Thursday, September 29, 2011

Between the Blocks and Buildings

Build Boom Bust (2011) by Brian Cooper

The Torrance Art Museum is currently showing Cities: Visionary Places, curated by Camilla Boemio and featuring a wide variety of artist. The premise is based upon the exploration of the Urban Streetscape as a source of aesthetic inspiration, be it from the Beautiful, the Banal, or the Sublime. The works range in style and form including video works alongside paintings and photography. I found it to be an interesting collection.

My favorite piece on exhibit is Jeremy Kidd's Ruby City 1, which offers upon a dream-like image of nocturnal downtown Los Angeles. The photo seems to portray a twisting space, imbued by a subtle crimson light. Without the presence of people within the weird urban scene, it has a haunting presence.

Detail of Ruby City 1 (2008) by Jeremy Kidd

I had recently seen some of Jeremy Kidd's work at the Leslie Sacks Contemporary show, Perception, in late June. His work really challenges the viewer's conceptions of spatial arrangement. They seem to lose their stability; the cityscape becomes "ungrounded."

But there are many other interesting pieces in this show.

Susan Logoreci's utilization of blocks and streets as positive and negative spaces in the creation of an abstracted pattern is especially noteworthy. The way her buildings create a rhythmic flow to the overall block structure is compelling.

Detail from Divide and Alter (2011) by Susan Logoreci

I also enjoy the social commentary works, such as the piece at the top by Brian Cooper. But my favorite piece at conveying the sense of the city as a "patchwork of contaminations, parasites" is Kiel Johnson's Suck It Up, which portrays the urban scene as a toxic confusion that is getting sucked into a sinkhole-like void.

Detail of Suck It Up (2010) by Kiel Johnson

Yeah, there's a good mix of the serious and the playful, the standard and the deviation, the celebratory and the critical. It's an interesting show.

Here are some related videos:


No comments:

Post a Comment