For "10, 25, 80," his first solo exhibition at ProjecteSD, the Austrian artist Christoph Weber, born in 1974 and trained as a draftsman and painter, showed six sculptural installations (all 2012) that examine one medium: concrete. Almost like an experimental scientist, Weber tests the interaction of this industrial material with natural substances and phenomena (wax, wood, fire), traces of which remain on the exhibited works.

In the gallery's narrow vestibule, which leads to a small courtyard joining the gallery to the main exhibition space, was Concrete (rolled). It consists of a small sheet of white tarpaulin, folded in half and pinned to the wall. In the fold at the bottom is a vaguely scatalogical cylinder of gray concrete, some of which has bulged out at either end while drying; its weight keeps the tarpaulin taut. Its counterpart, Concrete (lifted), hung in the main space, comprising a sheet of tarpaulin, suspended by wires at its four corners and holding poured concrete. Here, the material is fully contained by the tarpaulin.

The main room was dominated by Not to be titled (gray wood), composed of two arrangements of what appear to be gray pieces of lumber but are actually molded concrete forms. Both groupings-one made up of two elements, the other of nine-seemed to be strewn randomly. But the precision of their placement became clear when one noticed the delicate balance of the blocks and planks, which lay at angles on top of one another, accentuating the brittleness of the unreinforced concrete. To the right of that piece stood Not yet titled, a 17-by-11-by-6-inch solid block of concrete, charred, cracked and damaged. According to the gallery, the effect was created by the burning of a wooden encasement that once enveloped the block.

On a low but wide ledge jutting out from the wall lay Untitled (Wax-folding), an approximately 2-foot-long sheet of concrete that, seemingly impossibly, curls over on itself as easily as a piece of paper might. The concrete was cast between two curling layers of wax. After the concrete hardened, the artist melted the wax away. In this way, the exploration of material became an investigation of form.


Photo: Christoph Weber: Concrete (rolled), 2012, tarpaulin, concrete and nails, 37½ by 30 by 6 inches; at ProjecteSD.