For his show Dotting the i’s & crossing the t’s Irwin uses pyramidal acrylic columns that reach toward the gallery ceiling, but do not quite touch it. Anchored in the concrete floor, they jut far up and then begin to lean slightly under their own weight and flexibility. The transparent material and it’s shape create a prism in the daylight, which seems to create a halo effect around the bodies of people on the other side of the column from the viewer. While creating a sort of prism at eye level, full of color and distortion and the reflection of others in the gallery, up high the pieces tend to get more Irwin like, and disappear into the wall behind. This was my favorite part, to watch and see if I could lose the edge of the piece. I came to the show expecting to spend some time with Irwin’s work to try and see what maybe I was supposed to see. The show wasn’t what I expected, but I enjoyed it. I could see that others enjoyed the interaction of many people around the pieces, light refracting, rainbow colors etc… but I think after all the reading about how much work Irwin put into trying to dissolve the edge of a work, I was hoping to see some of that in action. I think I did, but I never go totally lost in the piece.
I can see that this piece must vary widely under fluctuating lighting conditions throughout the day, which I would like to see more of. I would be very interested to see what it was like with no artificial light indoors, as well as see it installed outside. Natural light.
Sarah Oppenheimer’s show at P-POW gallery was very interesting, also playing with space and light, but in a very different way. Physically constructing and altering the space inside the gallery with new walls, and then cutting unusual angles into the corners. It had the effect of creating a labyrinth like feel, as well as being very architectural, materially and spatially, while also being unnerving. I enjoyed this piece, I found it beautiful. I guess I would rather see it released from the gallery and actually built into a building or room somehow. I assume that would be the artist’s goal anyway? I wonder what actually having those apertures and angles built into a space that was used and active would mean though. Would people find it disorienting and thus off-putting, or would it be entertaining and intriguing? Hard to know I think, until it actually gets put in place. It would be kind of a fascinating way to divide up something like cubicles in an office though! It would probably inspire some anarchy though, not desired corporate behavior!