A public garden & cultural center

Amie Cunat

Call & Response | September 10–December 3, 2017

Pictured above: Arbor in Tar and Charcoal Grey, 2017, cardboard, washi paper, paper, and acrylic, 4 1/2  x 10  x 3 1/2 feet. Courtesy of the artist and Wave Hill. Photo: Stefan Hagen.

Amie Cunat’s new sculpture develops concepts of abstraction and perception employed in her 2016 Sunroom Project. She considered the patterns of the trellis and garden fences at Wave Hill in creating a new net sculpture with a highly matte, black, polyvinyl paint that generates spatial uncertainty in contrast with the white gallery walls. The seemingly malleable sculpture is a combination of cardboard and washi paper, extending Cunat’s work as an illusion of form and material.

Sunroom Project Space | July 12–September 5, 2016

Hideout, 2016, latex paint on wall, cardboard, acrylic, washi paper and newsprint, dimensions variable. Photo: Stefan Hagen.

Amie Cunat’s work investigates the parallel between abstraction and perception. In her installations, she transforms a space by painting on the walls and ceiling in brilliant hues and bold patterns. Sculptural objects placed directly on the floor create a skewed sense of scale and perspective, caused by the interplay between two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional forms. Viewers are encouraged to discover formal and phenomenological idiosyncrasies as they engage in the experience of looking and finding. Cunat’s source imagery is often based on real objects or scenes that she observes and reinterprets in an abstracted form. She allows them, however, to retain certain qualities that make the representation seem familiar but not quite recognizable.
In the Sunroom, Cunat explores the protective aspect of this space, a natural yet urban environment typically used as a place of leisure, where the landscape can be enjoyed safely from inside. Similarly, Cunat is interested in using the high-visibility colors of game hunting as a kind of anti-camouflage, differentiating between the hunter and the natural setting of the hunt. The installation consists of a site-specific wall painting and suspended pieces that resemble large nets, relying on and contrasting with the architectural features of the Sunroom. In the wall painting, for example, the contours of amorphous shapes play off of the geometric grids of the windows and doors. The artist uses warm colors, including hunter orange and magenta, which contrast with the dominant greens of the summer landscape visible through the windows. For the hanging elements, the artist drew from various sources of inspiration, including camouflage netting used for hunting and the latticework of trellises found in greenhouses and gardens. She was struck by the way these manufactured items are often disguised to look natural and blend in with the surrounding vegetation, masking what they hold. Walking among Cunat’s net forms, the viewer becomes a part of her constructed environment.


Hideout, 2016, latex paint on wall, cardboard, acrylic, washi paper, newsprint, dimensions variable. Photo: Stefan Hagen.

Artist website

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.