Once he started using store-bought industrial shelving to create highly ordered Neo-Minimalist sculptures, Zak Kitnick came into his own as an artist. In his latest show, he takes these materials and his compulsion to organize to ingenious new levels, by basing his works on the bagua color chart used in feng shui.
According to the bagua, deploying certain colors along various points of the compass ensures good fortune for a building’s occupants. A group of reliefs here—units of stacked metal shelves, each painted a different hue—are hung accordingly, with a white piece installed on the east side of the gallery, a black one on the south, a green one on the west and a red one on the north. Several vertically oriented panels made of industrial shelves that have been laid flat on the wall are placed lower down. Each of these objects is powder-coated in gray, and printed with black lines representing the eight divisions of the bagua known as trigrams.
This is all revealed in a gallery handout, but the titles of the works explain everything—and judging from them, feng shui devotees are very career-oriented. One work is called Self, Career, Work, Change, Job, Switch Career Fields, Meet New Work Goals, Water, Blue, Black; another, Fame, Future, Reputation, Increase Recognition, Establish Reputation, Become Well Known, Fire, Red, Orange.
Kitnick’s efforts are striking, both as individual pieces and as a coherent, resonating whole. And like sushi or a set of dishes, the wall sculptures are available à la carte in each bagua color.—Nana Asfour