Currently at Michael Thibault Gallery is a group show featuring the work of Nancy Lupo, Asha Schechter, Trevor Shimizu, and Brendan Fowler. When first approaching the exhibition you encounter Fowler’s “Wall & Bench”, operating somewhere between sculpture, furniture, and pop-up gallery – constructed from structural lumber and painted drywall – produces a cross section of a wall, identical to the gallery’s own directly behind it. Part-pop-up gallery comes in the placement of Trevor Shimizu’s “Forgot Sunglasses”, hung facing the unused gallery back wall. The painting portrays a small figure ascending an endless staircase with a growing pinkish mass engulfing the landscape, the pink form’s chaos articulate with finger-smeared strokes. Since eponymous in the title, Fowler’s second half of the work in “Wall & Bench” are raw wooden planks and posts protruding perpendicular from the wall forming a seat-high bench with a plank hovering off the floor. The simplicity in Fowler’s composition is still understandably conscious, the wall’s width is just wide enough to hinge between sculptural wall/exhibition space. The bench is just long enough to be sculptural object/seating bench.
Nancy Lupo’s “Dresser Weight,” a handmade layered object – one material ever so detailed as ‘Old Tupperware nesting bowl’— rests just beneath the bench. Acting as part decorative object, part paperweight for a dresser, the familiarity in its form and materials is still puzzlingly abstracted.
Between the interplay of these works, the spatial language in the room begins to create a blend between domestic and construction, not only in a formalist sense with Lupo’s sculptures, or experiential through Fowler, but also as an abstracted narrative with Shimizu. The gallery becomes a shared environment, the works freely associating with each other, homely placed, close to comfort.
Nancy Lupo’s handmade layered objects weave through perceptual puns further in “Corner Cues”. At first glance the work appears entirely hand sculpted, yet the ice cube tray-staff is made of actual ice cube trays, which are then layered in Magic Sculpt, and layered in aluminum roofing material. The effect of the surface becomes misleading. The original object is hidden in the layers that have come to mimic it’s form.
Leaning against the wall in the corner of the space, it plays off Asha Schechter’s photographic compositions. In “Picture 049 Pt. 2 (Cardboard Box, Autum Leaf Red, Funky Monkeys)” a printed cotton fabric with a cartoonish banana pattern that is flying around and out of an open cardboard box lays draped over a blue folding chair. Even though the box is a two dimensional print, the simple gesture and structure from the chair gives the image a fabricated three dimensional potential.
With the list of works the only paperwork in the gallery, the show is presented textually silent. This silence is only by means of comparison to a curatorial presentation of a group show. By letting the work relate without some kind of textual or academic reasoning, this absence is not remarked on as a lack, but rather as a way to emphasize the silence found in the rather simple gesture of the work presented. What is offered instead is a way to look at the networks, connections, and tensions happening on a spatial field within the show by the selection of the artist’s, their particular works, and the gentle placements of them in the space.
Nancy Lupo, Asha Schechter, Trevor Shimizu, and Brendan Fowler are on view through January 4th, 2014.
For more information visit Michael Thibault Gallery, Los Angeles.
-Contributed by Merideth Hillbrand
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