Spider, pink, 2009
Sewn kite fabric, bamboo poles
16 sections, various dimensions
55 x 52 x 50 cm
Michael Reiter’s Spider is the product of real hands-on labour: he sewed the brilliant pink fabric cube himself before stretching it by ribbons on the corners over four bamboo canes to form an orbital construction that extends out into space. Just as a long-legged spider scrambles effortlessly up a wall, this piece by Michael Reiter seems to defy gravity with its buoyant elegance. It lives from the tensile strain and flexural stress between the flexible bamboo poles and taut ribbons that keep the dazzling form upright at their centre.
The “Spider” is one of a series of often over-sized works based round the same blueprint, using cuboids and a variety of often garish colours and fabrics. Michael Reiter only first turned to these works in space after many years as a painter: This step out into the third dimension came when he started to prepare his canvases by hand, which entailed the precise construction of his stretchers and the careful stretching of the fabric. Since then, the artist has worked with bright ribbons of cloth, which he spans across the space of the room with nails or opens out as geometric objects across the surface of walls.
This interest in space, spanning distances and bright colour accents led him to embark in 2006 on the group of works entitled “Spiders”. The constructivist clarity of the organised system of forces and the economy of the material produce a new lightness and airiness that allow stereometric bodies to be mounted flexibly on a wall or to be balanced on the floor.