Comps Insider: William Lanzillo ’19

William Lanzillo ’19, a studio art and psychology double major with an Africana studies minor from Glen Ellyn, Ill., tells us about his senior capstone experience, or ‘Comps,’ in support of his studio art degree.

Feb. 22, 2019

William Lanzillo

What is the title of your Comps?

Reimagined Sculpture

What is your Comps topic?

My Comps is an exploration of how 3-dimensional sculpture can be represented in two dimensions. I used a sculptural work that I had made junior spring as the springboard for this exploration. (Picture below) The product was two prints and another sculpture piece. The first print is a blown-up stylized representation of a section from the original sculpture (see image). This screen print required multiple screens and was printed in ten sections across 4 pieces of paper.

For the second print I took these sections and used them like stamps to imagine a new shape. I printed across nine sheets of paper, building a new sculptural form as I went. This process runs parallel to the process I used when making the original sculpture. That is, building the form in segments. Each segment was be built connected to the previous. Each segment alone does not illicit a clear shape, however when combined together, the curves and shape of the sculpture and this print become defined.

The immersive environment one experiences when they go inside the sculpture inspired my third piece. I wanted to recreate this immersive experience using prints. By repeatedly printing the same screen, I built up layers of texture and movement. In this piece I wanted to deepen the process of the 3-dimensional and 2-dimensional informing one another by returning to the ways two dimensions can inform three dimensions. This is why I decided to print on plywood, so that it could begin to come off the wall. This heightens the encompassing feeling of the imagined environment. The triangular shapes reference triangular negative spaces in the sculpture.

Viewing this body of work is not the same as experiencing my sculptural work. This was not the goal. This body of work provides insight into the processes of construction of the original sculptural form and provides a window into how the sculptural work could be expanded. The prints highlight some of the characteristics of the original sculpture, such as line use and the idea of a built environment, in order to direct the viewer's attention to these aspects of the sculpture. The sculpture and prints together enhance the experience of one another by providing multiple ways to experience the organic linear forms that are the foundation of both.

William Lanzillo1

William Lanzillo2

Why did you choose your Comps topic?

Through my art experience at Carleton I have focused on sculpture and printmaking, however both these practices were very disjointed with my sculptures being very abstract and my printmaking usually depicting landscapes. I wanted to use my Comps as an opportunity to connect these two parts of my art making.

What was the most interesting article or piece of information that you found while researching your Comps?

Using both sculpture and printmaking to inform one another is inspired by Robert Stackhouse’s engagement with prints and sculpture. I also found inspiration from the Starn Twins, who combine photography with sculpture. They use collaging of different photographs to make their final images. These disjointed collages work collectively to create a complete form, while independently, each piece only provides information on specific details. Also a visiting artist, Abigail Romanchak, also inspired me with her use of prints to represent GPS maps.

What was your Comps process like?

The Comps process involved a lot of experimentation. I spent a lot of time in the studio trying different things and then sharing these ideas with my adviser and other professors. Over time my ideas and the direction of my project became more focused, but there were many ideas and directions that I attempted before arriving at my final works.

Why do you think it was valuable for you to write a Comps?

My Comps really helped me grow as an artist because I came to a better understanding of how my two main disciplines, sculpture and printmaking, can inform and build off one another.

Will you expand on your Comps in any way?

I am currently working on a new sculpture piece that extends the ideas I started to explore in my Comps. This piece will combine a steel structure, similar to that used in the original sculpture, with prints on flexible plywood to try to more fully combine the 2- and 3-dimensional.

William Lanzillo3