PUTRIH, Tobias; Connection
Tobias Putrih’s concept-based practice comprises drawings, illustrations, plans, models and intricate constructions. His works address particular aspects of modernist history, such as social utopianism, modern architecture and the evolution of cinema as an art form. Connection emerged from these concerns and references the Finnish–American architect Eero Saarinen’s Gateway Arch in St Louis, Missouri, completed in the 1960s. In a 2007 publication by Galerija Gregor Podnar, Putrih described this as being ‘not only a monument to Thomas Jefferson and the nation, but also to the modern age’. The artist’s sculpture echoes this structure while introducing an element of irony.
Connection is constructed from cardboard boxes, diminishing slightly in size so that each box fits into the preceding one, playfully undermining both the structural principle of the arch and the heroic dimensions associated with bridges, cathedrals and victory arches. The inherent paradox of a monumental and stable architectural form made of something as impermanent as cardboard is typical of Putrih’s approach to sculpture – as an experimental and constructive process rather than a resolved form.