Anish Kapoor at the Peabody Essex Museum

Anish Kapoor’s wall sculpture “Halo”  is currently on display in the atrium of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

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The stainless steel construction from 2006 is a concave disc with accordion type folds.The narrow circular sections come together in 90 degree pleated folds.

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Although the stainless steel has a mirror reflective finish, when you stand in front of  “Halo” you do not see your reflection. The angles of the mirrored sections face away from the viewer.
Kapoor demonstrates interesting phenomena of concave surfaces, as well as the principles of folding within a circle.

Susan Happersett

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Richard Long at Sperone Westwater

Richard Long has along career of creating art about nature based on his walks through different landscapes. I saw more recent work last week at Sperone Westwater.

One double height wall in the gallery features a sight-specific giant circular drawing created by the artist by hand, by applying red mud directly to the wall.
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This gallery room is taller than it is wide, so the viewer must look up to see the entire circle. This creates an interesting optical element. Although the circle has a consistent width it appears to be thicker at the bottom and thinner at the top. It is a perfect expression of how geometric appearance can change based on the location of the form and the viewer in space.
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Richard Long’s artistic practice also includes text based work. The visual poem “Mendosa Walking”  incorporates an interesting use of counting and mirror symmetry. The 12-line text has a center column using the two letter word “TO” to join the a word on each side. the number of letters in these words increases by one letter going down the rows. From “A”  “TO” “B” at the top all the way down to “HAPPENSTANCE” “TO”  “CONSEQUENCES”.

Susan Happersett

Dan Flavin at David Zwirner

David Zwirner is presenting the exhibition “Corners, Barriers and Corridors” at the 20th street gallery. This show presents the work of Dan Flavin from the late 1960’s into the 1970’s. The artist is famous for his use of fluorescent light constructions to define geometry within a space.

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“Untitled (to Sonja)”, 1969

Much of Flavin’s work involved the use of straight lines and grids. I was particularly happy to see a work that was all about circles.

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“Untitled (to a man,George McGovern) 2” ,1972

Situated in the corner of the room “Untitled (to a man, George McGovern) 2” from 1972 is made up of a series of columns of circles of light. They descend in order from a height of ten circles to a single circle. The juxtaposition of the curves of the circles with the straight edges of the corner space and the placement of the circles with in a grid creates an interesting tension. The 45 degree angle produced by the descending columns gives the illusion that the circles are rolling down the construction. Dan Flavin is known as a minimalist and this work uses only the most basic elements, circles within an environment of straight lines, but the impact is impressive.

Susan Happersett

Thomas Houseago at Hauser and Wirth

The huge installation construction “Moun Room” by Housago is currently on display at the Hauser and Wirth Gallery on 18th street in Manhattan. The plaster and iron re-bar structure is actually three rooms –  one inside the other – like nesting dolls. There are circular and arched openings so the viewer can see into the layers of the structure from the outside, as well as walk into the construction.

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The artists choice of materials as well as his building techniques create a contrast from the rough exterior where the support elements are visible to the smoothness of the interior plaster walls. It was snowy day in Manhattan on the afternoon that I visited the gallery and the interior corridors almost seemed to glow liked packed snow. There is definitely a spiritual element to the experience.

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The architecture of this work is very much invested in the geometry of circles. Houseago explores circles as both positive and negative space. Sets of consecutive circles, and circles divided by arcs and chords are also featured throughout the installation.

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Houseago uses the same geometric principles found in modernist paintings since the middle of the 20th century. The scale, materials and textures of “Moun House” offer a fresh perspective to the circular theme.

All pictures courtesy of the gallery and the artist.

Susan Happersett