Log24

Monday, December 28, 2015

Mirrors, Mirrors, on the Wall

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 8:00 AM

The previous post quoted Holland Cotter's description of
the late Ellsworth Kelly as one who might have admired 
"the anonymous role of the Romanesque church artist." 

Work of a less anonymous sort was illustrated today by both
The New York Times  and The Washington Post

'Artist Who Shaped Geometries on a Bold Scale' - NY Times

'Ellsworth Kelly, the master of the deceptively simple' - Washington Post

The Post 's remarks are of particular interest:

Philip Kennicott in The Washington Post , Dec. 28, 2015,
on a work by the late Ellsworth Kelly —

“Sculpture for a Large Wall” consisted of 104 anodized aluminum panels, colored red, blue, yellow and black, and laid out on four long rows measuring 65 feet. Each panel seemed different from the next, subtle variations on the parallelogram, and yet together they also suggested a kind of language, or code, as if their shapes, colors and repeating patterns spelled out a basic computer language, or proto-digital message.

The space in between the panels, and the shadows they cast on the wall, were also part of the effect, creating a contrast between the material substance of the art, and the cascading visual and mental ideas it conveyed. The piece was playful, and serious; present and absent; material and imaginary; visually bold and intellectually diaphanous.

Often, with Kelly, you felt as if he offered up some ideal slice of the world, decontextualized almost to the point of absurdity. A single arc sliced out of a circle; a single perfect rectangle; one bold juxtaposition of color or shape. But when he allowed his work to encompass more complexity, to indulge a rhetoric of repetition, rhythmic contrasts, and multiple self-replicating ideas, it began to feel like language, or narrative. And this was always his best mode.

Compare and contrast a 2010 work by Josefine Lyche

IMAGE- The 2x2 case of the diamond theorem as illustrated by Josefine Lyche, Oct. 2010

Lyche's mirrors-on-the-wall installation is titled
"The 2×2 Case (Diamond Theorem)."

It is based on a smaller illustration of my own.

These  variations also, as Kennicott said of Kelly's,
"suggested a kind of language, or code."

This may well be the source of their appeal for Lyche.
For me, however, such suggestiveness is irrelevant to the
significance of the variations in a larger purely geometric
context.

This context is of course quite inaccessible to most art
critics. Steve Martin, however, has a phrase that applies
to both Kelly's and Lyche's installations: "wall power."
See a post of Dec. 15, 2010.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress