David Scanavino Transforms Nondescript Spaces Into Something Unexpected

After years of working in two-dimensions for my own art I’ve been exploring the integration of color, light and architecture following the geometry of the space. Going from two to three dimensions has changed the way I think about each element of the design. It also has had me toying with the idea working on a grander scale. Discovering “Imperial Texture” and learning about David Scanavino has inspired me to get even bolder in my new direction.

Scanavino’s designs are not about color, but he uses it to transform institutional spaces that do not ordinarily standout into something playful and unexpected.

David Scanavino ImperialImperial Texture, 2014. 45′ x 28′ x 7’8″ VCT Tile, MDF, Acrylic paint Installed at Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

“Imperial Texture” is constructed of multicolored linoleum tiles and spans the floor and scales four walls. The scale and bright colors make you feel as if you have “walked into a gigantic abstract painting or virtual video game.”

“That color palette comes from kindergarten classrooms,” Scanavino said. “The tiles I used are tiles that are used everywhere. I wanted to make something inviting and playful, like kindergarten, and make an environment where people feel comfortable running around and playing.” (via CTPost.com)

David Scanavino Imperial Facing Peacock WallImperial Texture, 2014. 45′ x 28′ x 7’8″ VCT Tile, MDF, Acrylic paint Installed at Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Scanavino created “Imperial Texture” as a site-specific floor sculpture and a monumental wall relief at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum as  an experiential installation and engaging platform for interactivity. You can see the installation from October 19, 2014, to April 5, 2015.

Using multicolored 1 x 1 foot linoleum tiles, Scanavino conceives what at first emerges as a dizzying arrangement that generates a tantalizing optical sensation. As the floor tilts upwards onto the walls, it challenges the viewer’s dimensional perception, offering an intensified sensorial experience about body, site, and spatial conformation.

Scanavino’s works allow us entry into a mind that pulsates with color and throbs with pattern, stimulating us to rethink our relationship to the everyday elements orbiting us: the floating shapes in an indigo sky, shadows hopping across a glowing ceiling, and the rainbow hues that refract off a dewy window pane.

Amy Smith-Stewart, curator
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

David Scanavino PeacockPeacock, 2014. 6′ x 18′ x 1/8″ Archival paper pulp on wall  Installed at Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

The experience is enhanced by “Peacock”, an animated wall relief crafted with a colorful construction paper pulp-and-glue blend that has been applied by hand directly onto one of the gallery’s walls.

David Scanavino Brochure

Insight into the concept and process of David Scanvino – “Imperial Texture” from The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum – Download or view the PDF

For me the colors of linoleum, a signature material used by Scanvino would be too limited for my own work. However, I do the way he use this range of standard linoleum colors, many of which are rather unappealing on their own, is successful. What do you think about his work?