GALAXY. Project for a monument in Houston, Texas, 1972 - 2018

Basel 2018
Galeria Plan B
Sculpture: wood, pressed paper balls, oil paint
1156.0 x 350.0 x 200.0 (厘米)
455.1 x 137.8 x 78.7 (吋)
Horia Damian’s GALAXY (1972) was first imagined as a fictional monument in the deserted moon-like landscape surrounding Houston, Texas. The 11-meter-long sculpture was realized for the first time in 1974 at the Ludwig Forum in Aachen and subsequently reconstructed at Galeria Plan B, Berlin, in 2014. Ultimately concerned with the intuition of an extra-terrestrial spatial order, Damian created monumental, symbolic sculptures with an aura of the metaphysical. GALAXY reflects its surrounding environment and loses its materiality to an appearance, defying laws of gravity. Through the reconstruction of the original sculpture, art history becomes a live archive, recreated each time through the people who preserve and pass over the memory and experience of the original construction. The Romanian-born artist’s preoccupation continued with the project The Hill, constructed for the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1975. Thomas Messer, the director of the museum at that time, wrote of Damian’s works: ‘… despite the sparseness and reductiveness of Damian’s structures, minimal and formalistic interpretations do not in this case suffice. For his explicit references are to a celestial rather than a terrestrial space, to an ideal, rather than a palpable world order, and to sacral rather than temporal realities.’