Here, now and everything in between

Planted in the forest like an alien monolith, both utterly alien and perfectly at home in its environment, lies Image continuous, a mirrored, two-meter-high cube with an air-reflecting circle in the center. On display at the Edith Farnsworth House in Plano and part of David Wallace Haskins’ “Landscape + Light” exhibition, Image continuous was conceived in 2010, but remained unfinished until Haskins found the ideal location for the sculpture.

“It was important that it was surrounded by nature, and that it was in a clearing so that it could really disappear into the landscape. As I passed the opening in the woods on my way to the [Farnsworth] house, I knew immediately that I had found the place,” he says. Image continuous is made of pyrolytic coated glass, and Haskins explains that the reflection on it comes from the surface of the glass, not the back. The silver is actually baked into the glass itself and is therefore surprisingly clear.

All the better to appreciate a disturbing view of the surrounding trees reflected on the cube, in addition to a central circle revealing the sky. The scene almost evokes a mirage, a dream: two opposing yet very familiar worlds have been brought together in a surrealistic way, causing both bewilderment and amazement. “My work is about shifting our perception, helping us see with new eyes what we’ve ignored or become desensitized to. I’ve always found reflective surfaces to be an excellent way to change our vision, to bring about a reorientation through disorientation,” he says.

Haskins, 46, has been fascinated with reflections since his early years in the western suburb of Elmhurst, where he watched the sky reflected in the puddles of rain. “Looking back, I realize that was when I started to see the world differently, upside down, if you will, and it has continued to influence my life and practice to this day,” he says. It’s no coincidence that his biggest influences are both artist René Magritte and Yves Klein, whose works, according to Haskins, were also “famous for bringing the sky to the pictorial plane”.

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