The “4 Solo Shows” now at the Los Angeles Art Association’s Gallery 825 are brilliant parts of a dazzling whole. From Chenhung Chen’s freestanding, exciting sculptures created from wire, cords, and the detritus of technology to Seda Saar’s complex, blossoming works in colored plexiglass and mirrors, both what we see and what we imagine come to vivid life.
Above, Chen with Entelechy #23
Chenhung Chen’s “Entelechy” is a world built with wires and crocheted metal alloys, with each piece as packed with motion and inside-out exposed imagery as if living creatures have sprung to life from an alchemy of technology and spirit. With each piece vividly different and fluid, the powerful nature of Chen’s vision draws upon the feminine and masculine in each of us, upon the kinetic nature of life itself, humming through our veins as electricity does through wire. Don’t miss the chance to “plug into” Chen’s compelling work.
Above, Janine Brown
Janine Brown’s “The Wallflower Project” haunts with delicate, almost translucent portraits captured through her self-made cardboard pinhole camera. The idea of a person being a wallflower is the inspiration for her works, an idea which came from a casual remark about her husband’s handsomeness and her own tendency to take a step into the background. The word wallflower was, the artist notes, “coined in Victorian times, a time period in which actual wallpaper was popular.” She started gathering wall- paper samples to create a look in which the subject begins to disappear into the patterns themselves. As her project has evolved, so has her art form, moving from the black and white images in this show, to color images printed directly on wallpaper itself. The pieces here are haunting, images of the past captured through the prism of the present.
Above, Seda Saar
Seda Saar’s “Polyhedron : Art + Reality Are One” is all about illusion. Saar, who has also worked her magic in theme park design as well as sculpture, pulls viewers into a 3D vision that appears to go on forever, “like the ocean, on and on.” Layering light and color constructions made of plexiglass and mirrors, the trippy through-the-looking-glass feeling of Saar’s work is truly magical. The judicious use of mirrors creates a scene that feels like an alternate reality – figuratively stepping inside, the viewer sees the building blocks of fractals creating an entire universe both light and bright.
Above, Devin Thor
Devin Thor’s “Paleolithic Creatures” are also from an alternate reality, one in which extinct creatures live again as sculptures cut from sandstone. A geologist as well as an artist, Thor’s flat images are tribal in nature, astonishing in their simplicity, an elegy to existence lost, a hopeful monument to better stewardship for our planet. His minimalized approach is purposeful: limiting the number of lines necessary to define his creatures creates a universal reality uniting creatures of all kinds, even humans.
Unifying this exhibition of four brilliant artists is each of their attempts to create a reality that moves and engages. Whether through mirrors, wires, sandstone, or photographic images new worlds are opened, ready and waiting to explore and engage.