Now Open – Brooks Outside: Ball-Nogues Studio, Pour Me Another

Multi-layered “monumental structure” opens this weekend on the Brooks’ plaza, thru May 2

Benjamin Ball (American, b. 1968) of Ball-Nogues Studio (BNS) in Los Angeles conceives this site-specific commission for the Brooks as “an open-ended playscape for people of all ages.” Its title, Pour Me Another, refers to three themes: its process of construction; the seriality of the domes (“another”); and drunkenness and revelry, especially during this past year of multiple crises. As Ball notes, “we’ve been through hell, so pour me another.”   

The BNS design approach is based on a process of discovery: how the potential of materials and manufacturing can be expanded and used in non-conventional ways. Here the studio experiments with “the pour,” which resonates with such mid-century abstract painters as Jackson Pollock, and contemporary sculptors and designers like Lynda Benglis and Gaetano Pesce.

BNS pours tinted urethane foam in multiple layers to produce monumental structures that are aesthetically vibrant and structurally wind resistant. While the interior of the domes is smooth, like a painting, and similar to “light coming through a bowl of melted Jolly Ranchers,” the exterior appears like “cultivated slop,” says Ball.  

Ball’s process entails developing a system of pours that are both controlled and loose. “Letting go,” he notes, “is the flip side of control. If one is conscious of it, letting go can be another mode of control. It is knowing when and where to let go that keeps the work from becoming a chaotic heap,” an observation that seems to provide an apt metaphor for turbulent events this past year, and so many collective attempts at control, containing chaos, and/or embracing liberation.

BNS has received numerous awards, including three American Institute of Architects (AIA) Design Awards. In 2007, they won the Museum of Modern Art PS1 Young Architects Design Competition. Their work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 

For more details visit The Brooks Museum’s exhibits webpage.

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