At first, it's just beautiful, ephemeral. Detailed flowery structures hang in clouds in the gallery, larger individual pieces are suspended in vitrines from the high ceiling and on the walls. Peter Macapia's sculptures are made from laser-cut museum board. They look lacy and flowery, but also somewhat rigid and architectural. This makes sense; it turns out that the patterns of the laser cuts are created from algorithms that describe fluid matter.
Peter Macapia's education and background play a large role in his work. He's certainly a person I would call an academic. He teaches at Sci-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture) and he studied art, art history and art theory at Columbia, Harvard and RISD. His education is reflected in works like Jupiter and Io and Saturn Devouring his Children (in terms of their art historical background) as well as in his work overall, portraying an obvious understanding of architecture and mathematics.
Most remarkable is his piece Swarm which is comprised of 400 structures, in a tight composition, hung by fishing wire from the ceiling. The work demands the most attention as it takes up most of the gallery space and is allowed the most motion. Unlike other works, which are entombed in a vitirine, Swarm can fill the space both metaphorically and literally.
(Image: Courtesy of the artist and Angstrom Gallery, LA)