Our next Artist You Need To Know is someone whose works are monumental but also ethereal. Max Streicher is a sculptor and installation artist based out of Toronto. His works are almost immediately recognizable, as since 1989 he has worked extensively with inflatable technology in kinetic sculptures and installation works.
From his extensive site: “Max Streicher’s works typically consist of sewn forms that are filled and animated by the force of air. Like balloons, these works exist in a state of tension: They too are air pressurized against a thin membrane, held in a balance that is fragile and inevitably lost. Through his use of delicate materials, the detailed and life-like rendering of his forms and the dynamics of his installations, he seeks way to challenge and complicate what we think we know of inflatables as they are more commonly found in popular culture. The tension–air pressurized against a delicate membrane–is anthropomorphized, metaphysical, vacillating between whimsy and the fear of loss, between playfulness and the threat of destruction.”
We’re offering a number of images of Streicher’s works, but at his own site, you can also enjoy short videos of many of his pieces, where the Giants seem to breathe while they slumber, or to stir, slowly, threatening to awaken. People are dwarfed next to Streicher’s creations, but their translucent and delicacy make them seem more like fleeting surrealist visions than anything threatening or ‘monstrous.’
Streicher has exhibited extensively across Canada and internationally, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Art Gallery of Alberta, Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto and The Power Plant Centre for Contemporary Art. A number of site specific projects have been commissioned in Canada, Europe, Asia and South America.Max Streicher’s work was also a highlight of the Sixth Beijing International Art Biennial.
Max Streicher’s artwork offers an engaging contrast, as though many are monumental, they also seem very vulnerable in their construction and presentation. His unique inflatable works are represented in numerous significant collections, such as the Albertina Museum in Vienna, The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Japan, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, The Art Gallery of Windsor and the University of Toronto Art Centre. Streicher’s site has many more images of his practice (including video documentation of his ‘breathing’ translucent figures). As well, the CCCA site has both wonderful documentation of Streicher’s artworks from Nuit Blanche Toronto (in 2010), as well as several older works by the artist.