Lot 2
  • 2

Allora & Calzadilla

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  • Allora & Calzadilla
  • Solar Catastrophe
  • broken solar cells on canvas
  • 236 by 188cm.; 92 7/8 by 74in.
  • Executed in 2011.

Catalogue Note

There is a spectre haunting the world of modern art. Artists have been having a hard time since the early twentieth century. They have difficulty knowing whether to go for a special form (a work of art that, in essence, is simply beautiful) or to try and find a meaningful concept (an idea, or concept that has never been visualised before). Sometimes, however, the two come together, and the form becomes as meaningful as it is special. Allora & Calzadilla explore the ramifications of the inevitable exhaustion of our fossil fuel resources, such as the gas pumps that will inevitably become ruins in the future. The use of lava rock, a material that reveals a distant past, focuses our thoughts all the more on the present.

The main component of solar cells is silicon, a highly reflective material that breaks into nice irregular pieces. Eco-aware artists Allora & Calzadilla can use them to make a beautiful collage as Jean Arp did with forms and colors in the 1930s. The result is cheerful and humorous because it combines a special beauty with awareness and with the disturbing layers of meaning in solar energy, growing garbage mountains, and most tragically our powerless inability to survive.