“Night Beacon”. Living Sculptures by Todd Dunning 4/6/2021

Apr 6, 2021 | 0 comments

4/6/2021 – 6/27/2021

Todd Dunning is a pioneering kinetic sculptor in San Francisco. His early welded mechanical steel sculptures were evocative of Jean Tinguely and David Smith. His current works – painstakingly crafted from dielectric elastomers, titanium, carbon fiber, and 3D printed internals – are more organism than machine, moving powerfully and intelligently like a living creature. Their motion is self-determined, never machine-like, and always different. Dunning has exhibited in the Bay Area and nationally and can be found in several private collections, notably the Lester Marks Collection, Houston. Recent exhibitions of his current body include a group show at the International Art Museum of America and a solo exhibition at Gray Contemporary in Houston Texas.

“My artistic goals are the opposite of many artists. I want to bring living beings into the world instead of creating works that reflect me. With the artist out of the equation, the piece is liberated to perform as it wishes. I want to give it the tools to express itself as an individual, and then leave it alone. This is why their form is reductive and formalist; their expression comes from their movement and actions; not their appearance. We are used to the artist describing a narrative with their art. I have given that task to the sculpture instead. What each one does is as big a surprise to me as to anyone else. When a piece is turned on for the very first time it’s an incredible, breathless moment. It waits for a little while and then starts to move and explore. I’ve never seen what it does before and am always amazed. Normally the viewer controls how they interact with the art but not here. They may or may not connect with you – it’s their choice. You are just along for the ride and can only control the moment you want to get out and disengage. Until then you are enthralled. There’s a moment when the piece acknowledges your presence and motions just to you.”