L A R A N I C K E L
oil on canvas . life-size (12.25" x 2.75" each) . 2018 - 2019
Created in the 13th century, the Piazza del Campo is the central square in Siena, Italy consisting of medieval red-orange, peach, and
violet-grey bricks. Twice a year the Palio horse race takes place around it and yellow-ochre sand is brought in for the track which fills in
the cracks, holes and broken edges of the bricks. "Siena Bricks" is an installation of 111 paintings displayed flat on the floor and structured into a herringbone pattern like the bricks at the Piazza del Campo.
Instead of painting one giant canvas, each brick is painted on its own separate canvas and then arranged to fit all together. Because of this, the shape and configuration of this piece will never be the same each time it is set up. Traditionally, paintings have a constant, stable quality- the scene will not have changed when going back to look at a Titian, a Watteau or a Pollock- but when multiple paintings are used to create one scene, the function of painting changes.
This project is not a simple trompe l'oeil exercise in painting but rather an attempt at building up a sculpture using blocks of paintings. Each canvas becomes a brick. Like Carl Andre's floor pieces, this project is about sorting, arranging, and placing. It is about changing the way people look at a painting (from passively standing to bending over) and about changing how people interact with a painting (from walking around to squatting down). It is an attempt at mixing minimalism with the medieval.
These paintings are not meant to be walked on.
BRICKS + BRUNELLESCHI READ HERE