David Medalla was born in Manila, Philippines in 1942 and is a pioneer of kinetic, land and live art. His work ranges from sculpture and kinetic art to painting, installation and performance art. He lives and works in London, New York and Paris.
In 1964 he co-founded the Signals Gallery in London, which presented international kinetic art and was editor of the Signals news bulletin from 1964 to 1966 which documented vital exhibitions and events in Britain and abroad. Signals brought together leading innovative artists, writers and poets of the time and, in addition, established a context for kinetic, time-based, performance and environmental art. Artists featured included Jes�fael Soto, Takis, Lygia Clark, Sergio de Camargo, Carlos Cruz-D, Eduardo Chillida, Marcela Salvadori, and many others.
In 1967 Medalla initiated the Exploding Galaxy, an international confluence of multi-media artists. From 1974 -1977 he was chairman of Artists for Democracy, an organisation dedicated to giving material and cultural support to liberation movements worldwide, and director of the Fitzrovia Cultural Centre in London. In 1994 he founded the Mondrian Fan Club.
Bubbles have become a hallmark for David Medalla. In 1963, he made Cloud Canyons, tall columns of wood and Formica with a special bubble-generating machine that slowly extrude thick snakes of soap bubbles. In 1966 came Cloud Windows, in 1971 Cloud Discourse and Cloud Fruits; a marriage of mechanical and organic forms which methodically produce random, meandering sculptural wedges of bubbles and countless other memorable extrusions of great thick snakes of soap. Other works include; sand machines, mud machines, smoke machines and a project to lift the Great Wall of China on to the moon.
In 1995 David Medalla exhibited seven new versions of his biokinetic constructions of the sixties; bubble machines; and a monumental sand machine. These were constructed after Medalla´s original designs, by Daniel Chadwick.
Medalla disputes the parameters of what constitutes sculpture. In choosing a medium which self-destructs as it is created, the stability of the work is undermined and the validity of the concepts of solidity and permanence in sculpture are brought into question. Medalla is an artist for whom the visual is visionary and any material, or mode of expression, is valid.
- Richard Dyer, Frieze magazine 95.
Kindly on loan from James Moores ollection.