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Los Angeles
Gustavo Godoy
Honor Fraser
2622 La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, CA 90034
January 16, 2010 - February 20, 2010

Godoy at Honor Fraser
by Ed Schad


The imagination finds a cozy harbor in Gustavo Godoy’s installation at Honor Fraser, entitled Fast Formal Object, Big White. In a way, “object” might not be the best word for Godoy’s piece. Like so much L.A. sculpture, the work is less intent on keeping its object status and more inclined to dissolve such a distinction. The dowels, scrap wood, particle board, and foam materials simply expand through the gallery, past objecthood into an environment to be inhabited, past an environment seemingly out the skylight in the roof of Honor Fraser -- the work almost willfully takes flight.

If one were to try and label Godoy’s piece, we might employ a few of Rosalind Krauss’ distinctions from her famous 1979 essay, “Sculpture in the Expanded Field.” In order to size up Godoy’s work, it certainly would help to think of it as not-architecture or not-an-object. The work is neither conducive to dwelling or habitation nor is it really compelled by a recognizable inner coherence, there is no inner armature or system that compels it. Instead, the work is more like an accumulation of solved problems, a scrap pile imaginative wandering taken past the point of tinkering and into a sort of elegance. That is perhaps the most seductive quality of the piece, it flirts with order, beauty, wonder, yet it is difficult to locate the exact source of these notions.

For instance, the work is white, but not brilliantly white, and Godoy leaves rough textures and surfaces. He clearly does not want the work to be fussy or fetishistic nor does he want it to be read simply as a small scale model of an architect's dream building. In some ways, the work resembles the unrealized sketches of an architect, but Godoy flirts with architecture just enough to make it interesting without overly committing to that premise. Along these lines, the work resembles Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, but ultimately, even this narrative association does not quite sum up what is at work in the gallery.

All of Godoy’s deft maneuvering and dodging of typical sculptural practices make the experience of his work a rich one. It is fun to walk around it, exploring the piece and exploring how the work changes the space of the gallery. I was impressed by how intimate the room felt and how engaged I was in grappling with not only what the object was, but what it may mean.

Posted by Ed Schad on 2/1/10

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