“In order to educate man to a new longing, everyday familiar objects must be shown to him with totally unexpected perspectives and in unexpected situations”. This quote by Russian Constructivist Alexander Rodchenko is especially fitting when describing the work of artist Mitzi Pederson. Mapping extremely formalized landscapes, Pederson’s sculptural forms are made up of found material (much resembling construction debris) and are intentionally placed and arranged throughout the gallery space. For her current show at Ratio 3 in San Francisco, Pederson has created an abstracted city that appears as if it could have arisen from the rough, wooden gallery floor. The show’s title, I’ll Start Again, perhaps refers to the rawness and nakedness of the object’s material make-up. The works themselves, very much akin to the work of the Russian Constructivists, are grounded in roots of formalism, balance, and material. Much like Constructivist Vladimir Tatlin’s Corner Relief (1914-15) – a relief sculpture made of iron, copper, wood, and rope meticulously poised between two walls – Pederson has created a number of balance-based wall works using small wooden boards, string, and nails. Her fascination with geometry, order, and space places her work in line with the architectural model and the modes of structural-spatial relations – shapes and voids created by manipulating the materials draw the viewer closer to inspect. The essential concept of Pederson’s work is a reconsideration of the formal qualities of everyday materials.
Pederson received a B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from California College of the Arts. Besides Ratio 3, she has exhibited widely both internationally and nationally including Hammer Projects, Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, White Columns in New York, and at the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Pederson currently lives and works in Berlin.