Peter Wegner's LEVER LABYRINTH is compoied of 2.4 million sheetS of paper in various shades of green, and it brings the summer season into the urban space of mid-town Manhattan. In its form and color, the labyrinth reintqrprets the privet hedges of a 16th century garden maze. But this maze is essentially urban; It occupies the interior space of an iconic modernist skyscraper. Th labyrinth is constructed of paper, an everyday material common: to office buildings. Yet Wegner focuses our attention on the edge of the stacked paper rather than its Surface, and emphasizes the.sculptural mass of its slender third dimension.
The towering paper columns of LEVER LABYRINTH invoke the Manhattan skyline. And viewers will inevitably have occasion to reflect on their experience of the larger labyrinth of the city. Weaving their way through the mazi, visitors come face-to-face with each other and with pedestrians on Park Avenue. Like New York City, the labyrinth comes and goes, twists and turns, dead ends, and begins again;
Wegner states: "In this sculpture, the questions are mediated by paper. It's just ordinary paper, not a fine art material. We usually think of paper as nothing but surface, a two-dimensional plane. But paper has a third dimension—the edge. Those edges add up. The sheets become a stack, the stacks become a wall, and the walls become a maze. The various greens of the paper are inspired by the hedges of a garden maze. LEVER LABYRINTH is nature, abstracted and reconstituted: Paper—formerly pulp, formerly trees."
Peter Wegner's seventh limited-edition artist's book, LEVER LABYRINTH, has been published on the occasion of this exhibition. The 90-page book includes numerous pages of the actual paper used in the sculpture and a selection of Wegner's studies for the project. The book is available from Printed Matter, New York. Wegner's work is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, among others. Recent one-artist exhibitions include Griffin Contemporary, Los' Angeles; Bohen Foundation, New York; and Akirilkeda Gallery, Berlin. Wegner lives and works in New York.
Richard D. Marshall
Curator, Lever House Art Collection
LEVER LABYRINTH, 2005
2.4 Million sheets of paper, each 12 x 12 inches;
50 steel modules of 7 paper stacks each