The MET Breuer is currently presenting a solo exhibition of the work of Julio Le Parc. Focusing predominantly on his work made around the year 1959, just at the time the Argentinian artist moved to Paris. Much of the work on display involves the use of sequences of geometric figures to create a sense of movement through space.
In “Rotation of Fractioned Circles” each of the unevenly divided circles remain the same. It the position of the dividing chord within each circle that changes as the circle rotates 10 degrees around it center point. The progression follows left to right then down to the next line then left to right again.
“Metamorphosis of a Line” is a series of nine panels beginning on the left with a horizontal line segment. This line segment seems to fold open becoming a rhombus with obtuse angles at the top and bottom vertices. These angles become smaller. On the fifth panel all vertices are 90 degree angles forming a square. The angles of the top and bottom vertices continue to decrease. The angles of the side vertices of become obtuse until the rhombus folds inward leaving a vertical line segment.
Le Parc’s elegant and precise gouaches illustrate geometric forms changing and moving through a series of consecutive images. These works are the precursor to his later Kinetic art in the 1960’s.
Dikko Faust has been making prints using rectangular sections of grids and other geometric line patterns. By shifting the grids across the plane he has created a series of overlapping prints. Recently he has added a new twist to his process. Faust has invented a new printing tool that allows him to rotate the rectangle around a central axis point.
(A quick note about printers’ measurements: In the print studio distances are measured in picas and points. One inch is equivalent to 6 picas and 1 pica is equivalent to 12 points.)
To measure the rotation of the rectangle, Faust uses a straight edge to form a line from the bottom corner of the rectangle that is perpendicular to the horizontal bottom edge of his press, and then measures how far from the center point to the horizontal line. The initial measurement for a straight up and down rectangle would be 12 picas from the center (the rectangle is 4″x 6″ or 24 by 36 pica).
Faust has been experimenting with what happens to different patterns throughout the rotation process
To better explore the relationship between the grids,Faust has made series of two-color prints. He has selected only the prints that are the most visually interesting. Making consecutive prints with the number of ratio of pica differences to correlate with the Fibonacci Sequence is one technique.
The day I was in the studio, Dikko was working with a pattern he had created using airline (1/2 point) rules. He used parallel lines: there is 1 point of space between the first two lines, 2 points between the 2nd and 3rd line, then 3 points between the 3rd and 4th….. up to 6 points of space between the 6th and 7th line. Then the whole pattern repeats 12 times.
While I was at the printing studio Faust was making a single print with multiple rotational images. I took pictures throughout the process.
This is an early stage of the process: it has the original line print plus a 5 pt and 10 pt rotation clockwise and a 5pt and a 10pt rotation counter clockwise.
This is the finished print. There are 5pt, 10 pt, 15 pt, 20 pt, and 25 pt rotations in both the clockwise and counter clockwise directions. The process that Faust has developed to create these new prints is very algorithmic. It requires a commitment to experimentation trying different patterns and rotations. The outcomes are then judged on their aesthetic merit determining which prints are to be completed works of art.
Sonnabend Gallery is exhibiting large wooden sculptures by Robert Morris. Morris is one of the most important American artists and preeminent practitioner of Minimalism. The twelve sculptures in this show are from his “Hardwood Series” and they are all recent reinterpretations of plywood constructions from the 1960’s. Craftsman Josh Finn facilitated the actual production of the work. I was particularly drawn to three totem-like sculptures that were each stacked columns of square planks. In “Serrated Column” (2012) each consecutive plank is rotated 90 degrees. Each square has diagonals that are parallel to the sides of the squares above and below.
Morris – Serrated Column – 2012 – Wood
“Twisted Column” (2012) is a stack of 40 squares that rotate a total of 90 degrees. Each square is only rotated 2.25 degrees. This subtle rotation gives the illusion that it is a smooth surface instead of separate square planks.
Morris – Twisted Column – 2012 – Wood
In “Spiral Column” (2013) the squares are rotated around a corner instead of the center. One full turn of the spiral is formed by planks. This work is an engineering marvel. Standing in front of this sculpture in the gallery it seems like magic that it does not tip over. Morriss’ column sculptures illustrate the many visual possibilities that can be explored using the repetition of a single geometric element.
Morris – Spiral Column – 2012 – Wood
Beth Campbell at the Project Room at Josee Bienvenue Gallery
In the Project Room at Josee Bienvenu Gallery, Beth Campbell is exhibiting her drawings and mobiles in an exhibition titled “My Potential Futures”. The works on paper are handwritten text-based diagrammatic drawings. The wire mobiles are a 3-D extension of the drawings. The structure of the mobiles create a binary fractal pattern. Each mobile is attached to the ceiling by a single wire that then divides into two wires, then each of those wires split again into two wires each. The 4 wires split into two wires each (now 8 wires). This continues through 7 iterations. Start at the top and then there is a choice of two possible routes, a yes or no question or ones and zeros if you are thinking in binary code.