
Exploring nature and machine at the same time
The first exhibit in order of time, is already taking place at the Musée Paul Valéry, in Sète, Fance (until May 22nd). This is Nick Ervinck’s first solo show in France and features both well-known and new works. Ervinck’s sculptures combine nature and technique, inspired by a futuristic vision of the world. They are created with the latest computer software using both 3D printing and traditional craftsmanship. The pieces on display tend to reflect the shapes of generatively designed natural elements, such as corals, ink stains, Chinese rocks and body parts, but also man-made buildings and artworks.
The second exhibit also just open at the De Warande Gallery, in Turnhout, Belgium. De Warande and STORMOPKOMST organized it around the theme ‘Man and Machine’, reconnecting to the very theme of Leonardo da Vinci. Through Ervinck’s incredibly complex LAPIRSUB 3D printed statue, the goal of the show is to explore how artists still create machines, that may or may not function, as a mean of exploration, as Leonardo da Vinci did.
In this new interpretation, mechanization has evolved into robotization. Instead of concrete products there is now the possibility of virtual output. From material changes to other ways of communicating, these evolutions are changing our society, and, as a result, any artists have become engineers once again.
A new breed of artistic visions
On April 2nd (until the 18th), Nick Ervinck’s NOITALS work will be on display at an exhibition that the Rotary Club Waregem organizes yearly. Contemporary artists are invited to exhibit a selection of their work at the old church (Oude Kerk) in Vichte. For this year’s second edition Nick Ervinck will focus on the central theme in the oeuvre of Ervinck, namely the interaction between the physical and the virtual. The underlying idea is to generate a critical reflection about the actual nature of the sculptural medium in contemporary art, which is so much influenced by the language of technology.
For US-based enthusiasts of Ervinck’s work there will also be an exhibit, titled Mind 2 Machine 2 Material: Digital Technology and Sculpture Today which will held at the Northern Arizona University Art Museum, in Flagstaff, Arizona, from next April 19th to June 12th. This will be the first of the NAU Art Museum’s exhibitions, and the first of its kind in Northern Arizona, to explore emerging media and digital technologies in fine art.
Along with Nick Ervinck, who will display works such has the KOLEKNAT, participants include internationally renowned artists who are touching upon themes of science, natural science and sustainability, while remaining true to the aspirations of fine art. This kind of artistic and scientific exploration of new physical forms and structures has but only begun. The rapid growth in demand that Nick Ervinck’s work is enjoying shows that it is here to stay.