The American artist Vincent Fecteau’s abstract sculptures defy summary description. Out of everyday staples like papier-mâché, cardboard, pictures from magazines, and paint, he fashions complex objects in which spaces simultaneously collapse and explode. Reminiscent, in many instances, of the elemental forms of early twentieth-century art, his works evoke associations ranging from utopian architecture and avant-garde stage design to masks and industrially manufactured components, yet they do not spell out their references. They keep their secret in a deliberate and insistent refusal to communicate definite meaning, indicating the artist’s emphasis on sculpture as sculpture and the agency it possesses as a real thing in the world.
In his exhibition in the Secession’s main gallery, the first time his work is on display in Austria, Vincent Fecteau presents a new series of ten painted sculptures. Their fairly large rectangular shapes only distantly recall the boxes for cut flower with which the artist started. Alternately adding and removing elements in a playful cumulative practice that is characteristic of his art, Fecteau has transformed them into convoluted volumes.