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Sculptural ensembles

In her room-size installations, Gladkova releases the sculptural potential of construction paper in a paradoxical process that she likens to solving a puzzle.

Drawing on her mathematical training, she obsessively applies the experimental nature of constructive mathematical proof to her artistic process, only to create her precarious groupings of seven lumpy forms. 

To begin these works, Gladkova cuts the paper into basic geometric pieces. Applying plaster mixed with glue, she shapes the elements into wobbly structures and props them with wooden planks. 

Arranging and rearranging the forms, she adds a time-based variable, limiting her actions to the interval it takes the plaster to dry. Working quickly, she bends and inverts the fast-hardening surfaces into new forms. She tears these structures apart, wrestling with them as they collapse. Then she rebuilds them.  

​When the puzzle is solved, the work is finished: an ensemble of lumpy sculptures stand on their own. Their irregular surfaces refract against each other in a play of lines and color that enhances the distinctive geometry of each one. 

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