[ Virginia Museum of Fine Arts ]


 Robert Lazzarini


Robert Lazzarini (born 1965) is an important young American sculptor who uses advanced digital technology to create distorted versions of familiar objects. His beautiful yet unsettling works address the physical, psychological and emotional implications of this distortion. This first one-person museum exhibition of his work will feature major sculptures from 1997 to the present, including his two most widely recognized pieces, the installation of four skewed skulls seen in "Bit Streams" at New York's Whitney Museum of American Art (2001) and the warped payphone seen in the 2002 Whitney Museum Biennial. A selection of Lazzarini's works on paper will provide insight into his various sources of inspiration, including classical sculpture and studies of human anatomy. Lazzarini's sculptural process begins with familiar objects, which he photographs and scans into a computer. Using computer design programs, he subjects the images to radical distortions, then transforms the virtual objects into full-size three-dimensional models through rapid prototyping, a method of computer-generated model-making. These models form the basis of the final sculptures, which he produces to scale and from the same materials as the original objects. Appearing to expand and contract as viewers shift vantage points, the works seem to collapse upon themselves or, in the artist's words, "slip toward their own demise."