Walter Bruszewski


Fabricated steel mobile-stabiles.

•     Intent. The aim is to make beautiful objects using purely visual language. I assemble these mobile-stabiles from a lexicon of shapes, motifs, materials, and components that I see in the world of advanced technology. They are informed by being a scientist and engineer. My lexicon also includes Modernist shape elements and the sparseness that I see in the work of David Smith, Calder, and George Rickey.

•     Disruption. My work is strongly informed by my professional careers as a scientist and as an R&D engineer producing disruptive (paradigm-changing) medical technologies. In this work, my charter was always to think “out of the box”, to always think of something different from the norm. I have applied this approach to my art making as well. Since the beginning of my artistic practice, I have kept up with sculpture in Art in America, Artforum, and Sculpture. I have always strived to make objects that are not derivative, that don’t look like anything I have seen. My personal disruption of sculpture is my attack on mass and volume. The objects presented here are mostly space and minimal structure. They are anti-mass, anti-sculptures. As well, I have assembled these pieces as randomly and asymmetrically as possible to produce chaos.

•     Vision. These pieces are my attempts to realize delicate imaginary constructs in 3D space. This can be traced to my training in 3D CAD design. In the virtual computer environment, I could first create and visualize exquisitely fine assemblies of lines, circles, and points suspended in space.

•     My visual ideal is sculpture that is the opposite of massive. I want to punctuate space with minimal, spare elements which are as light as they look. The polygonal mobile and stabile elements in Flyin’ Bedstead and Moonbeam Navigator are perforated with holes to make them light, but also to make them appear insubstantial.

•     Part of the visual language of these pieces is competence of execution. My artistic practice is hands-on studio work. With the exception of a few components shown here (cables and stainless spheres), I cut, bend, form, weld, machine, prepare surfaces, and paint everything myself. I was strongly influenced by a generation of artists (Henry Moore, Calder, Noguchi, George Rickey) who engineered, carved, and fabricated their own work; craft is very apparent in my sculptures (for example, I fuss over the quality and placement of weld beads).

Molecular domains.

•     Intent. These pieces are inspired by my training in molecular and cell biology. My aim was to realize imaginary visions of the realm of biomolecules like DNA and proteins. Like the mobile-stabiles, the language here is mostly space, and anti-mass, much the same as above. These objects are my interpretations of details of molecules at a level beyond which microscopes can see.

•     Chaos. The key message that I want to convey with these pieces is chaos. What I see in the molecular world, and, when hiking through wilderness, is chaos. The universe emerged from the chaos of the Big Bang. Natural selection, the mechanism of evolution, depends on chaos.

•     Vision. In these pieces, I invented the bent and painted steel spring rod forms to represent molecular chains of atoms. These elements are known to molecular biologists as domains. The angles and distances between atoms (represented by the bend points) are governed by chemical laws. I developed my own similar rules that I applied to the rod components. But the most important rule was that there was no plan. I consumed 12 foot lengths of rod to make random “domains” 12 to 20 inches in length. Randomness was very important. It is my way of presenting chaos.

•     Potatoes. In addition to the above domains, there are also globular domains, which are more compact. These are the carved wood elements. I began by buying potatoes and studying them, but imagination produced better shapes. I kept potatoes for the titles, in the spirit of chaos.