“One Pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small,
And the ones that Mother gives you,
Won’t do anything at all.”
White Rabbit, from Surrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane, 1967.
If you’re a fan of Lewis Carrol, Little Big Man, and micromanaging, then this show is for you: Inverted World, at Untitled(space), curated by Racheal Vaters-Carris. Featuring a total of ten artists, Inverted World is an exploration of the phenomenon of scale invariance contained in the very big and the very small.
In Most micro/macro imagery there is a propensity for complexity and formal beauty that appeals to our minds fascination with detail and abstraction. Perhaps this is the primary characteristic of micro/macro imagery. Inverted World undeniably delivers on that count. Sarah Walker’s and Cristi Rinklin’s paintings stand out immediately for their size and bright hues. Walker’s proto psychedelic sci-fi abstractions are intensely layered and bring to mind the skins seen on web based jukeboxes. Rinklin constructs elaborate futuristic spaces through an organic abstraction that references baroque ornamental sculpture. If there is ever to be a room where Giger, Rosenquist, and Bernini could comfortably chat, I believe that Rinklin would be the one to design it.
Throughout the show the appetite for detail and complexity is satiated, but there are a number of surprises in approach or attitude towards looking closely.
With titles like Wake 1, Wake 2, and Pond 2, the work of Leslie Snipes seems to correspond to the rings left behind by an object thrown into a body of water. These drawings, however, visually seem to represent land more than water. The rings and grooves solidify into architectural forms. Wake 2, Wake 1, and Pond 2, displayed side by side, could read as examples of the world’s accomplishments in architecture. Respectively, they look like the Roman Coliseum, the Ziggurat, and Aztec Structures. Stylistically, the drawings emit the mood of a Bill Plympton cartoon or Leonardo’s deluge drawings. I think the link here is imagination and movement. Snipes drawings are intriguing for their lack of visual mimicry. They seem reenactments of what happens with water more than what it looks like. Wake is a well-chosen title in that we cannot see the instigator of the ripples or structures, whether it be the stone or the hand that made them. We are only left with the residue and evidence of them,left with the assumption that something existed.
There is originality in the use of materials in this show that should not go unmentioned. Marco (the label called him Macro) Maggi’s shallow relief work is done in drypoint on tinfoil. Kelly Kaczynski pokes fun at the dissolving terrain between the 2d and 3d in her work Mountains, made up entirely of pins and solder. Perhaps the most impressive piece in terms of materials and complexity belongs to Noriko Ambe. Her Lands of Emptiness Expanding 2-A, is made of 1200 layers of houshi-shi paper and acrylic board, which she has carved into an elaborate canyon. Approximately 30” x 40” and 10” deep, it makes one feel the size of an ant by way of its complexity and attention to detail.
artSPACE, New Haven
"Inverted World" is on view insert until June 26th at Untitled(space), project gallery at artSPACE, New Haven.
All images are courtesy of the artists and artSPACE. Untitled(space) is located at 50 Orange St.(at Crown), New Haven, CT.
Nathan Lewis is a New England artist and a first time
contributor to Big, Red & Shiny.