Max Streicher is a sculptor and installation artist from Alberta, now residing in Toronto. Since 1989 he has worked extensively with inflatable technology in kinetic sculptures and installation works. In most of his sculptures he uses industrial fans and simple valve mechanisms to animate sewn forms with lifelike gestures. Light, paper materials (like Tyvek and more recently nylon spinnaker) have been significant to his development, specifically to his focus on movement. The near weightlessness of this material allows it to respond with surprising subtlety to the action of air within. Inflatables are a medium of enchantment, fantasy, and optimism. However, in Streicher’s work the distress behind the whimsy is always present. Scale is one factor. His giants, for instance, are intended to overwhelm. They are out of control. They struggle. Gasping for breath, endlessly straining to rise, these giants may portray an image of playfulness, and even resurrection for some, while for others they are distinct images of torture.
Streicher has shown widely across Canada in solo exhibitions at The Art Gallery of Ontario, the Edmonton Art Gallery, and the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon. He has been part of group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal, the Power Plant Centre for Contemporary Art in Toronto, and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge. He has completed several international site-related projects in Taiwan, France, Germany, Spain, and India. His inflatable works are in the collections of the ESSL Museum in Vienna, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, and the University of Toronto. He was a founding member of the NetherMind collective of artists, which has organized several sculpture exhibitions in alternative spaces in Toronto.
Artist’s website: maxstreicher.com