Shotgun Review


By Mary Anne Kluth September 20, 2011

Lightspace, a group show at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, includes works by four female artists.

Cathy Cunningham-Little’s lightboxes are self-illuminating studies in geometry and saturated color. Housed in neutral wood frames, they cast a diffuse, greenish glow into the dark room. Blue Transformation (2011) is a green square with a bright red center that references HAL 9000’s pulsing user interface from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and suggests an abstracted, technological intelligence.

Amy M. Ho’s installation is also self-illuminating and consists of a projection of a curving hallway perfectly calibrated to fit the gallery wall. Like the proverbial tunnel of light recounted in anecdotal near-death experiences, the light emanates towards the room from a distance, and the ultimate destination is obscured. The visible grain of the projection source creates a sense of a permeable veil between the gallery and beyond, as though Ho is presenting a view of what lies beyond a metaphysical boundary. The hum of the projector is a reminder of the constant production of the illusion in the space and its transient immateriality, as if at any moment it could completely disappear.

Keira Kotler’s urethane and acrylic paintings employs the same wide pattern as conceptual artist Daniel Buren uses to integrate and disrupt architectural spaces, though Kotler renders her stripes with the milky iridescent materiality of a Robert Irwin sculpture. The mechanically-straight regular lines lay embedded within thick layers of light-capturing plastics, creating a relationship with the ambient lighting in the gallery.



Amy Ho, Wall Space III, Chandra Cerrito Contemporary

Amy M. Ho. Wall Space III, 2010; single-channel projection; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the Artist and Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, Oakland.

Kana Tanaka’s sculptural installation is made up of transparent beads suspended in a cylindrical column of red thread. Together, these beads suggest an organic shape beginning to taking form within a sphere, but their progress seems frozen moments before fulfilling its promise. The work plays on the perceptual impulse to connect the dots into a cohesive shape, but reveals only a trick of the light caught in individual points.

Collectively, these works illustrate how contemporary artworks continue to engage with ambient light, materiality, and the gallery situation, evoking Minimalist and California Light and Space strategies of the past while continuing to explore technology and materiality in beautiful new ways.



Lightspace is on view at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, in Oakland, through September 24, 2011.

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