About the work
The work examines, on the basis of a mathematical, geometric framework, the relationship between volume and perspective, color, form and light reflection.
Its structural construction accentuates the sense of space, while the arrangement of virtual volumetric figures provides interaction between internal and external space: it becomes a visual perception, an image establishing a dialogue between surface and depth.
This exploration of mathematical figures, extracted from virtual 3D geometrical algorithms, fractals, and spiraling movements inspired by vortex phenomenon and Fibonacci sequences, is magnified through laser and LED-technology.
Since 2014 Bardula has an ongoing collaboration with Parisian interior designers Gilles & Boissier on several projects: a series of kinetic light sculptures for the private art collection of the Baccarat Hotel New York and permanent monumental light installations for the Italian brand Moncler in New York, Stockholm, Mexico City, and Moscow.
Bardula is represented by
Galerie La Ligne, Zurich
Valmore Studio d’Arte, Vicenza-Venice
Galerie Kellermann, Düsseldorf
and referenced on
About the artist
BARDULA is a pseudonym, created by an artist born in Zurich to a Ukrainian father and a Belgian mother and based in Brussels until 1993, New York until 2002, and Paris ever since.
After studying gold- and silversmithing at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and in jewelry workshops, in the early 1990s Bardula worked in Brussels and Antwerp creating objects made of precious metal. The aim was to create a relationship between form, matter, light, and space, expressed through the transformation of matter into a form that had no other end than itself.
Bardula left Belgium for New York in 1993, where she would remain for almost 10 years.
The foundations of her current work would be laid during this period in New York through her metallic structures. A constructivist approach, concerned with volumes giving way to space, their architectural arrangement, and research into transparency and gravity, was reminiscent of the Bauhaus and Art Concret, with kinetic resonances.
However, in spite of the influence of and affinity with geometric abstraction and Constructive Art, this course was taken without any deliberate adherence to an artistic movement, the artist favoring research and introversion necessary for the maturation of her work over a period of more than 30 years.
Since 2012, Bardula has collaborated with an architect whom she met in Paris shortly after her return from New York in 2002. With a degree in architecture from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, it was his attraction to scenographic 3D modeling and light that would lead to the gradual coincidence of his world with that of Bardula, giving birth to a conceptual and technological symbiosis. Bardula’s recent work is, therefore, that of a couple, the result of the union and collaboration of two artists, a gold- and silversmith, and an architect. Bardula’s work is conceived and produced at their studio in the south of Paris.
Art and Light, Valmore Studio d’Arte, Vicenza
Renaissance II, kinetic light installation (permanent work), Moncler, Mexico City
Galerie La Ligne, (solo show), Zurich
Light, Motion Space, Galerie La Ligne, Zurich
Solaris, monumental kinetic light installation (permanent work), Moncler flagship store, Madison Avenue at 69th Street, New York
Art Paris Art Fair 2016, Galerie La Ligne, Paris
KKDC Gallery (solo show), Paris 6e
5 Elements, a series of kinetic light installations (permanent works), Baccarat Hotel New York, 53rd Street, New York
Research and development of Propagations
|2012||Foundation of Bardula Studio|
More about Bardula
Excerpt from the catalog La Geomeria Della Luce edited by Valmore Studio d'Arte, curated by Monica Bolonno
The image as a medium of knowledge
By Monica Bonollo
Bardula is an artist well grafted into the movements of the 20th century, from which she drew sap to bring forth the new expressive forms of the 21st. Her historical references originate from a number of areas, the most evident and closest being the complex paths of kinetic optical art. But in her constructivist approach, she also gets inspiration from geometric abstraction and concrete art. A reference could certainly also be made to Renaissance studies of the perspective device, to their theoretical premises and to their vertiginous effects in baroque anamorphoses and trompe l’oeil.
There would be much to say about the sources of the manifold contributions to be found in her output. However, it is certainly much more interesting and significant to try to realize how, from the accomplishments of the many artists that have preceded her, she has managed, by creating works of great visual and conceptual impact, to forge her own original way forward. Bardula’s output kindles our curiosity about her later developments as if she were signposting glimpses of possible directions of the future.
Her affinity with optical kinetic art is undoubtedly much in evidence. One is amazed by her profound knowledge of the work done by her predecessors, and by the wisdom with which she adopts the results of their experiments. Many of her works reveal echoes of Vasarely or Careaga, in her desire and ability to conjure a third dimension from two-dimensional works, depth from surface, and to highlight the ambiguity existing between pictorial space and that of the observer. Her command of color and of color-light is reminiscent of Garcia Rossi’s remarkable gifts, whilst her search for multiplied space and endless depth recall Paolo Scirpa’s ludoscopes.
Also fundamental is the artist’s concern for the observer’s point of view, for the importance of the relationship between the work and the spectator, by the complicity of the eye. The same work, viewed from the front and from the side, is transformed beneath our incredulous gaze.
In much of her output Bardula also develops a study of intrinsic movement. Her images are unstable, pervaded by a continuous vibration, in perpetual virtual motion (with echoes of Stein, Le Parc, Wilding, and many others). Through her expert handling of the perceptive mechanisms and dynamics of vision, as researched in depth during the twentieth century by psychologists and artists, Bardula with the utmost subtlety bends to her own needs the latest innovative technologies (not only hardware and software but also the materials used) to accomplish unprecedented results that are also fully in harmony with her time.
Besides this rapport with her predecessors, Bardula maintains a close relationship with science. A dialogue between art and science, mediated by technology, seems to provide the most meaningful context in which to develop her work.
She engages in a confrontation with the major and still open issues of contemporary science, offering suggestions on how to continue that dialogue while hinting at possible further developments. But a foreword is needed here. Bardula’s work is backed by a profound knowledge of geometry and mathematics, which underpin her explorations of abysses : the known limits of the image and of visible reality. This is her personal quest for knowledge since there can be no knowledge without a language to represent it. We know moreover that for human beings sight is the favored channel of interaction with reality. Visual representation is always the most effective idiom in the road to comprehension.
A few weeks ago, on 10 April 2019, a sizeable group of scientists showed the world the first image of a “black hole”. That image is the result of years of observations and processing of data, of following up and verifying hypothetical existences formulated only through mathematical calculations. A “black hole” is by definition invisible, in that it sucks in everything around it, matter and light, which due to the force of gravity can no longer get out. Since it emits no light, the black hole cannot be perceived through sight. Visible instead is the “horizon of events” that delimits it: the incandescent swirl of dusts and gases that spiral towards its center, in a journey of no return. On this occasion, it was said that “What we are seeing is proof of a horizon of events. Now we have the visual proof of a black hole”.
Black holes are today the most extreme entities imaginable. They represent the frontier of our knowledge of the universe, and with it, of reality.
So, Bardula’s work seems to focus precisely on the attempt to give visual form to what is invisible or hard to visualize and to find a language, a “technological device”, capable of doing so. The titles of Bardula’s works - “Atomium”, “Event Horizon”, “Beyond Hyperspace”, “Waves”, “Ice”, “Starry Night”, “Ripple” and “Möbius” - already refer to the world of Physics, from the atomic scale to that of the universe, from quantum mechanics to the gravitational theory of relativity. There is a declared attention to atoms and molecules, organic forms and cosmic formations, and to the forces that act upon them, as also to forms and figures that represent them: “Purple Explosion”, “Carrés Etirés”, Carrés Eclatés”, ...
When dedicating works to her ideal masters, Vasarely and Le Parc, in “To Victor” she is visualizing Einstein’s time-space fabric, and in “Hommage à Julio Le Parc”, she is staring into the face of the “monster”, the “black hole” and the “unknown”. “Interference Bleue – Hommage à Le Parc” is a visual representation of the power and uneasiness of our knowledge.
Try fastening your visual attention on the center of the image, or its edges. Both are in constant motion, incessantly transformed. The spectator cannot keep their eye on them, because their gaze is continually diverted towards other points. If we stare hard at the monster, the abyss dilates, eating up part of the color; the edges shrink, making the figure smaller. And the whole figure is swept by the movement of a slow but inexorable wave.
The originality of Bardula’s art lies in her attempt to survey and to represent the complexity of the concept of space, at every scale and in all its accepted meanings. This occurs from geometric and mathematical space used as a medium to architectural space (with reference to the sculptures and installations), in which she reflects on the elements and on their relationships to build a three- dimensional space, an environment in which light is fundamental to its structure.
Where space is intended as a universe, as what constitutes reality, as what we know about reality and what we still don’t. Hyperspace, the beyond, is treated as the desire to reach beyond the known universe, to discover new dimensions and fresh “forms” of existence.
The passage between dimensions, from 2 to 3 and 3 to 4, and beyond the fourth towards other hypothetical dimensions, also represents an arduous cognitive leap. What is inside or beyond the black hole? Is there a passage to other dimensions, towards other universes?
And what makes Bardula’s works so vibrant and constantly transformed is her keen awareness that space is not immobile, cannot be separated from time and is therefore pervaded by movement.
We should also reflect on the question of light, which plays an essential role in Bardula’s works. Light is deployed as energy, as what lends form to matter; and also as an electromagnetic wave that enables us to perceive our surroundings. Light is intended as a possible means of knowledge.
Bardula’s works contain a remarkable force of attraction, a vertiginous attraction towards the unknown, with a curiosity that propels us beyond known space. Through the most rational media at her disposal - mathematics, and geometry - she leads us into the unknown, in order to survey it or to bring it into view.
She does this through interacting and contrasting pairs of opposites : light- darkness, surface-depth, external-internal, visible-invisible, known-unknown. Rationality, the surface, the visible and the known world relate to depth and darkness, the unknown. Our certainties, our equilibrium, and calmness, are constantly confronted with the uncertainty, trouble and imbalance caused by the awareness of the limits of our knowledge.
Her work titled “Ouroboros”, with the snake biting its tail and the circle without a beginning or end, is seemingly immobile. But it is actually in everlasting movement, representing the universal energy that devours and regenerates and forever consumes and renews itself, in the unity and totality of everything. What is Bardula’s new contribution to the geometric-constructivist approaches of the 20th century? The artist’s point of departure is no longer to pit objective methods and techniques of representation against individual and subjective expression. Hers is an attempt, situated at the intersection between different disciplines, to join their forces in pursuit of fresh avenues and to suggest hypotheses.
Through the principal media of rationality, mathematics, and geometry, Bardula ventures to the very limits of reason and knowledge, towards other possible dimensions of existence.
Excerpt by Eva Zanardi from the 2017 catalog Bardula Recent Works
Eva Zanardi is a New York-based curator, art advisor, and art writer specializing in Kinetic Art, Op Art and contemporary art. © 2017
Let There Be Light
« The intangibility of light and the hypnotizing way Bardula negotiates such phenomenon are the focal point of her spellbinding works. The artist’s orderly installations and meditative mandalas of brightness distill light out of the shadows.
In her work, darkness is the starting point and serves as the anchor that holds her hypnotic 3D illusions in place. At the intersection of endless void and an effervescent interstellar nebula, the artist’s multiplied perspective-bending tableaus accompany the viewer behind the proverbial “looking glass” by creating an illusory infinite plunge into darkness guided by soothing, reassuring light. In Buddhist iconography the glowing, pure lotus pierces murky, black waters to symbolize enlightenment and rebirth; such is the feeling the viewer experiences when plunging into the artist’s luminous landscapes. The artwork creates the impression of emerging from the depths of chaos into a perfect, atmospheric aura.
In its many changing forms, light inspires—and provides flexibility to those who wish to use it metaphorically. The use of light in art spawned movements and manifested itself in multiple forms. From Caravaggio to Turrell, from Paolo Scirpa to Olafur Eliasson, artists chose light as a medium to shift the paradigm of experiencing an artwork. Light’s universality is what makes it compelling, as Goethe once said: “Art is nothing but the light of nature”. Throughout centuries, artists have captured light to manipulate it as both subject and medium.
In harnessing light, Bardula's work examines the basis of a mathematical, geometric framework, the relationship between color, form, light reflection, and virtual volume presented in 3D. With a particular interest in perception and spatial experience, Bardula’s illuminated sculptures challenge our prescriptions of knowledge, control, and what it means to be human in an age of technology.
The artist’s exquisite radiant creations mesmerize. With “Solaris” 2016, a monumental kinetic light installation in the entrance of the Moncler flagship store in Manhattan, the artist created a spatial suspension of disbelief, encouraging an analysis of our relationship with the metaphysical in a world increasingly governed by practical, rational and scientific principles.
By confronting the viewer with the seemingly impossible phenomenon of bending light, “Solaris” creates a space for contemplation and introspection, suggesting a synthesis between agnostic reason and intuitive belief. Bardula explains: “‘Solaris’ represents the center of our immediate universe – the solar system – and takes the visitor to the heart of the ultimate star: the sun. The individual enters the center of the world, where radiates the golden light. The space opens up in response to the visitor, immersing him or her in a volume distorted by a mysterious force – his or her own.”
By combining her expertise in shaping metals and LED-technology along with the skills of her alter ego in 3D and infography, Bardula harnesses matter and light to investigate the correlation between 2D, 3D and their projection in time, 4D. Her labor intensive light installations and light sculptures are obtained by extricating 3D digital geometrical algorithms through LED-technology.
The artist clearly draws inspiration from the cosmos immutable perfection. By analyzing, disassembling and reassembling the laws of physics and mathematics (in particular geometry), the artist gazes into the crystalline order of the universe, the “many interacting worlds” of Quantum mechanics.
When admiring Bardula’s ‘finite’ mesmerizing artworks the viewer will actually get a glimpse of the infinite. »
Eva Zanardi, New York 2017.
Bardula : artist statement
The hybrid nature of my work has emerged in time, placing it at the point at which sculpture, architecture, metalwork, and engineering meet.
My training as a gold- and silversmith would instill an instructional technique and choice of medium, metal, that would subsequently evolve over the years by way of an autodidactic approach.
The contours contain no iconography in the traditional sense of the term, but demonstrate how a system works according to its own laws of construction: the volumes it creates, the spaces it organizes, and the contrasts, rhythms and individual tensions it produces, in pursuit of the purely plastic.
It is an autonomous creation, in which technique, materials, and relationships of scale strive to present an internal vision in concrete form, according to a geometric, mathematical framework.
This mathematical schematization of space by geometric construction is achieved by using points to generate lines, lines to generate planes and planes to generate space. Two dimensions morph into a third, creating a structure that evolves in the fourth, with the passage of time.
Throughout this development, the emphasis is placed on matter itself, on the molecular purity of metal combined with the geometric purity of the straight line and the symmetrical and orthogonal form, as well as its symbiotic relationship with light.
By conforming to its inherent characteristics, matter engenders ‘elementary forms’ imbued with universal meaning.
These technological and material laws reveal an imaginary reality, determined by the specific properties and functions of each part in relation to its whole.
The use of light draws attention to the correlation between light and matter, as a manifestation of the matter connected with the original explosion, and to the light on which the existence of matter depends. Remaining perceptible after the event, light bears testimony to the existence of this matter after its disappearance.
Cyclic light phenomena emphasize the correlation between order and entropy and their mutual appearance within matter and systems. Constructing in order to counter the inevitable deconstruction and to contain, briefly, the entropy which transcends us, and setting matter in contrast to time in order to retain it, to give it meaning beyond the insignificance of the moment, continue to feature among our collective concerns.
Light, through its relationship with metal, is a medium in its own right, forming a component of works and creating volumes.
The interdependence of energy, light, and matter is expressed in the development of the construction: technically speaking, the segmentation of aluminum structural planes is achieved using quantum light, laser; in formal terms, the constructions examine the propagatory movements arising from the undulatory nature of light; finally, light serves as a graphic and spatial component, visible and intangible.
These structures reveal volumes that change with the perspective and color; it is this shifting of the overall viewpoint which makes it possible to perceive them and, in this sense, they are kinetic works.
The varying color of the light-emitting diodes (LEDs), sublimated by their reverberation in matter, influences the perception of the surrounding space and creates a synergy between form and light. The aim is to examine, by means of a visual geometric language, the relationship between color, form and light reflection.
This arrangement of volumetric figures both real and virtual provides interaction between internal and external space: it becomes a visual perception, an image in which the different layers superimposed on one another create areas of shade and light, establishing a dialogue between surface and depth.
It is therefore as much a question of surface and transparency, i.e. of a perceptual phenomenon, as of volume and space, as physical presences.