Margaret Roberts TEST 2020, plastic and location, Factory 49 Sydney Paris, 10 Rue de Chaligny, 75012 Paris, France. Thanks to Jacek and Yan Przybyszewski for proposing this project and making it possible.

TEST divides Wladyslaw Strzeminski’s 1926 painting Architectural Composition #1, along the line that divides its two shapes, leaving one attached to the window of Factory 49 Sydney Paris and the other dissolved into the space of the room inside.  

Most of Strzeminski’s several Architectural Compositions are composed of two shapes, each constructed by a shared line converted into edges by the separate colouring of each. The shapes acknowledge the actual time and space in which they are located by being easily taken apart and fitted together again. This is shown literally when they are separated from the canvas, and remade again in material such as plywood. Here, the transparent glass means no such literal cutting is needed: when one shape is rendered opaque, the transparency of the glass dissolves the other shape and lets it become the three dimensional room of the gallery that the glass allows you to see through into.

That may appear to be going full circle by counteracting the anti-illusory non-objective quality of the Architectural Compositions. However the gallery that visitors can see into is not an illusory space in the same way—the door can open and you can walk in as well. I like the way it slightly confuses the illusory and the actual, making it more like the way that Strzeminski’s Architectural Compositions slightly confounds their unity with designs that invite separation (except that even when separated, each shape recognises the other through their shared edge).


Later TESTs were made to emphasise the role place/location plays in the work.