Kris Kuksi and Neil Spiller: Extreme Dreams

Extreme Dreams: Kris Kuksi, Neil Spiller
Works by Kris Kuksi (left) and Neil Spiller (right) in the exhibition Extreme Dreams.
Extreme Dreams exhibition
Work by Neil Spiller, from the exhibition Extreme Dreams, in John Hartell Gallery. William Staffeld / AAP
Extreme Dreams exhibition
Neil Spiller discusses his work during the reception for Extreme Dreams. William Staffeld / AAP
Extreme Dreams exhibition
Work by Kris Kuksi and Neil Spiller on display in John Hartell Gallery. William Staffeld / AAP
Works by Kris Kuksi (left) and Neil Spiller (right) in the exhibition Extreme Dreams. Work by Neil Spiller, from the exhibition Extreme Dreams, in John Hartell Gallery. William Staffeld / AAP Neil Spiller discusses his work during the reception for Extreme Dreams. William Staffeld / AAP Work by Kris Kuksi and Neil Spiller on display in John Hartell Gallery. William Staffeld / AAP

Excessive, spiky, inky, layered. Surreal, Baroque, Goth, fantastic. The interdisciplinary pendulum is swinging toward an art and architecture project immersed in history and liberated by technology, a creative space unfettered by restraint or stylistic orthodoxy. This double-act exhibition presents Kris Kuksi's sculptures alongside Neil Spiller's two-dimensional works. Both Kuksi and Spiller conceive their work as assemblies built up from fragments. Both eschew revealing collage techniques in favor of visually flattening their final compositions through manipulation of color, texture, and amalgamation of disparate forms.

Spiller is the Hawksmoor Chair of Architecture and Landscape and deputy pro vice-chancellor of the University of Greenwich, London. Before this, he was vice-dean and graduate director of design at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. He has edited several anthologies including Architects in Cyberspace with Martin Pearce (1995); Integrating Architecture (1996); Architects in Cyberspace (1998); Young Blood (2000); Reflexive Architecture (2002); Protocell Architecture with Rachel Armstrong (2010); and Drawing Architecture (2013). Spiller's books include Cyberreader: Critical Writings of the Digital Era (2002), Digital Dreams — The Architecture of the New Alchemic Technologies (1998); and Visionary Architecture: Blueprints of the Modern Imagination (2006). Spiller is the founding director of the Advanced Virtual and Technological Architectural Research group and a member of the AD editorial board. Works included in this exhibition were selected for the Royal Academy show this year.

Kuksi has garnered recognition for the intricate sculptures that result from his unique and meticulous technique — a process that requires countless hours to assemble, collect, manipulate, cut, and reshape thousands of individual parts, finally uniting them into a seamless whole that describes the historical rise and fall of civilizations and envisions possible futures. Each sculpture embodies trademarks of his design philosophy and practice — none is complete without a touch of satire. Kuksi studied art at Fort Hays State University in Kansas and at programs in Florence and Vienna. Kuksi has been featured in more than 100 exhibitions worldwide, including Art Basel, Miami; Berlin, the Cologne Art Fair in Germany; and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

This exhibition is curated by Associate Professor of Practice Mark Morris, director of exhibitions.