Oscar Tuazon’s work has roots in minimalism, conceptualism, and architecture, and has a direct relationship with both the site in which it is presented, as well as with the viewer, often through physical engagement. Although he identifies primarily as a sculptor and his work is informed by minimalist strategies, Tuazon’s practice occupies a position between architecture and activism, and his concern is with relationality and presence over purity in form. Made with a combination of industrial and natural materials such as wood, concrete, glass, steel, and piping, his works, often large-scale installations, consist of structures that foreground their own means of construction. He considers a sculptural installation as homologous to a house: both are continuously built, repaired, and maintained. By extension, the act of inhabiting or occupying a space functions as a kind of artistic production, serving as the undercurrent of his predominantly site-specific practice.
The artist is working towards the foundation of Cedar Spring Water School, which will be a functional work of public art that aims to bring awareness to an ecologically fraught area, where the water that has served the community and environment for thousands of years is at great risk. In the tradition of Land Art works in the Western region of this country, Cedar Spring Water School will be a publicly accessible site that engages with a remote natural environment. Through this permanent artwork, Tuazon hopes to promote a better understanding of the water politics in the rural West, and of water’s significance as a global political resource used for control of natural environments and native communities.
Oscar Tuazon (b. 1975, Seattle) lives and works in Los Angeles. A major mid-career retrospective of the artist’s work, Oscar Tuazon: Building, is currently on view at Kunst Museum Winterthur through April 30, 2023. The exhibition was organized in collaboration with Bergen Kunsthall, which hosted Oscar Tuazon: Water School (January 27 – April 9, 2023), and the Kunsthalle Bielefeld, which will host an upcoming exhibition, Oscar Tuazon: All We Need (August 19 – November 12, 2023). A comprehensive monograph on the artist’s work, Oscar Tuazon: Building, was jointly published by DoPe Press for all three exhibitions. Other recent solo shows include Oscar Tuazon: Fire Worship at the Aspen Art Museum; Oscar Tuazon: Collaborator at Bellevue Arts Museum; Oscar Tuazon: Water School at MSU Broad Museum. Tuazon was also recently included in the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial. He has been commissioned for numerous public art works including Growth Rings for Central Wharf Park in Boston in 2019; a large-scale installation Une colonne d’eau in the Place Vendôme, Paris in 2017; Burn the Formwork for Skulptur Projekte Münster, Germanyin 2017; and Un pont sans fin for Nouveaux Commanditaires, Belfort, France in 2016.