Villa Savoy Redrawn With an Opel Astra 2006

Overskrift 1

When Le Corbusier designed Villa Savoye (1928–31) outside Paris, he integrated a car into its proportions. The idea was that a car could drive towards the villa, stop underneath the covered entrance, and then continue into the garage, with the entire procedure following a curve with same radius as the outside wall. The dimensions of this curve, which was decisive for all the other proportions of the villa, was allegedly determined by the turning circle of a 1927 Citroën. Henriksen wondered why this power should have been given to a Citroën rather than, say, a T-Model Ford, a Cadillac, an Opel or another car produced at the time. He decided to remake the curve with his own car, a 2006 Opel Astra, in the courtyard of his studio, and then rebuilt the curve in wood (rather than glass, concrete and steel) and in the 240 cm standard ceiling height of Norwegian houses. The resulting sculpture, Villa Savoye Redrawn with an Opel Astra 2006, 2012, is now permanently installed in the garden in front of the Opelvillen Rüsselsheim in Germany.

Henriksen showed his Opel curve in ‘Villa Savoye Redrawn with an Opel Astra 2006and other works’, a 2013 solo exhibition at the Opelvillen Rüsselsheim. The show included a room with portraits of German engineers such as Walter Porstmann (inventor of the A series paper format) and the first owner of the villa, Fritz Opel (the son of Adam Opel, the founder of the automobile manufacturer). Henriksen also produced several site-specific sculptures based on his extrapolations of the geometry of the villa on an old drawing of its facade, where diagonals and circles met in an underlying mathematical logic. Several works, among them carpet sculptures on the floor (Violet, 2013), resulted from this study of the villa’s classically harmonious proportions. Night and Day, 2013, was a hybrid wall and roof splitting a room in two diagonally from ceiling to floor, making one section of the space dark and the other light in order to show how these two states produce different experiences of the material. A Story about the Sun and the Moon, 2013, was based on a temporary wall the institution had built to create more space to hang works. Henriksen cut out a circle from the wall and turned it almost upside down. Also on view was Black Avalanches #3, 2012, a black charcoal drawing on rauhfasertapete(woodchip wallpaper)featuring three variations of wood: paper, woodchip, and burnt wood, in the form of charcoal.

Knut Henrik Henriksen, Kurfürstenstrasse 14, D-10785 Berlin, Germany  Email:knuthenrikhenriksen@gmail.com 

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