Daniel Arsham is a Cleveland-born New York-based interdisciplinary artist whose artistic endeavours extend beyond traditional art world platforms. His art plays with the concept of future history and fictional archaeology, presenting fossilised versions of contemporary objects and architecture.Read More
Raised in Miami, Daniel Arsham studied art at The Cooper Union in New York. He graduated and received the Gelman Trust Fellowship in 2003. His ensuing practice has crossed the disciplines of drawing, film, sculpture, installation, and architecture, playfully historicising the tangible cultural and material icons of the contemporary era.
Arsham's sculptural work presents eroded casts of various objects from the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The casts, made from geological materials like sand, selenite, and volcanic ash, appear as if artefacts unearthed after being buried for centuries—haunting future relics of the contemporary.
Arsham's chosen objects for simulated ahistorical fossilisation include older televisions, cameras, and boomboxes that highlight the acceleration of technological obsolesce in this digital age. He also presents casts of soft toys, clothing, basketballs, books, and even full-scale luxury cars. Additionally, human figures in contemporary outfits appear, in various states of decay, from fragments to whole fossils—evoking discoveries at sites like Pompeii.
Architecture is another core element of Daniel Arsham's practice, where the artist often plays with the architectural environment of the gallery. In several works, artefacts and objects intersect with exhibition walls. The analogue clock in Falling Clock (2011), for example, appears to have been lodged into a softened gallery wall. He also constructs surreal architectural environments, such as the monochrome Japanese zen gardens of Blue Garden (2017) and Lunar Garden (2017).
Beyond the gallery walls, Daniel Arsham has collaborated, since 2007, with Alex Mustonen on 'Snarkitecture': a highly acclaimed design practice. In 2014 he established 'Film the Future', creating films set in a fictional future. He has also created set designs for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company; signed to Adidas; collaborated with Dior and Pharrell Williams; and in 2020 he became creative director for the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team in his home state of Ohio.
Daniel Arsham's art has been shown in commercial contexts as well as gallery and institutional shows worldwide. His works feature in major public collections, such as the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the National Museum of Qatar, Doha.
Relics of Kanto Through Time, Parco Museum Tokyo (2020); Connecting Time, Moco Museum, Amsterdam (2019); "3018", Perrotin New York (2018); Hourglass, High Museum of Art, Atlanta (2017); Moons and Music, Eden Rock Gallery, St Barths, French West Indies (2016); The Future Was Then, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah (2016); #FUTUREARCHIVE, Espaces Louis Vuitton, Singapore (2013); Homesick, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris (2005).
Crystal: Visible and Invisible, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arkansas (2019); Invento, OCA, São Paulo (2015); Shattered: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass, Musee d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Saint-Etienne, France (2014); Homebodies, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2013); Fresh!, Museum Of Glass, Seattle (2006); Miami Nice, Galerie Perrotin, Paris (2004).
Michael Irwin | Ocula | 2021