Thomas Lanfranchi

Thomas Lanfranchi, Untitled (installation view), 1999

Thomas Lanfranchi, Untitled (installation view), 1999

Thomas Lanfranchi (b. 1964, Marseille) uses lightweight materials to create environmentally responsive sculptures. Many of his projects have been wind blown, taking the form of kites or wind socks. He has installed these pieces at sites across France and on buoys at sea. On a recent visit to Australia he made a journey around the outback, creating and documenting a new airborne sculpture each day to suit the site. Working with a type of plastic commonly used for shopping bags, Lanfranchi is able to make very large structures that are capable of being supported by the lightest breeze. When they are destroyed after the exhibition an object the size of a blue whale collapses into a carrier bag.

Lanfranchi's sculptures have a formal beauty - often incorporating two colours, such as blue plastic and clear plastic, to produce stripes or chequers - and yet they are ephemeral by nature. As such, they belong in the french tradition of Daniel Buren, with whose work there are formal similarities. Lanfranchi's objects are also delicate and playful translations of traditionally monumental land art. While they are short lived, and often succumb to the wind that is the medium of their structure, they reveal the invisible power of nature. They too are monumental, for a time. For TRACE, Lanfranchi designed a large Kite-like object for the senate building of Liverpool University.

Thomas Lanfranchi at Liverpool Biennial 1999

Untitled, 1999
Polyethylene, nylon thread
Courtesy of the Artist
Exhibited at the University of Liverpool