Monday, September 26, 2011

Measuring Beyond Expectations

Detail of Monster Under My Bed (2011) by Tim Yankosky

Let me confess.

When I saw that the George Billis Gallery was exhibiting a series of works composed out of vintage measuring tapes upon panel, I had low expectations. It felt a bit gimmicky. The photographs at the gallery site didn't inspire much excitement either. However, art needs to be seen in person to be properly judged. So this exhibit of works by Tim Yankosky, "Measure for Measure," might be better than I was expecting, but I wasn't putting this show onto my "must see" list.

Last Saturday, I found myself walking north along La Cienega from the Moby photo exhibit at the Kopeikin Gallery on my way to see the KAWS show at Honor Fraser. About midway up the street is the George Billis Gallery. As I passed it by, my conscience started acting up, expressing disapproval of my unwillingness to even give "Measure for Measure" a cursory viewing. Well, I am a slave to my scruples. So I stopped in to take a look.

Wow! I was so wrong about this show.

The patterns of the different tapes create a compelling visual rhythm. It hints at abstract shapes that exists just beyond perception in the staccato space that is created by the contrasting color values. It's almost like a visual form of electronic voice phenomenon. On the surface, it's just a bunch of measuring tapes arranged in rows, but, when you open up your mind to the structure of the works, apophenia takes over. Yes, you might catch a hint of that monster lurking under the bed. ;-)

Chasing the Answers (2011) by Tim Yankosky

The numbers are also important compositional elements. They influence the way we perceive the work by capturing our attention and driving our eyes along the horizontal in either an ascending or descending numeric sequence. Since we are incapable of turning off our ability to recognize and follow numbers, it is an unconscious and involuntary manner of surveying the art. It's an effective way to keep the viewer engaged with the image.

The simple geometric shapes of the pieces worked perfectly for creating the apophenia effect. I had anticipated that the uniformity and repetition of shape would make for a bunch of nearly identical, boring works. Instead, it created a foundational structure upon which the indeterminacy of derived significance can be formed.

Portal (2011) by Tim Yankosky

So, I'm very happy that I gave this exhibit a fair viewing. It was surprisingly compelling. I'm happy that I let my conscience be my guide. ;-)

Tim Yankosky's "Measure for Measure" is showing at the George Billis Gallery until October 8.



  1. Thanks for taking the time to check out the show LJ. The challenge is the photography and descriptions of these works just don't do them justice. They are one of those works of art you need to see in person to appreciate. I hope that you seeing them in person and describing them so poetically will inspire others to check out the show. Thank you for understanding and positive response to the show!!!
    Tim Yankosky

  2. You're welcome! I'm always happy to give an enthusiastic review to a good show. Thanks for reading and responding. And thanks for producing such engaging works of art. :-)