Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Interview in Eazel Magazine by Tansy Xiao

Published in Eazel Magazine, Korea

Art and People

Anne Katrine Senstad

Last May, Anne Katrine Senstad, a Norwegian artist living in New York, unveiled her latest work, ‘Elements’ as part of ‘Through the Spectrum’—a group exhibition at Athr Gallery in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia presenting Senstad's work alongside that of James Turrell, Carlos Cruz-Diez, and Robert Irwin. Senstad views 'Elements' as the culmination of her lifelong project of exploring light as a medium, narrative, and connection between space and environment. Throughout her career her sculptures and installations have invited the viewer to a meditative spatial experience.


Eazel: Anne, congratulations on the inclusion of your light installation, Elements in the group exhibition, Through The Spectrum at Athr Gallery in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia this summer. Tell us about the exhibition and what it feels like to show work alongside such prolific artists as James Turrell, Robert Irwin, and Carlos Cruz Diez.
Anne Katrine Senstad (Anne): Thank you! Well, it has been an honor and a dream come true as the artists you mention are inspirational figures in the art world that I have looked up to for many years. And Athr Gallery is the largest, and arguably the most important, gallery in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With three floors, as well as outdoor space dedicated to presenting installation work, I would say it functions more like a museum than a gallery. Considering such, the curators of the exhibition designed an experience that serves as a visual-perceptual journey from one installation to the next—a labyrinth of light and color, so to speak. The participating artists’ respective visual, textual, and aural languages span generations and cultures in their exploration of the relationship between the West and the Middle East.
Speaking to Elements, I view this work as a continuation of my exploration of the foundational elements of light, sound, and spatial relations with special attention paid to how the viewer perceives their various interrelations. At the same time the exhibition is something of a new chapter as it represents the most complete form of light sculpture I have executed to date, building upon previous works. With Elements I have effectively merged several of my modes of expression.
In executing the installation I was interested in exploring the idea that light can be presented simultaneously as form in the abstract, as well as form in spacetime—a dense spectrum of frequencies and temperatures that invoke the subjectivity of color and the sensorial realm of the viewer’s experience. 
Eazel: You have described yourself as a baroque minimalist. Which artists have influenced you in this regard? 
Anne: Baroque minimalism is something of a playful contradiction of terms—as minimalism represents a reductive sensibility, commonly speaking in a monochromatic language to define space and object, while Baroque connotes maximalist expression of form and color. My installation and photographic works have always sought to test the reasonable harmony between light and color, pushing the terms of this harmony with saturated colors that respect their spatial context. In this sense, my work is about exploring the sensorial and cognitive realms of perception, decoupling form and concept and transcending designations such as line, shape, void, and color.
I have been exploring the perceptual interrelations between light and color, and object and space across various disciplines for over 25 years. My artistic practice has also been informed by land art—like Michael Heizer’s semi-architectural land interventions, Robert Smithson’s diverse land works and mirror installations, and Dan Flavin’s fluorescent tubes in various sculptural forms—which to me are all about the spatial context of the light object. The kinetic movement in Latin America of the 1950’s is another major influence. And of course there’s James Turrell and Robert Irwin. I love Irwin’s garden installations, and his hyper-minimalist perceptual works in particular.
Sound and literature also contribute to my visual language. I’ve been working with composer, mathematician, and philosopher, Catherine Christer Hennix for the past 6 years. Her work in sound composition and technology pushes the boundaries of experimental drone sound emulations. JG Thirlwell is another collaborator whose cinematic and boisterous aural language complements the baroque aspect my work rather well.
Eazel: It would seem your aesthetic sensibility connects elements of architecture with aspects of nature on a fundamental level. How does nature inform your practice as an artist?
Anne: As an artist I am inspired by context and space—as well as our relation to nature, both as a force and as material. I like to explore large, open spaces charged with historical narratives for my site-specific installations. I find that the aesthetics of nature have a way of articulating certain harmonies that inform my artistic sensibilities. For example, in 2012 I was invited by Mexico City-based British architect, Matthew Holmes to create a site-responsive installation entitled Projections of the Surreal—a series of time based abstract color projections onto the crumbling concrete architectural surrealist structures at The Edward James Foundation's The Surreal Gardensin Las Posas, Mexico. Artcollector Edward James built the gardens in the 1950s as an escape from what he saw as the oppression and constraints of formal society—a sort of feverish vision of the Versailles gardens in the jungle. Under the auspices of the foundation, the mission of the project spoke to the evolving relationship between nature and the structures that humankind realizes within its domain. In this case, the aim of the installation was to raise awareness for the need to preserve James’s culturally significant landscape also leading to a short film with the same title which examined the history of Mexico's intertwined pre and post colonial history—my multiple color interventions serving as the main symbolic protagonist and narrative vehicle in this regard.
I further explored this practice in Saudi Arabia as part of my collaboration with the German architect, Dr. Anna Klingman who developed an art and architecture program for the preservation of traditional stone and mud buildings in historic villages in the Asir region of southern Saudi Arabia. This project would eventually lead me to another project in Saudi Arabia, Time Beyond Place over the course of 2016 and 2017 in which I initiated a women-run artist platform to champion contemporary art practices, social engagement, and to the preservation of the cultural heritage of rural Southern Saudi Arabia—with particular attention paid to the historic architecture of the region, as well as its pre-Islamic women's artisanal practice of Qut wall painting.
Eazel: I’ve read that your work has been influenced by the architectural philosophy of Snøhetta.
Anne: I appreciate Snøhetta's philosophy and vision. I worked with them on my largest public art commission for the Wolfe Center for the Arts at BGSU in Ohio from 2009 to 2010. Their practice—I have found—is oriented around discovering new aesthetics without imposing postmodern ideas on nature. They are probably some of the most humane and innovative architectural firms around—alongside BIG from Denmark.
Eazel: The synesthetic nature of light installations would seem to invoke the subjectivity of color—that is, the degree to which the elements of light and space combine in the viewer’s perception. What are your thoughts on how the notion of the viewer’s perception relates to the outside world?
Anne: In Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space, there is a quote by Rainer Maria Rilke, “The world is large, but in us it is as deep as the sea.” I believe the overarching project of the artist is to explore the parameters of the human being’s sensorial experience of the world around her—to lead her to becoming more self-aware and cognizant of her own perception of this outside world, abstracting its elements on their own terms.
Artists of all disciplines live in the space between interpretation and creative expression. We’re sensitive people with a deep curiosity about this transcendent interstices. Ultimately the perception of art hinges on how its experience inspires the viewer to see new things and connect with her environment in new ways. In this regard, I believe art has the potential to drive change in social and ecological contexts. 
Speaking to how I have practically executed on this idea, my work mixes analogue techniques and materials such as celluloid film that directly records light and color, and neon light tubes as opposed to artificial LED lights—to name a couple of specific examples. For me the materiality of the tools I use in my work is an important part of my process. For example, neon has this organic quality that I find to be stronger and more pleasant than LED light—both in terms of the physical, as well as the psychological spaces it creates. In working with neon, I’ll manage color variations by adapting various combinations of gases and different types of glass tubes. I find that with neon the color temperatures are purer and the light frequencies may be experienced synesthetically in navigating the physical space they create—the electric currents in the gasses create a soft atmospheric glow the viewer feels all over her body. 
In other works such as Universals, my sculptures derive from the project of solidifying light, whereby I realized light and color interventions by projecting my abstract color video work, Color Synesthesia I-VII, onto architectural structures, recasting physical and psychological aspects of these spaces. With Universals I was inspired by Plato’s various concepts of perception, as well as Malevich’s essays on Suprematism—drawing from these works’ views of art as perception—that is, art being a representation of an object or idea—rather than the actual idea itself.
Eazel: In contrast to your work with light, your text art would seem to convey a playful sensibility—like Forget Flavin in Shanghai and Gold Guides Me at the Bruges Art and Architecture Triennial. What are your thoughts on the contrast between the direct communication of the latter and the subtle modality of the former?
Anne: In approaching light as a medium I’m thinking more on a technical level with the objective of creating an atmosphere or feeling in the viewer. This is more of an iterative process that entails problem-solving related to execution of a given installation. With text works I’m still thinking in these terms as I’m utilizing light through neon signs or the aesthetics of large advertising signage; however, in realizing an experience my process is focused more on how to best engage with the reality of the sociopolitical issues my work is addressing. This is where I get to employ my wit and humor in adapting phraseology from history and literature to create new meanings.
Eazel: Anne, thank you so much for sitting down with us. To conclude, I was wondering if there is place in the world you dream about as the location for a site-specific installation that is still gestating in your imagination? 
Anne: There are quite a few places I dream about; however, there is one in particular that continues to pique my imagination—The Park Avenue Armory here in New York City. I envision something comparable to Turrell’s transformation of the Roden Crater—a structure that connotes humankind’s civilization of the Earth while manifesting aspects of the cosmos beyond and connecting these spaces to the universality and depth of the human psyche. It would entail my light and color vocabulary—perhaps including sound, textiles, and semi-transparent mirrors.
I have also thought about an installation making a statement about humankind and its relationship to technology near the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. I have studied its circular architecture and have ideas for connecting its shape to themes related to the Russian Cosmism movement’s search for utopia. There are many possibilities for this location and I have thought a lot about connecting its current cultural significance to ideas of transhumanism, notions of the eternal through art, the relationship between art and science, and the dynamics between society and technology.

This article has been published simultaneously across Raincoat Society (, Art Frontier (艺术汇, China), and Eazel. 

Tansy Xiao is an independent curator, artist, poetry translator, and founder of Raincoat Society—a non-profit group that helps artists across cultural backgrounds better express their ideas. Having lived and traveled throughout 50+ countries, Xiao received her art education in hundreds of museums and thousands of streets worldwide before settling in New York. 

All images courtesy of the artist unless otherwise indicated.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Octavia Art Gallery Aug 4 - Sept 29, 2018

Soft Geometry Neon # 011, 2016
Anne Senstad

Neon tubes, fasteners, transformer.
18" x 15" x 1 1/2"
Edition 1/3

Please contact the gallery for more info:

Octavia Art Gallery
454 Julia Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
t. 504.309.4249 | c. 504.237.0648

Click here for Art Daily's write up on the exhibition published 8/8/2018

Installation Views

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Social Photography VI - Carriage Trade, New York

Car Wreck, Anne Senstad, 2017. Shot on Samsung Galaxy IV. 5x7 inches.Edition of 10 + 1

Social Photography VI  

Prints available online from June 28th at: 

See details on purchasing below*

Online Sales Begin: 

Thursday, June 28

Gallery Exhibition Opens: 

Tuesday, July 10, 6-8 PM

277 Grand St, 2nd Fl.  

New York, NY  10002

First presented in 2011, carriage trade's  Social Photography exhibitions have catalogued the rapid transformation of cell phone photography over the last several years. From a novelty medium existing between the voice and text functions of flip phones, to the smart phone as near physical appendage capable of recording and transmitting every waking moment, the cell phone camera now plays a pervasive role in many people's lives. 

While Instagram tends to emphasize the medium's  social utility, carriage trade's Social Photography exhibitions have tracked an alternate course, inviting participants and viewers to encounter these images in a format free of peer-generated tallies, while offering the option of a sustained look afforded by a gallery setting.  Social Photography  contributors are not limited to visual artists, and include writers, curators, musicians, students, etc., reflecting the accessibly and ubiquity of cell phone camera use.

Some of this years' participants are: Peggy Ahwesh, Dennis Adams, Liz Deschenes, Tracy Emin, Barbara Ess, Hal Foster, Ceal Floyer, Dan Graham, Beatrice Gross,  Emily HuntSarah Meister, Thurston Moore, Neil Jenney, Louise Lawler,  Lee Ranaldo, Asad Raza, Walter Robinson, John Schabel, Anne Senstad, James Siena, Molly Soda, Barry Schwabsky, Carol Szymanski, among many others.  

Functioning as a benefit exhibition to help support upcoming programming at carriage trade, there is no particular theme guiding  Social Photography VI apart from how the cell phone camera is most often used. Participants email images from their phones to carriage trade, which are then formatted, printed on 5" x 7" paper, and sold online and in the gallery during the exhibition.

Less a sanctioning of an evolving medium than a hybrid of a traditional exhibition format and the wider net of social media,  Social Photography also functions as a means to sustain and expand carriage trade's community, which exists in the combined spheres of online experience and the irreplaceable physicality of the exhibition space itself.

*Prints are available in editions of 10 on a first come, firsts serve basis: 
1 for $75.00 
2 for $120.00 (use promo code: 2/$120 at checkout)
3 for $150.00 (use promo code: 3/$150 at checkout)  

Prints purchased online by July 4 will be available for pick-up during the opening on July 10.Social Photography VI photographs can be viewed and purchased here:

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Through The Spectrum - Athr Gallery - Saudi Arabia


ELEMENTS, 2018 by Anne Senstad. An immersive light sculpture installation as part of the exhibition Through the Spectrum at ATHR Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. May 28 - August 31, 2018. The exhibition includes Anne Senstad, Robert Irwin, James Turrell, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Nasser Al-Salem and Timo Nasseri. Curated by Mohammed Hafiz and Afia Bin Taleb. The exhibition is a collaboration between Athr Gallery, Pace Gallery and Cruz-Diez Foundation.

On ELEMENTS by Anne Senstad

It has been found again.
What? – Eternity
It is the Sea fled away 
with the Sun
 Arthur Rimbaud, 1872

The Sound of MA, is identified by the Sound of an Indestructible Moment of Silencecontained by a space equipped with vertical topology.

ELEMENTS is experential and immersive, sculpturally informed, - an installation of light, color, perception, ideas of sound and spatial phenomena. An amalgamation of sensations. All sensorial elements have scientific and experiential similarities, yet differ in nature in how they inhabit space and how they are experienced. The natural world can be perceived through scientific systems of frequencies, wavelengths and temperatures that are sensed by the eye, ear, brain, nerves, intellect and emotions. Colors are cold, warm, dark, light, euphoric, symbolic, representational – a mental, emotional and sensual language, where light, color and sound exist as implementing our system on infinite levels, potentially unknown levels. Sound exists as complex music, visual and narrative sound, in environmentally inhabited and charged spaces, outside of our realm of perception as sounds not heard, sounds used in prayers. Sound is mathematical and logical, yet is the direct path to the realm of perception. Synesthetically sound has color and color has sound. Physically color is perceived through the optical and nerve system. In the language of light and color, spectrums and hues inhabit space, give objects their identity, enlighten our environment and represent enlightenment of the soul. 

Light and color represent nature in itself.  As Goethe proclaimed in his Theory of Colorslight owes its existence to the eye.  Referencing of course Newton’s scientific discoveries through the prism, where an object’s color was distinguished by the light of the sun through the prismatic. The ideas of perception in art can be related to Malevich’s essays on Suprematismin which he speaks about the non-objective system of elements through which sensations are expressed: the elements  of non-objective sensations are the beginnings of true essence. In the sphere of perceptive phenomena, non-objective essence is also it’s source, the absolute and pure. Perception of light, color, form, space and object are intertwined in Plato’s ideas where there arises the necessity of a soul with which we conceive knowledge by making judgments on perception gained through the sense organs.

Elements can be seen in light of mathematical and scientific space-time theories, we have elements as parts of a constancy and events. In sound, elements can be said to be parts of a composite wave form - it becomes a time element. Sound and light behave in a similar wave form language, Light is measured through temperature systems as in the Kelvin measurement system, existing as elements on a scale. Both sound and light operate as measurable and visible frequencies, scientifically disclosing the range within and without the audible and the visible, an echo of what can be observed in the nuanced color spectrums of the Aurora Borealis.

The verticals in Elements, define spatial relations and create a state of immersivity with colors blending into one another, merging and recreating new colors while simultaneously enveloping the body.  The verticality on our eye acts as signage, a post, a portal, arresting the eye by creating new space and defining our memory of space. By this definition we experience the light structure as either confining or liberating. Color embodies a psychology that effects our perceptive and cognitive system.  A verticality is experienced as an opening/uplifting and transformative sensation, representing the connection with a universe, while horizontal lines can remind us of the open landscape, the sea merging with the sun, perhaps internally experienced as a deep sleep or calming sensation. We are invited to experience the emotionally visceral and spectral physicality within multicolored verticals and mono colored horizon environment, touching the atoms of our being, resonating through vibrations of frequencies. The color compositions relate to sound compositions, in that one enters through a cool color space, gradually moving towards a multi colored crescendo. As the colors intensify in combination, the sensorial system is stimulated further, allowing us to be enveloped in color spectrums as a meditative and yet energetically charged process, As a time-experience installation, neon colors merge organically and seemingly expand over time, the nature of neon gas is organic and a transmitter of electrical currents, it is in continuous movement emitting abundance and perpetual absence of form, yet in fact exposing the opposite though creation of light and color as form. With its eternal presence, light represents the perceptual experience of the infinite and deepest elements of our shared humanity.

On Elements,
Anne Senstad, 2018


عناصرهوعملتركيبيوتجريبي  منالضوء،والإدراك،والنظرياتحولظاهرتيالصوتوالمساحة،العملفنييتمحورحولقدرتهلدمجهللحواسجميعالعناصرالحسيةلديهاخصائصعلميةوتجريبية متشابهة،ولكنهاتختلففيالطبيعةمنناحيةشغلهاللفراغوكيفيتمالإحساسبهاعبرالعين،والإذن،والدماغ،والعقل،والعواطفالألوانمنهاباردة،ودافئة،ومظلمة،وفاتحة،ومبهجة،ورمزية،وممثلة؛كلغةنفسية،عاطفية،وحسيةيتواجدالضوء،واللون،والصوت كأوامرتنفيذيةلأنظمتناعلىمستوياتلانهائيةومجهولةالصوتموجودكموسيقامعقدةاوبصريةوقدتحملفيطياتهاقصةتحكيها،أصواتتتواجدفيالفراغاتالمسكونةفيالبيئةوالمشحونةخارجنطاقاستيعابناتتواجدأصواتتبعدعننطاقإدراكنا،أصواتلمتسمع،هيأصواتتسمعفيالصلواتالصوتمفهومرياضيومنطقي،ومعذلكهوالطريقالمباشرالىنطاقالإدراكالصوتالاصطناعيلهلون،واللون  لهصوتالصوتالمادييدركعبرالنظامينالعصبيوالبصريالاطيافودرجات الألوانفيلغتيالضوءواللونيشغلانالفراغ،ويعطيانللأشياءهوياتها،وينيرانبيئتنا


يمكنرؤيةالعناصرفيضوءنظرياترياضيةومكانيةعلمية،العناصرمتجزئةفيالتسلسلوالاستمرارية،العناصرفيالصوتيمكنانيقالعنهاانهااجزاءمنشكلموجيمضغوط،حيثتصبحعنصراًزمانياًالصوتوالضوء يتصرفانفيشكلموجيلغويمشابهيقاسالضوءعبرأنظمةدرجاتالحرارةكمافينظامكالڤنللقياس،حيثتوجدالعناصرعلىمقياسيعملكلاًمنالصوتوالضوء عنطريقموجاتقابلةللقياسوالرؤيةممايتيحلنابطريقةعلميةمعرفةالمدىالداخلوالخراجفيالنطاقاتالمسموعةوالمرئيةكصدىيمكنملاحظتهفيالاختلافالطفيفبيناطيافألوانالشفق.

الخطوطالعاموديّةفي(عناصرتعيدتعريفالعلاقاتالفراغيةوتكونحالةمنالاندماجبينالألوانوتعيدابتكارألوانجديدةبينماتغلفالجسدفينفسالوقتالخطوطالرأسيةتعملعلىشكلتوقيع،منشور،ومنصة تأسرالعينعبرابتكارواعادة تعريفالمساحةلدينابهذهالطريقةيكونالمجسمامامحرراًاومفيداًلنااللونيمثلحالةنفسيةتؤثرعلىانظمتناالإدراكيةوالعقليةالخطوطالرأسيةتمثلتجربةحسيةتغيريةممثلةلروابطهامعالكونبينماالخطوطالأفقيةتذكرنابالأفقالمفتوححيثيندمجالبحرمعالشمسكنونعميقاواحساسيجلبالراحةنحنمدعوونلتجربةطيفيةفراغيةمنخلالأفقذوخطوطعاموديةمتعددةالألوانوأفقية ذاتلونواحدملامسةلأساسوجودناومتماسكة منخلالذبذبةالموجاتتشكيلةالألوانمرتبطةبتشكيلةالأصواتحيثيدخلالمرءعبرمساحةمناللونالباردمتحركاًحولمعزوفةلونيةمتصاعدةيتمتحفيزالحواسأكثركلمازادتالحدةاللونيةللأعمدةممايمكننامنالانغماسفياطيافاللونكعمليةتأمليةمشحونةعاطفياًالعملتركيبييعتمدعلىالوقتألوانالنيونتختلطببعضهاوتتمدد علىما يبدوعبرمرورالوقتطبيعةغازالنيونعضويةوناقلةللتياراتالكهربائيةوهيفيحركةمستمرةمعطيةاحساسبالازديادوغيابالشكلبالرغممنانهافيالحقيقةتعرضالشيءالمعاكسمعطيةاشكالاًثابتهللضوءوالصوت

Short version: On Elements, 2018

Anne Senstad examines the sensorial architecture and philosophies on perception through light, color and sound. Her immersive sculptural light installation 'Elements' defines space through topologies of vertical light, the phenomenon of color in relation to its nature, a non-objective space of frequencies, structuralities and elements.

Through the verticality of light and color, the vertical composition define spatial relations by creating immersivity of colors blending into one another, merging and recreating new colors. The verticality on our eye acts as signage, a post, barrier, arresting the eye by creating space and defining space. By this definition we experience the structure as limiting or liberating.

By placing a horizontal line throughout the space, it introduces an optical and spatial experience where we see the‫ ‬color combinations multiply, creating illusions of space and color as the colors merge with lines drawn of light seemingly floating in its immersivity.

With an eternal presence, light represents the perceptual experience of the infinite and deepest elements of our shared humanity‫.‬

Elements, 2018. Immersive sculptural neon light installation.The show continues until August 31, 2018

عناصر، ٢٠١٨، عمل آن سنستاد جزء من المعرض الجماعي " من خلال الطيف" ، أثر، جدة
‫تقوم آن بدراسة الجانب الحسي المعماري و الفلسفي للوعي من خلال الضوء، اللون، و الصوت. مجسمها الضوئي التركيبي "عناصر" يقوم بتحديد المساحة عن طريق استخدام اضواء عامودية، و الظواهر اللونية و علاقتها بالطبيعة، بالإضافة ‬
للمساحة غير الموضوعية من الترددات و التجسيد و العانصر.

الخطوط الرئيسية في "عناصر" تعيد تعريف العلاقات الفراغية و تكون حالة من الإندماج بين الألوان و تعيد ابتكار الوان جديدة بينما تغلف الجسد في نفس الوقت. الخطوط الراسية تعمل على شكل توقيع، منشور، و منصة تأسر العين عبر ابتكار و إعادة تعريف المساحة لدينا. بهذه الطريقة سيكون المجسم محرراً و مقيداً لنا.

عبر اضافةخط افقي على طول المساحة، يقدم العمل تجربة بصرية فراغية حيث ترى تشكيلات الألوان تندمج مع الخطوط المرسومة بإستخدام الضوء، محلقة جميعاً في انسجام.

عناصر، ٢٠١٨. عمل تركيبي ضوئي
يستمر المعرض حتى ٣١ اغسطس، ٢٠١٨

Installation views from Through The Spectrum - all photos are courtesy of Athr Gallery. Anne Senstad, Robert Irwin, Carlos Cruz-Diez, James Turrell, Leo Villarreal, Timo Nasseri and Nasser Al-Salem

Elements, Anne Senstad, 2018

 Aces & Eights, Robert Irwin, 2012-13

 Chromosaturation, Carlos Cruz-Diez, 1965-2018

Chromosaturation, Carlos Cruz-Diez, 1965-218

Allah, (he is the first and last 57:3), Nasser Al-Salem, 2018

Pelee, James Turrell, 2014

Florez - Bagdad, Timo Nasseri, 2016

A selection of visitor's images shared on social media interacting with the experiential immersivity of ELEMENTS - ATHR Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.