Building Steam No. 121, 1983
Donald Lipski’s sculpture is characterized by tension between disparate materials brought together in a new context, rendering alternate meanings through the sum of the parts. His use of found objects often generates metaphysical pressure cookers, where the evolution of time is felt as a force equal to the physical presence of the objects. Like his series Gathering Time and Passing Time, the Building Steam series continues to reference the compression and expansion of what we call time. A bottle for human plasma is filled with heavy particles suspended in liquid, trapped inside the metal cage of a boat lamp cover, all literally hung below the belt. The industrial language of materials under pressure–a paper filter held in by a metal screen held tight by a belt, the liquid held in glass–suggests containment in a precarious balance. Arching off the wall, caught in a freeze frame of the intangible, the progression of time will bring about the explosion that is captured in a frame forever out of view.
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