The Gallery Project in Ann Arbor MI presents Warp, a multimedia exhibit, curated by Bethany Shorb and Addie Langford, featuring the works of 30 local, regional and national artists, all exploring notions of interconnectivity and complexity in the realm of material and method, proportion and color. The exhibit runs through Sunday, January 9.
The showstoppers were Phoenix Perry’s giclee prints on vinyl, with high contrast and multilayered patterns executed by hand with impressive sharpness and precision. Her use of color in “Step into the Light” is dramatically minimalist and eye-catching from up close and from a considerable distance. Another noteworthy contribution is Nishiki Tayui’s large triptych oil painting, “”Sanmon” (Three Gates). In an attempt to search for a new cultural identity, Tayui tries to make sense of the blending of her Japanese background and her experience of living in the US. She “tilt and warps” a turtle-shell pattern symbolizing longevity, diverting from the flat plane perspective of traditional Japanese wood block prints, and creates a “Western” composition with color combinations characteristic of Shinto shrines.
Many of the works in the show reveal an obsessive fascination with repetitive patterns. Gerhart Knodel’s “Devil Music”, a free standing black polycarbonate acrylic sculpture with countless hand-drilled perforations, creates interesting patterns that play with natural light. Bethany Shorb’s “Exhaust I” and “Exhaust II” study space and saturation of color with her intensely repetitive and overlapping renderings of a car’s exhaust system. Aaron Peterman’s large sculptural pieces created by intricate folding of archival prints gives the effect of grand byzantine-like patterns and shapes. Upon closer examination, the awesome color combinations, shapes and patterns are executed with a notably time-consuming manipulation of scads of quasi-pornographic images.
Warp celebrates experimental artists who tread in unfamiliar realms, working with unpredictable combinations of technique, media and technology. Cedric Tai is one such artist who relishes in mixing traditional art techniques with industrial processes and materials. His pieces are colorful and textural and mounted so they are projected outward allowing the light to shine through his acrylic plastic “canvases” resulting in unusual transparent beauty.
Although the artwork in Warp is varied in medium, technique and style, the contributing artists share an underlying consistency in the way they express their experimental impulse with well-honed skill. Most of works are executed with controlled almost pristine refinement, with chaos and spontaneity as more intellectualized realizations or points of departure for new trajectories of artistic expression.