Public Art Fund Brings Katja Novitskova’s Sci-Fi Sculptures to City Hall Park

She's representing Estonia at the 57th Venice Biennale.

Katja Novitskova. Rendering for "EARTH POTENTIAL" (2017). Courtesy the artist; Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin; and Greene Naftali, New York. Image courtesy the artist and Public Art Fund, NY.

Just as her work breaks out onto the world stage as she represents her native country in the 57th Venice Biennale, Estonian artist Katja Novitskova will be the subject of an outdoor public exhibition at Lower Manhattan’s City Hall Park, courtesy of the Public Art Fund. The show will see images of creatures like hydras, round worms, and squid plastered onto large plates of aluminum in the show “Earth Potential.”

The project itself is all about the relationship between contemporary digital image culture and the environment, themes that the artist unites in a new series of seven digitally printed photos embossed on aluminum sculptures. By bringing these two seemingly contradictory topics together, Novitskova encourages the viewer to consider how technological development has impacted mankind’s perception of the natural world.

In some sculptures Novitskova references animals that have been studied for biotechnology research. The primitive round worm, for example, is the first species whose neurology has been digitized for research purposes; scientists have studied the squid for its emotional and mental capabilities; lizard legs have been a source of inspiration for numerous engineering projects.

Katja Novitskova. Rendering of <i>EARTH POTENTIAL</i> (2017). Courtesy the artist; Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin; and Greene Naftali, New York. Image courtesy the artist and Public Art Fund, NY.

Katja Novitskova. Rendering of EARTH POTENTIAL (2017). Courtesy the artist; Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin; and Greene Naftali, New York. Image courtesy the artist and Public Art Fund, NY.

“From the micro to the macro, Novitskova brings to life a world that was once invisible but now, due to advances in satellite cameras and electronic microscopes, can be pictured in great detail,” Public Art Fund associate curator Emma Enderby said in a statement. “These images are also of living forms that are used in the scientific community to synthetically change the future of our planet. With this, Novitskova invites the viewer to reflect on the ways in which we see our world and how we perceive the potential of the Earth.”

The resulting works, which range from six to eight feet in diameter, also play on the perspectival dichotomy between two and three dimensions—with the flatness of computer based imagery contrasted against the shapeliness of the art object itself.

“Katja Novitskova: Earth Potential” will be on view from June 22–November 9, 2017 at City Hall Park, New York.


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