My guess is that Lanny Bergner has thick fingertips after all his years of cutting, twisting and bending wire screen. I’ve worked with wire screen and its a bloody affair. So I’m imagining that ‘aha’ moment where he thought “this work I’m doing is insanely brilliant, could make my career, but I’m going to need a lot more band aids, possibly a tetanus shot.” (he didn’t say that. I just made it up)
I was first introduced to Lanny Bergner’s work when I was in Philadelphia at UArts in 1991. I remember our class going to his show and everyone took something away from the obsessive compulsive nature of his work. Loose ends of open screen are meticulously twisted end to end, one by one, until the flat planes are turned into 3-dimensional forms. What’s amazing is the way he is taking mundane materials and turns them into compelling volumes.
He works with basic materials you can buy from the hardware store and the tackle shop and twists them into organic, sometimes visceral forms that have a playful irreverent nature. I remember being alternately attracted and repelled by an orb that hung from the ceiling by a thread, who’s surface was painstakingly covered by fishing hooks that were perfectly attached by clear gobs of silicone. Beautifully gross.
Mostly though, he makes organic forms that are like vessels or exploded views of microscopic sea life, where the tiny strands of wire that surround the form in a spiral are the means of locomotion.
His Artist statement is short and sweet and no B.S.:
By using hands-on processes of coiling, fraying, twisting, wrapping, glueing and knotting, I transform industrial screening, wire, silicone and monofilament into organic constructions. My desire is to create works that appear to have grown into being. I love the natural world and am constantly inspired by its beauty and infinite varieties of form. This, in combination with my fears, quirks and joys, results in works that celebrate the wonder of it all.
Check out his Web Page: Lanny Bergner