TWO PILLARS


The CTA Orange line train rattles over head, crossing Harrison Avenue as it swings south west towards Midway. Beneath the tracks two massive concrete support pillars have been wrapped in a swirling luminescent design created by artist Friedhard Kiekeben.


At street level the TWO PILLARS form an impressive gateway through which pedestrians pass on there way to Michigan Avenue. What was a drab and purely functional structure has been turned into a vibrant and witty piece of street architecture (or furniture?).


In recent work minimalist grids are subjected to exuberant digital manipulations. Through warping, twisting, and expanding, the solidity of the source image gives way to the vibrant dynamism of simulated flow patterns: ‘cascade’, ‘tumble’, ‘flow’.


Kiekeben does not seek to create context or content for the digital source, yet the resulting plates, prints and sculptures are realigned to express structures as alive as the flow of water, blood or the rhythm of life itself.


The innovative use of dichotomy, to use fixed or closed structures to reveal organic and open-ended ones, is also reiterated in his inventions of several non-toxic printmaking techniques. Each and every angle of his work and research moves with the speed of innovation in order to create possibilities just beyond the comfort and ease of convention.