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Los Angeles
Inflexion
Mitzi Pederson
Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90024
February 29, 2008 - May 25, 2008


A Look at Mitzi Pederson
by Nico Machida


The work of San Francisco-based sculptor Mitzi Pederson is spare and conceptually transparent, and slight in a cerebral way that directly evokes Richard Tuttle and Anselm Reyle. The Reyle reference in particular speaks to her practice's timeliness: There is no denying the affinities between this small Hammer Museum show and the much more sustained argument for seemingly makeshift sculpture currently unfolding at the Whitney and the New Museum.  Owing to its savvy humbleness, its embrace of everyday materials (like plywood, tape, and reflective paper) this work has a lot to prove—and a vast pool of similar work from which to distinguish itself.

The strength of Pederson’s sculpture comes in its dynamic engagement with the gallery space and its simultaneous economy of expression. Her sculptures seem distinctly unbound by the conventions of a room. They hang, glide, slouch, cling to walls. This relational liberation gives the work life despite its relatively inexpressive materials (I, unlike some critics, did not find the touches of silver leaf engaging unto themselves). Similarly, the work is at its most powerful when it contorts this humble stuff into something strangely beautiful without actually embellishing it with more material. Untitled (2007), for instance, consists of the subtle torque of a plywood plane, which comes to suggest a sail billowed or the maquette for a Richard Serra sculpture—big allusions for an object that might otherwise be considered junk.

- Nico Machida

 

(*Images, from top to bottom:  Mitzi Pederson, Hammer Projects- Mitzi Pederson, February 29 - May 25, 2008; Hammer Museum, inflexion, 2007, Reflective paper, acrylic, aluminum tape and wood; 39 x 28 x 8 1/2 in, Collection of Ninah and Michael Lynne, Courtesy of the artist; Ratio 3, San Francisco; and Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York.  Mitzi Pederson, Hammer Projects- Mitzi Pederson, February 29 - May 25, 2008; Hammer Museum, Untitled, 2006, Wood, acrylic, silver leaf and aluminum tape; 16 1/2 x 25 x 21 1/2 in, Miller Meigs Collection, Courtesy of the artist; Ratio 3, San Francisco; and Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York.  Mitzi Pederson, Hammer Projects- Mitzi Pederson, February 29 - May 25, 2008; Hammer Museum, candle-ever, 2007, Reflective paper, acrylic and aluminum tape; 12 3/4 x 8 1/4 x 5 in, Collection of Jeff Morris, Courtesy of the artist; Ratio 3, San Francisco; and Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York.)



Posted by Nico Machida on 3/16/08

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